How To Put Wallpaper On Furniture

How To Put Wallpaper On Furniture

How To Put Wallpaper On Furniture

Introduction to Wallpapering Furniture

Wallpapering furniture is an innovative and creative way to bring new life to your old or even new pieces. Not only it renews their appearance, but it also adds a unique touch to your decor. This creative endeavor does not require extensive skills or considerable investment. With some patience, good instructions, and passion for DIY, you can wallpaper your furniture and reap rewarding results.

Why Wallpaper Furniture?

Purchasing new furniture for a fresh look can be expensive. Wallpapering provides an alternative that is both cost-effective and versatile. Wallpaper comes in an array of colors, patterns, and textures allowing you to match any style or theme you may have in mind. It opens up the door to infinitely customizable home decor that makes a statement about your personal style.

The Basics of Wallpapering Furniture

When wallpapering furniture, there are certain key concepts you need to understand. The type of adhesive to use, the kind of wallpaper suitable for furniture, and the process of application all contribute to the final product.

Choosing the right Wallpaper

When selecting wallpaper, you should consider both the visual appeal and the durability. It's worth noting that not all wallpapers work well for furniture. The ones with a strong vinyl or non-woven backing are best, as they hold up well under use.

Selecting the right Adhesive

Your choice of adhesive can make or break your wallpapering project. The adhesive should be strong enough to stick the wallpaper to the furniture without causing damage.

Preparing your Furniture for Wallpapering

Before applying the wallpaper, you need to prepare your furniture. This involves cleaning it thoroughly and sanding it lightly to ensure the adhesive sticks properly and the wallpaper lays smoothly.

Getting Started with the Application Process

The process of applying wallpaper onto furniture can be slightly different from applying it onto walls. The size and shape of the furniture might pose a fun challenge to you. Don't fret! With planning and patience, you can create beautifully wallpapered furniture that could become the centerpiece of your space.

Choosing the Right Wallpaper for Furniture

Transforming furniture with a fresh and unique look can be exciting yet daunting, especially when it comes to choosing the correct wallpaper. There are various aspects to consider, such as the type of furniture, its shape and size, the room's interior, and the durability of the wallpaper itself. Here is a detailed guide on choosing the right wallpaper for your furniture.

Understanding the Furniture Surface

Before installing wallpaper to furniture, it's essential to consider the material and texture of the furniture. The surface needs to be smooth and clean for the wallpaper to adhere properly. Sand smooth rough wooden surfaces and clean oily or wet surfaces before applying. Knowing your furniture surface will help you choose the correct paste or adhesive for applying the wallpaper.

Considering Furniture Usage

Wallpapers used for frequently used furniture like office desks or kitchen tables should be more durable than ones used for decorative pieces. High-traffic furniture should be covered with a heavyweight, washable wallpaper - vinyl wallpapers are ideal for these situations.

Assessing the Room's Interior Design

The choice of wallpaper should complement the overall aesthetics of the room. If the room is minimalist or modern, geometric patterns or textured faux finishes might work well. For traditionally furnished rooms, vintage patterns or floral prints might be a good match. Always consider the existing colours, patterns, and styles in your space before making a choice.

Measuring the Furniture Size

Ensure you measure the furniture's surface area appropriately to avoid shortage or wastage of wallpaper. Bigger furniture pieces will require more wallpaper, so make sure to purchase enough rolls to complete the project. Keep in mind that intricate patterns may require extra wallpaper to match up the designs correctly.

Selecting the Right Wallpaper Material

Different wallpapers are suitable for different types of furniture surfaces. For example, embossed wallpapers can hide imperfections well and are a good choice for older furniture. Non-woven wallpapers are breathable and resist mold and mildew, making them suitable for bathroom or kitchen furniture. Do thorough research on the types and benefits of different wallpapers before making a choice.

Testing the Wallpaper

Prior to the full application, it's recommended to do a patch test with a small piece of the chosen wallpaper on the furniture. This will ensure the adhesive works correctly with the furniture surface and that the wallpaper's colour and pattern look as expected. This step can prevent disappointment and waste of resources later.

Taking Professional Consultation

If you're new to this, seeking professional advice could be beneficial. Professionals could guide you on the latest trends, durability and which type of wallpaper to choose for your furniture. Remember, what looks good in the store might not look the same when applied to your furniture. Professionals will help you choose the best according to your requirements.

Necessary Tools & Materials for Wallpapering

In this section, we're going to dive into the specific tools and materials you'll need for wallpapering your furniture. Each tool has its role in the process, so having everything ready before you start can streamline the process and lead to a better result.


The critical piece for this project is, of course, the wallpaper itself. A variety of patterns, colors, and textures are available to choose from, so feel free to get creative! Aside from aesthetics, the attributes to keep an eye on when buying wallpaper include its thickness, adhesive type, and whether it's pre-pasted or not.

Measuring Tape and Pencil

Accurate measurements are essential when applying wallpaper to furniture. You do not want to get stuck with wallpaper that won't fully cover your furniture. Alongside your measuring tape, keep a pencil handy for marking cut lines on the wallpaper.

Scissors and Utility Knife

To put up the wallpaper, you'll need to cut it to size. Scissors work fine for sizeable initial cuts, but for precise adjustments and cuts at edges and corners, a sharp utility knife does the job best.

Seam Roller

A seam roller is a tiny but invaluable tool for wallpaper application. It helps to press down the wallpaper evenly, ensuring a firm bond with the furniture surface and eliminating any air bubbles.

Sponge and Bucket

You'll need a sponge and a bucket of water nearby if you're using pre-pasted wallpaper. The sponge is used to moisten the wallpaper, activating the paste, while the bucket is for rinse the sponge between applications.

Smoothing Tool

Even after using the seam roller, there might be air bubbles left under the wallpaper. A smoothing tool, often a plastic tool with a flat edge, will help you to do away with these, ensuring that your wallpaper lies perfectly flat and smooth on your furniture.


A level can also come in handy, particularly for large pieces of furniture where straight lines matter. It helps to ensure that your wallpaper goes on straight.

Optional Tools

If you're dealing with intricate or curved furniture pieces, you might need additional tools as well. Some of these could include a heat gun for easy removal of old finishes, sandpaper for preparing the surface, and rubber gloves for protection.

Preparing Your Furniture for Wallpapering

Whether you're refreshing a dated piece of furniture or adding a bold burst of pattern to a plain piece, wallpaper on furniture can bring new life to your decor. But success in this project hinges on proper preparation. Here's how you should prepare your furniture for wallpapering:

Choosing the Right Furniture

Wallpaper adheres best to wood, so select wooden furniture for this project. The surface should be smooth, flat and with few or no carvings or embellishments. Remember, the more irregularities on the surface, the more challenging the wallpaper application will be.

Performing a Thorough Cleaning

Before applying wallpaper, thoroughly clean the furniture with warm, soapy water, using a sponge or a slightly damp cloth. This is to remove any dust or grime that may hinder the wallpaper's ability to adhere to the furniture's surface. Ensure the furniture is dry before proceeding.

Fixing Imperfections

Take time to fix imperfections such as cracks or splinters. These irregularities may cause the wallpaper to rip or bubble later. For larger cracks, use wood filler, then sand the surface to ensure it is smooth and even.

Sanding the Furniture

A slightly abrasive surface can help the wallpaper adhere better. Achieve this by lightly sanding the furniture's surface with 120-grit sandpaper. Avoid harsh sanding as this could damage the furniture. Dust off any residuals before applying any wallpaper.

Priming the Furniture

Primer prepares the furniture's surface for wallpaper application. Use a primer that complements the type and color of your wallpaper. This ensures the wallpaper color doesn't bleed into the furniture and improves adhesion.

Choosing the Right Wallpaper

Lastly, carefully select your wallpaper style and pattern. A piece with many small, intricate details may look cluttered and overpowering when applied on a large furniture piece. On the other hand, larger patterns can serve as a bold focal point.

Test Your Wallpaper

To avoid disappointments, apply a small piece of the selected wallpaper to a hidden section of your furniture. This will allow you to see how it attaches and what it looks like on the furniture. Should you encounter any issues during this test, you can remedy them before doing the entire piece.

Once your furniture has been adequately prepared, you're set to wallpaper with confidence, confident of a spectacular transformation.

Applying Adhesive: Do's and Don’ts

Before you jump head-first into covering your furniture with those gorgeously selected wallpaper sheets, it's important to take note of how adhesive is applied. Adhesives act as the critical agent that bonds your wallpaper to your furniture and makes the transformation possible. Here are some do's and don’ts to keep in mind while applying this sticky substance.


Create an Even Surface

Before applying any adhesive, ensure your furniture's surface is dust and dirt free, and devoid of any peeling paint or wallpaper. This results in an even surface and leads to a stronger bond.

Use the Right Adhesive

Not all adhesives are created equal. Some are more appropriate for lightweight, thin wallpapers, while others are suited for heavy, textured ones. Therefore, using the right kind of adhesive that matches the characteristics of your wallpaper is crucial to ensure a successful application.

Apply Adhesive Evenly

Always evenly spread the adhesive across the surface with a brush or roller. This will ensure that the wallpaper adheres uniformly and smoothly, avoiding lumps or air bubbles beneath the wallpaper.


Dilute Your Adhesive

While it might be tempting to stretch your adhesive supply by adding a bit of water, resist this urge. Diluting your adhesive will weaken its bonding strength and may lead to premature peeling or loosening of your wallpaper.

Rush the Process

Patience is key when working with adhesive. Allow enough time for the adhesive to dry before putting the wallpaper on and before using the furniture. Rushing might ruin your work and waste your effort.

Ignore Safety

Lastly, never disregard safety measures. Always work in a well-ventilated area when applying adhesive, and use gloves to avoid skin contact. Following these precautions will ensure a safe and proficient application process.

Remember, successful wallpaper application heavily relies on how well the adhesive is applied. If you follow these recommended do's and don’ts, you'll be on track for a beautiful, lasting finish for your furniture.

Wallpaper Application Techniques

Applying wallpaper to furniture is an art that requires accuracy, patience, and specific techniques. Mastering these techniques will help improve the quality of your craftsmanship and result in a clean, smooth finish.

Preparation of the Furniture

Before applying wallpaper, preparing the furniture is crucial. Remove any hardware such as knobs, handles, and hinges. Secondly, clean the furniture thoroughly, eliminating dust, dirt, and any lingering residue that can hinder wallpaper adhesion. Sanding should be done next to facilitate better grip for the wallpaper, followed by wiping down the surface with a damp cloth to collect the sawdust.

Cutting the Wallpaper

Measure the area of the furniture you want to cover with wallpaper. Using these measurements, cut the wallpaper, always considering an extra 2 inches for the sides and top for adjustments. Proper cutting will ensure a seamless fit.

Applying the Wallpaper Adhesive

Apply a thin, even layer of adhesive to the back of the wallpaper using a paintbrush or roller and leave it to sit for about 2-5 minutes. This time allows the adhesive to react with the wallpaper, improving its bond to the furniture's surface.

Attaching the Wallpaper

Begin applying from the top, carefully aligning the wallpaper with the furniture edges. Slowly smooth it down using a wallpaper smoothing tool, working from the center to the edges to avoid creating air pockets or wrinkles.

Tackling Corners and Curves

For corners and curves, use a razor or utility knife to cut a series of slits in the wallpaper. This technique allows for closer fitting around tricky shapes and ensures a smooth application.

Trimming Excess Wallpaper

Once the wallpaper is fully applied, use a utility knife to trim any excess. It's best to handle this step with utmost precision for a professional look.

Drying Time

Allow the wallpaper to dry thoroughly before reattaching any hardware removed before the process. Depending on the adhesive and the type of wallpaper, this might take a few hours to a whole day.

With these techniques and attention to detail, you should be able to transform your furniture using wallpaper successfully, providing them a new and exciting look.

Drying and Finishing: Ensuring Longevity

Once the wallpaper is successfully applied to your piece of furniture, the drying process begins. This crucial stage will determine how long your wallpaper lasts and helps to ensure a flawless finish.

The Drying Process

The first point to note about drying wallpaper on furniture is that it should be naturally occurring at room temperature, and not rushed by using other drying methods such as heaters or fans. Excess heat or forced air can cause the wallpaper to shrink or warp, which will ruin its appearance.

Depending on the type and thickness of the wallpaper, the drying period can vary. Typically, it takes between 24 to 48 hours. However, thicker or heavily textured wallpapers might require a longer drying period.

Tips for the Drying Period

During the drying period, refrain from using the wallpapered furniture to avoid any unnecessary pressure or potential smudges. Keep the furniture in a safe, undisturbed area where it won't be susceptible to spills, scratches, or other damage.

You should also avoid any contact with the surface since the adhesive is still wet and it can tear or leave fingerprints embedded on the surface.

Post-Drying: The Finishing Touches

After your wallpaper has thoroughly dried, there are a few finishing touches to apply. Using a clean cloth or sponge, you can smooth over the wallpaper to ensure there are no loose ends or bubbles. If necessary, a wallpaper seam roller can be used for stubborn spots or to further secure the edges.

Ensuring the Longevity of Your Wallpapered Furniture

To ensure the longevity of your wallpapered furniture, adding a clear, protective finish can be beneficial. This can help prevent color fade and protect from minor scratches or spills. Use a clear, non-yellowing, water-based polyurethane and apply evenly according skin to the manufacturer's instructions. Allow this to dry thoroughly - typically 24 hours - before using the furniture.

With these steps, your wallpaper application should prove to be a durable and visually appealing addition to your furniture, capable of withstanding the test of time.

Common Mistakes & Tips for Wallpapering Furniture

Even though the application of wallpaper to furniture can provide an artistic aesthetic and freshen up old furniture, it can be a tricky process. This section will highlight some common mistakes while providing useful tips to guide beginners and seasoned DIY enthusiasts.

Mistake 1: Not Cleaning the Surface

Many people make the mistake of starting the wallpaper application without first cleaning the surface of the furniture. This can lead to an uneven application and reduce the longevity of the wallpaper. Use a damp cloth to wipe off any dust or grime before you start applying the wallpaper.

Tip: Prepare the Surface

Preparation is crucial. Make sure to seal any cracks, sand any rough spots and prime the surface if necessary. This ensures that the wallpaper adheres properly and lasts longer.

Mistake 2: Using Too Much Glue

Using too much adhesive can cause the wallpaper to bulge or warp. It can also make the removal process more challenging in the future.

Tip: Use the Right Amount of Glue

Use just enough adhesive to secure the wallpaper in place. Remember, 'less is more.' A thin, even layer is usually all that's needed.

Mistake 3: Not Measuring Correctly

Incorrect measurements can lead to wastage of wallpaper or incomplete coverage of furniture.

Tip: Measure Twice

Always double-check your measurements before you cut the wallpaper. It's better to overestimate than underestimate the amount of wallpaper needed.

Mistake 4: Neglecting Corners and Edges

Corners and edges can be challenging, and many people make the mistake of rushing this part of the process.

Tip: Take Your Time with Corners and Edges

Take your time to ensure corners and edges are smooth and secure. Use a wallpaper smoothing tool to help eliminate any bubbles and wrinkles.

With these tips and an understanding of common mistakes, wallpapering furniture can be a rewarding DIY project that can transform your living space.