A few months ago for the One Room Challenge we installed this gray buffalo check wallpaper from Home Depot in our laundry room/pantry. We were a bit nervous to install it because we had never installed wallpaper before. When I say nervous I mean we were dreading it… a lot. It turns out it wasn’t all that bad to do! There were some tense moments for sure, but we are very happy with the result! Nathan even said he would “consider” installing wallpaper again down the road. On the DIY scale I would rate this an easy to moderate project. If you have done your fair share of DIY project it wouldn’t be too bad, but if you are a DIY newbie it might be a little harder. Don’t worry though – I really think anyone can do it – with the right supplies and a game plan. It’s about time I posted how we actually went above installing it!
When searching for wallpaper I made sure to get one that was on the easier end to apply (either peel & stick or pre-pasted – the one we bought was pre-pasted). I searched high and low for wallpaper and ended up with this gray buffalo check wallpaper. Target also sells a similar wallpaper, but I went with the one from the one from Home Depot because the gray actually leaned a little bit more blue/green gray than brown gray in case you are looking at this for wallpaper your own project.
Back to installing the wallpaper. Below is a tutorial on how we installed our pre-pasted wallpaper. Keep in mind we are not professional wallpaper installers, this is just the process that worked for us!
The Adored Abode is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Here are the supplies you will need for the installation:
- buffalo check wallpaper
- sharp scissors
- spray bottle
- spray bottle
- roll of craft paper
- step ladder
- wallpaper smoothing tool
- box cutter
We found this was definitely a two person job – especially for longer strips of wallpaper! Remember to remove any light switch plates and outlet covers before starting – these can be replaced after the wallpaper is installed.
UNROLL THE PAPER
We started by unrolling the brown craft paper on the floor of our kitchen (2-3′ longer than the height each strip of wallpaper needed to be – i.e. a decent amount longer than the height of the wall the wallpaper will be installed on). Unroll your wallpaper printed side down on the craft paper with plenty of extra craft paper on either end. This is necessary to make sure the wallpaper stays clean on the outward facing side (printed side) and so your floor will stay free of wallpaper paste. Anyway to make clean up easier is good in my opinion!
CUT THE PAPER
Use a straight edge (we used a 36″ long spare piece of lumber) to trace a straight line across edge of the paper for the cut of your first strip. Our first strip we cut at 92″, 2″ longer than the 90″ we needed from the ceiling to where the wallpaper would meet the top of the baseboard. This was simply to allow us a bit of extra wiggle room in case we messed up – since this was the first piece of wallpaper we ever installed!
“BOOK” THE ADHESIVE
After your strip is cut spray the back side of the strip with water using a spray bottle. You want to ensure the entirety of the backing is moistened to start the activation of the wallpaper paste. Once the entire backing is moistened you need to “book” the wallpaper. This is accomplished by folding the wallpaper in half length-wise so the moistened back is completely stuck together. Let it sit folded in half for two minutes and then bring it to the spot where you will be installing it. We found it was easier to move the piece when it was still folded in half. I never took a picture of the booking process because each time we did it we were so flustered about getting it done properly and installed on the wall before the paste dried! This was definitely the hardest part for us and where we felt it was necessary to have two people. The first sheet was by far the hardest, after that we got the hang of this part pretty quickly.
HANG THE PAPER
We installed the first strip using the “original” cut from when the wallpaper was first unrolled at the top of the ceiling leaving the extra two inches we cut hanging over the top of the baseboard. Once the wallpaper is placed straight and in even alignment with the ceiling and corner of the wall (if applicable) use the wallpaper smoothing tool to smooth out any bubbles, working from the top down.
Repeat the above steps for all of the sheets of wallpaper you want to install. With all subsequent sheets of wallpaper is VERY IMPORTANT to account for the pattern repeat. The pattern repeat on the paper we used was every 20.5″, meaning every 20.5″ down the roll the pattern of the wallpaper repeats itself or starts over. In order to mark the “cut” lines for the strip we held the roll up on the wall next the the previous strip, aligned the pattern, and marked (very lightly, with pencil), the ceiling line and the baseboard line so we would know exactly where we needed to cut. When cutting the subsequent strips we would always cut a few inches both above the ceiling mark and below the baseboard line mark to hang it on the wall, knowing we could trim the extra “tails” later. When hanging the subsequent pieces it is also important to paste the wallpaper as close as possible to the previous strip (without actually overlapping). This prevents gap-y seams from showing the wall behind the wallpaper!
We trimmed all the “tails” off as we went using a box cutter. One tip I have would be to use the wallpaper smoothing tool as a protecting edge where the wallpaper meets the baseboard. This creates a nice edge for where you need to cut the “tail” off where the paper meets the baseboard and prevents the wallpaper from ripping as you cut it. FYI: the wallpaper tool is not being used above – don’t do as we do.
(Above is before I painted over the stencil I worked so hard on. Sigh – I do still love that stencil and miss it, but am happy with how the laundry room turned out).
Once all of the wallpaper is installed you can step back and enjoy the finished product! This 8’x13′ wall took us around 3 hours from start to finish – we thought that was pretty good for our first time. Plus, we are very happy with the results. The dogs love their newly finished room too.
I just love how it adds a nice pop of pattern in our laundry room. It is a fun statement wall that you can peeking through from the doorway that leads into the kitchen when the laundry room door is open. I am already scheming of where I can use wallpaper next in our house! The good thing is with this wallpaper is that it is easily removable, so if we tire of it (hopefully no time soon) we will be able to peel it off without much or any damage to the wall.
Let me know if you try your hand at installing wallpaper – I would love to see!