10 Things I Learned After Hanging Temporary Wallpaper
This temporary wallpaper tutorial is a LONG TIME COMING. A few of you have reached out asking for a wallpaper tutorial and how we liked our experience using temporary wallpaper for the first time. Like we promised when we first shared photos of it, we are finally sharing both a tutorial and the 10 tips we learned from our first experience using this popular product.
10 Temporary Wallpaper Tips
1. Recruit a partner: We’re pretty confident that wallpapering is a TWO person job… at least for rookies like us. We found that it was super helpful to have one person stand on the top of the ladder and hold the paper at the very top of the wall (without sticking it on the wall just yet). The other one could line up the bottom of the wallpaper with our “guide line” to ensure that when it was time to stick the wallpaper on the wall, the sheet was as straight as possible (which led to less un-sticking and re-trying). Your partner doesn’t have to be a DIY expert… just someone who will be willing to give serious attention to detail in lining up the wallpaper.
2. Consider the wallpaper’s design: The wallpaper we chose (this one) was actually a blessing in disguise because its busy wood pattern was pretty forgiving! Our design allowed us to make a few mistakes that the normal person would NEVER see (read that: oops, how did that air bubble get there and why isn’t it going away?!) Thank goodness the wallpaper we hung camouflages these few imperfections very well (happy accident). Also, if you’re a rookie when it comes to wallpaper, choosing an intricate design may be hard to match up from sheet to sheet so keep these things in mind when choosing your design. <— not that you can’t do it (we know you can!), we just want to bring this to your attention as something you should consider before purchasing!
3. Buy more wallpaper than your exact measurements: When you finalize the area of the space you plan on wallpapering, you want to purchase wallpaper to cover more than that EXACT measurement of your wall. There’s going to be waste on each sheet (at the top and the bottom of the wall) so it’s important that you don’t just buy wallpaper to ONLY cover the area of your wall and no more. That would be bad… and would probably cause some serious cursing half way through the project. And that’s just never the way we want a DIY project to go…. ever, ever, ever.
4. The temporary paper was far more forgiving than we anticipated: We were very pleasantly surprised when we realized that the tempaper was easy to work with. We’ve worked with contact paper when lining some of our drawers and anticipated that the temporary wallpaper would work much like that product. We were wrong… and thank goodness we were! Although we were very cautious when lining up and hanging the wallpaper, we stuck almost every sheet of wallpaper on the wall and had to carefully peel it back and re-stick it slightly differently. The GREAT news was that the product allowed us to make these changes — and to be perfectly honest, thank GOODNESS because there would be absolutely NO way we could have hung this without that wiggle room. #nochance
5. Consider the wall’s details & plan accordingly: Truth be told, we chose to hang this wallpaper on this wall in the nursery because it had the least amount of details/cuts. The wall was totally plain outside of the one outlet we had to cut out. The other three walls in the room each had an obstacle that freaked us out a bit (a window, a closet, and a door) so we ultimately chose this wall because of the lack of detail. Obviously you don’t have to do that same thing, but looking at the wall’s/room’s obstacles BEFORE starting will help you make a gameplan and hopefully eliminate any potential issues.
6. Measure TWICE, cut once: We already mentioned buying a little more wallpaper than you need for the little bit of waste paper you’ll cut off the end of every sheet, but you probably won’t have enough wallpaper to make some big time cutting mistakes. SO… it’s very important to measure twice (maybe three times in our case) so that when it is time to cut, you won’t be making any costly mistakes.
7. Shine a BRIGHT light on your space the entire time: We mentioned this tip in our DIY temporary wallpaper tutorial, but we wanted to include it on this list as well. Shining a SUPER bright light on the wall throughout the whole process of hanging the wallpaper will help you spot and take care of any problematic air bubbles before moving on (and before it’s too late). Something about the bright light will allow you to spot these imperfections more quickly and more importantly, help you get rid of them!
8. Don’t dull the blade of your razor blade: Did you know that a disposable razor blade can be dull after one or two cuts?! We had no idea! Using a sharp razor blade to make clean, straight cuts in the wallpaper is absolutely essential to get the crisp finish. Make sure you use a new, fresh razor blade for almost every big cut.
9. Create a large, flat workspace: We found that setting up a large flat surface was helpful for us to layout the sheets of wallpaper to measure and cut. This may not be a reality for everyone (in that case an open space on the floor works too) but if you can create a temporary table for measuring and cutting these sheets, we highly recommend that. If you are working on the floor, be VERY careful cutting each piece of wallpaper with the sharp razor blade, you do NOT want the blade to go through and cut through your floor!!
10. Read a few tutorials before you tackle this project: We watched this fun, little video and read about tempaper installation on the company’s website. Here’s a TUTORIAL we just wrote and shared on Zillow’s blog, we tried to include LOTS of rookie tips along the way. Hopefully our mistakes will save you from making the same ones.
Whether you choose to read our tutorial or someone else’s, we highly encourage everyone to watch/read a few tutorials before you get started so you have a gameplan going into this project. <— which is pretty safe, general advice for just about any DIY project you tackle. A little research and pre-planning is always a good idea in our playbook. =)
So what do you say, anyone feeling confident enough to try their hand at temporary wallpaper?! Before you get started…. we do want to leave you with a DISCLAIMER. We haven’t yet lived through a cycle of tempaper, so we are not sure how hard it is to get this off the walls when it comes time.
We hope the wallpaper is just as forgiving as it was when we wanted to reposition it on the wall during installation, but we can’t make any promises. Has anyone had any experience with this?! We’d love hear your expertise and share that insight along with this tutorial.
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.