Old man installing peel and stick wallpaper with roller in Toronto basement

How To Install Peel and Stick Wallpaper

Did you know that there is such thing as hassle-free wallpaper? Your life is about to change forever with these simple, step-by-step instructions on how to install peel and stick wallpaper. Gone are the days of struggling with installing or removing wallpaper for days just to give your interior a fresh, new look. This may sound too good to be true, but trust us, you’ll love self-adhesive wallpaper and recommend it to all your family and friends!

What You’ll Need To Install Peel and Stick Wallpaper:

Before diving right into your wallpaper project, make sure you have these tools on hand to make the process easier:

  • Sponge
  • Razor knife
  • Tape measure
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Wallpaper smoother
  • Straight edge

Installing Peel and Stick Wallpaper:


If you’re looking to add a pop of colour or texture to your space, applying peel and stick wallpaper can allow you to do just that without having to go through the time-consuming process of painting or installing regular wallpaper with messy wallpaper glue.

Step 1: Determine How Much You’ll Need

First things first: with your tape measure, measure the wall height and width to determine how many rolls you’ll need. The rule of thumb is to leave an extra inch or two for any trimming at the top and the bottom. Remember to also take into consideration any trim around the windows, doorways, and any electrical outlets.

Always prep and clean the wall before installing any type of wallpaper.

Step 2: Prep The Walls

If you’ve just removed old wallpaper, make sure that there is no residue left behind. Newly painted surfaces need to fully “cure” before anything is applied to them. This refers to letting the paint completely harden. All in all, do not apply peel and stick wallpaper to unclean or textured surfaces as it will not stick properly.

To prep the walls before installation, however, you should take a damp sponge and a light cleaning agent (like a mild detergent or dish soap) and wipe the surface down. Make sure to cover or turn off any electrical outlets and lay a drip pan or plastic covering on the floor to keep it dry. Again, wait for the walls to dry before applying the peel and stick wallpaper.

Step 3: Measure & Cut Your Wallpaper

Start working from left to right and make marks on the surface with a pencil after measuring the peel and stick wallpaper, and then cut your wallpaper with a sharp razor knife. Make sure it stays sharp for a nice, smooth clean cut. You could also pre-cut strips ahead of time and mark the backs of them with numbers to keep them organized in terms of the correct order to place them, and to make sure that each strip lines up properly with the pattern seamlessly.

Step 4: Start Installing It From Top To Bottom

Start hanging the peel and stick wallpaper from the ceiling down. Another good rule of thumb to follow is to peel back about 12 inches of the backing on the strip. Line it up with the pencil markings on the wall and evenly press the wallpaper along the wall. Don’t try to pull the material. While installing peel and stick wallpaper can easily be done by yourself, you may find it easier to have one person guide the top of the wallpaper while you guide the bottom (or vice versa).

Step 5: Smooth The Material With A Wallpaper Smoother

Smooth out the wallpaper in a left-to-right motion with a plastic smoother to create an even look that is free of air bubbles, and continue to work your way down. If there is any excess material near the ceiling, floor, or around windows or doorways, use a straight edge tool and sharp razor knife to trim it.

Step 6: Move Onto The Second Strip & Repeat

Now that the first strip is done and you’ve got the idea, you can move on to the next strip with ease and follow the same instructions. Once you’ve worked your way around the entire room, you can stand back and admire your work.

Is Removing Peel and Stick Wallpaper Just As Easy?

Peeling this type of paper can be a lot easier than regular types. You’ll simply start by peeling and pulling back at an edge of the paper and removing any leftover pieces with warm water and mild soap. Add the warm water and soap to a spray bottle and spray the paper, letting it soak for several minutes. The longer it sits and absorbs the water, the easier time you may have removing it. Use a scraping tool and start working your way down the wall. Make sure to layout plastic sheets to catch any water or wet paper and cover any electrical sockets. You can also rent wallpaper steamers from local department stores.

Rely on a plastic smoother to remove air bubbles in your peelable wallpaper.

Does Self-Adhesive Wallpaper Work On Any Surface?

Homeowners often wonder if they can hang peel and stick wallpaper to other surfaces like tiling or wood panelling. There’s no straight answer. It is possible, but you will likely see the best results when applying it to a clean, flat, wall that has been properly prepped and dried. As mentioned above, the wallpaper may not stick properly to unclean or textured surfaces.

Don’t Have Time For Installing Wallpaper?

If you don’t have time to tackle peel and stick wallpaper DIY projects, leave it to a professional. That way, you don’t have to worry about the end results. They’re experts in the industry who know how to create a seamless look in a timely and effective manner, including our team here at Apex Inc. We’ve been in the wallpaper installation business since 1998 and can help turn your visions into reality. Contact our team today to learn more about our services.