5-Step Wallpaper DIY

I promised this wallpaper tutorial when I published the Laundry Room Decision and Reveal last month.  Wallpaper is not that popular anymore.  But…some readers like wallpaper and there are some beautiful custom papers out there, too.

You probably noticed I didn’t rush in getting the tutorial published (no one was begging for it right away), but I want you to have it in the future if you need to refer back to this post for the DIY.  These instructions aren’t all-inclusive for an entire room, but I cover everything you’ll need to wallpaper a feature wall.

Laundry Room Wallpaper Complete

This splotch of wallpaper inside some trim molding is absolutely the easiest wallpapering you will ever do!

OK, let’s get on with it , shall we?  Before beginning your wallpaper project, clean your wall of any debris.  If the surface feels rough, give it a light sanding with low-grit sandpaper, then wipe clean.

Step One:  Getting your first strip level.  Mark a vertical line by using a level or snap a chalk-line with a plumb-bob.  I don’t like blue chalk all over everything as I work, so pen or pencil is better.  The line should be 1/4″-1/2″ beside where you want to locate your first strip of paper.

I decided to place one wallpaper panel in the center of the framed opening, with two partial strips of paper on each side.  This eliminates a seam down the middle of the feature.  (Seams shouldn’t be visible, but even an invisible seam down the middle would bother me – just an OCD kind of thing, y’all.)

Level Line on Wall

Cut a length of wallpaper at least 5″ longer than your wall portion.  Follow the wallpaper and paste instructions, then align your first strip of paper along your drawn line, an equal distance from your line from top to bottom.

Attach the strip so the wallpaper extends past the trim at each end.

First Piece Ready for Trimming

Step Two:  Remove air bubbles.  Work air pockets from under the paper with diagonal strokes, using a wallpaper smoothing brush.  Work the brush toward the edges while taking care not to wrinkle or crease the paper.

Smoothing Wallpaper

Step Three:  Trim the paper along the moldings with a blade.  Use a spatula or wallpaper trim guard to secure the paper while you cut with a razor knife.  I like to use the snap-away blades for this.

Trimming Excess Wallpaper

Repeat steps 1-3 with remaining strips of wallpaper.  Locate all subsequent strips so the pattern matches horizontally.  The paper should meet at the seams and not overlap.

Make vertical cuts along the trim molding using the same process as with the upper and lower molding horizontal cuts.

Step Four:  Trim corners.   First, crease paper along horizontal and vertical molding edges.

Scoring Wallpaper Corners

Pull paper away from wall and scissor-trim along creased lines.

Scissor-Cut Wallpaper Corners

Press paper back into place against the wall to adhere.

Step Five:  Outlet and light-switch cutouts.  With power source turned off, cut an “X” over the outlet or switch plate hole with your razor knife.  You can feel the opening beneath the paper and feel resistance as you come to the electrical box edges.  Cut from hard edge to hard edge, beyond the switch mechanism.  (Refresh your razor blade when it tears the paper like it did mine.)

X-Markings for Switchplate Opening

Peel each triangular paper section back and trim along opening.  I do a rough cut shy of the edges first, then go back and cut to just past the screw holes for the plate attachment.

Trimming Opening

Here’s a close view of the opening for the phone box.

Phone Jack Cutout

We installed a blank plate over the phone wiring so any future homeowner can activate a house phone if needed.  (After securing the wiring safely with electrical wire connector tips, of course.)  I hid the blank plate by hanging a decorative platter over it.

Switch Plate and Phone Plate Installed

Visit Laundry Room Decision – Wallpaper Reveal to see more details of the laundry room wallpaper and the vintage decor I added throughout the room.

Are you planning to add wallpaper to a room?  Have I explained the process in simple terms to give you some wallpaper DIY confidence?

Sharing with Metamorphosis Monday.

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    • says

      Thank you, Jenna. I don’t remember who, but someone commented about doing a framed portion of a wall. That got my wheels turning!