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How I installed wallpaper all by myself in just a few hours

wallpaperfinishedbench One afternoon and a few strips of self-adhesive wallpaper made for quite a pretty transformation of this little wall in our home.

If you’ve been around the blog for a while, you’ll recognize this sliver of wall as my old book page wall.

bookpagewall When we moved into our home nine and a half years ago, the first project I did was tape old pages from a thrifted french novel up to the wall that separates the stairs from the livingroom/hallway.

We wished we had bought the house earlier during the building process so we could have upgraded to an open staircase with railings, but when we asked, it was going to be some crazy amount of money to take down the wall and install the rails, so we just let it go. Because I wasn’t crazy about the blank angled wall, I decided to make it a feature. I carefully tore pages from that old book, used my double-sided tape gun to adhere them to the wall and they stayed that way for over 7 years.

It was a favorite wall of mine, but was starting to look pretty shabby. The pages (especially on the edge of the wall) were torn and worn and looked a bit worse for wear – kids will do that to a wall with tissue-thin paper taped to it. When we took the plunge and had our floors redone and walls painted white, I had to remove all those pages. It was a sad moment.

bookpagewalldown The paper actually came off fairly well. It took some work to remove all the sticky tape, but the wall was not damaged and I liked the look so much I figured I would just do it again with fresh pages.

wallbefore But I never did. The wall has sat blank for 18 months, begging for some attention.

When Walls Need Love (the vinyl company where I bought the dots seen on the big window) offered for me to try out their self-adhesive, removable wallpaper I knew right away where I would try it: that blank stair wall.

I have been know to try a few diy versions of wallpaper in my decorating career. I’ve hand-painted it (as seen in my office) and used gift wrap as wallpaper (as seen in Audrey’s old nursery and the laundry room – tutorial here). I’ve done all sorts of fake versions, but never the real thing. That just feels super intimidating and because wallpaper can be SO expensive, I haven’t wanted to mess up a big investment.

wallpaperafter The great thing about this removable wallpaper, though, is that you can’t really mess up. I did this wall all by myself in just a few hours. It probably wouldn’t have taken hours, but I had to move furniture and clean the floors and snap photos, so that took longer.

As for the results? I’m so happy. The pattern I chose is called Pixel Diamonds is is the right amount of graphic and classic for my taste.

wallpaperonwall Want to see the whole process? Here it is in animated photo form:

wallpaper I started by moving out the furniture. I can be very stubborn and independent when it comes to moving furniture. Ryan was on a conference call and I didn’t want to bother him. I also didn’t want to wait. So I stuck some moving pads under the piano and grunted my way around the corner (it now sits back where it’s been before in the little nook under the stairs).

Next, I wiped down the walls with a microfiber cloth just to make sure they were clear of dust and dirt.

matching the pattern wallpaper I started on the right side so that the edge would be perfectly flush with the edge of the wall. I’m not sure if it matters if you start on the right or left? It turned out okay moving from right to left. That first piece went up easy enough. I just lined up the right edge with the wall, peeled back the backing paper and smoothed it down from the top. The paper is removable, which was so nice. I had to lift and make little adjustments and it didn’t hurt the paper or the walls.

The trickiest part was lining up the pattern. There is a slight overlap (about 1/4″) and that helps a bit, but I had to spend some time getting it to match up just right. Again, the fact that it is removable makes all the difference. You can lift and adjust without much effort.

After all four strips were adhered, I went back over with an xacto knife and trimmed the edges. You can see on the far left that there is just a sliver left of the wall that didn’t get covered. I probably could have cut a 1/2″ piece of paper, but my goodness that sounded difficult and I figured you wouldn’t really notice the tiny bit of wall.

How I installed wallpaper all by myself in just a few hours! / jones design company I was so pleased with how the wall turned out. It feels like an unexpected pop of pattern and makes me smile every time I walk by.

wallpaperandchairs And now my book page wall-turned blank wall-turned wallpapered wall is again my new favorite.

If you have a wall or room in your house that is crying out for pattern, and you’re hesitant to go with ‘real’ wallpaper (the investment, the install, the permanency, the dreaded removal), I can’t recommend this self-adhesive, removable version highly enough.

SOURCES:

wallpaper

bench (no longer available from Marshalls)

buffalo check blanket

be kind art print

basket

tufted chairs

metal table

26 Responses to How I installed wallpaper all by myself in just a few hours

  1. Brittney March 1, 2016 at 11:12 pm #

    How cute! I just did removable wallpaper for our little nursery nook in our bedroom. I was also shocked how easy it was to install (alone!) too!

  2. Heather @ Beyond the Aisle February 28, 2016 at 10:25 am #

    Love how it matches your pillows!

  3. Savannah February 27, 2016 at 10:46 am #

    I’ve been wanting to try removable wallpaper for some time now, but my problem is, I can never commit to where I want to put it and what pattern. Love this wall and pattern!

  4. Betty February 27, 2016 at 7:43 am #

    i agree with Kay about the wall angle not lining up with the design. I think I would have hung all the paper diagonally starting the first piece at the top. It would take more paper probably but the results would be worth it. Anyway you look at it, your decorating sense is to be admired

  5. Jen February 26, 2016 at 7:15 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m in the process of buying a house and have a small strip of wall right when you walk in the front door and I was looking for something special to do. This is perfect! I’ve already ordered a wallpaper sampler package and I’m gonna pick one out and go for it!!

    I’ll tag you on Instagram when it’s done! @1creativemomma

    Jen

  6. emily p freeman February 26, 2016 at 12:16 pm #

    I love it! And you said it so well “I can be very stubborn and independent when it comes to moving furniture.” ME TOO.

  7. Ann February 26, 2016 at 11:30 am #

    I am in love with the pixilated wall. DARLING! I would probably want to turn those stuffed chairs around and just stare at it. You made it look soo easy. Thank you again for sharing your process.

  8. Colleen February 26, 2016 at 11:12 am #

    I really loved the book pages, but I have to admit this is much more modern! Love the less permanent aspect of it too! We’re having to move next year and are already looking at houses and the 90s wallpaper gives me the shakes!

  9. Sarah February 26, 2016 at 10:35 am #

    I am going to need to know what brand your jeans are. They are cute. I am always on the hunt for a great pair of jeans.

    Also the wall and how you style your home are BEAUTIFUL! Your BLOG is such a treat.

    • emily February 26, 2016 at 3:38 pm #

      Thanks Sarah!

      My jeans are paige denim. ALways a great fit!

      • Sarah February 28, 2016 at 6:41 pm #

        Thanks Emily! I have a pair of Paige’s, I guess I need to go get one in the style/color you are wearing.

  10. brittanyMakes February 26, 2016 at 10:35 am #

    OH! I LOVE IT!!! What a great pattern, it looks perfect in your home :)

  11. Kami February 26, 2016 at 10:28 am #

    Where did you find you’re fiddle leaf fig?? I’m on the hunt for one this size.

  12. Brianne February 26, 2016 at 10:20 am #

    It looks like it was made for that space!

    Do I spy new dining room chairs? I would love the source for them. I’m looking at the copper ones from Anthro right now…

    • emily February 26, 2016 at 3:40 pm #

      The chairs in the dining room are from Restoration Hardware. We love them!

  13. Jen February 26, 2016 at 10:15 am #

    Love it and thinking that a white bench would be fantastic!!! I have a feeling you’ll end up painting that or changing it out at some point, lol! I have been inspired by your color palate as well. We have been slowly changing things and it’s already a HUGE improvement! Thanks for the inspiration :D

  14. Melissa Deakin February 26, 2016 at 10:10 am #

    Looks amazing! Love the graphic design on the wallpaper.
    Did you purchase the script print framed or did you buy the frame?
    I’m looking for a similar frame for a piece I have. Thanks so much!

    • emily February 26, 2016 at 3:41 pm #

      I bought the frame – actually, I bought it as a sample of what we could sell on Maker + Ink. I’m dying to offer a great, simple metal frame to go with the prints and have come up short. Still looking!

  15. Elizabeth February 26, 2016 at 10:05 am #

    I love this so much!!

  16. Sarah February 26, 2016 at 9:49 am #

    Love it~ you did a fabulous job and tutorial! That pixel pattern is just the right mix of tradition and freshness :)

  17. melissa February 26, 2016 at 9:45 am #

    Looks fantastic! Love it soooo much. It feels so happy without being overdone.

  18. Lindsay February 26, 2016 at 9:45 am #

    WOW! I love everything about this, it’s gorgeous. But one big question– where did you get your adorable shoes?! :)

  19. AmandaH February 26, 2016 at 9:27 am #

    So pretty! I love all three versions actually (book page, all white, and wallpapered) but this is prob my favorite. Your house is becoming a bit more minimal which has a really great feel to it. (I feel like I’m becoming more minimal as well which I’m happy about.) The whole “simple yet Sophisticated” vibe. Really beautiful!

  20. Kay February 26, 2016 at 8:18 am #

    Lovely! My Virgo/OCD side cannot handle the fact that the pattern does not line up with the angle of the wall/handrail. Yowza. But I definitely could not do the math/finagling required to make the angles line up properly with that particular paper. You did a great job with the installation! Wallpaper can feel intimidating but I find it fun once I get going with a project. A little addictive too, so I’m glad wallpaper is back in style! :)

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