Common mistakes applying peel and stick wallpaper and how to fix them
Peel and stick wallpaper is a wonderful, affordable alternative to the traditional wallpaper which doesn’t require wallpaper adhesive. Since it is removable, it’s possible to experiment with different designs and colors, change the wallpaper whenever one desires, and even decorate furniture. That’s why so many people choose this particular wallpaper type – easy to use and offers countless possibilities.
However, all of this means nothing if you apply the wallpaper incorrectly. Even though this wallpaper is easier to install than the traditional one, everyone can make mistakes. So, in order to get the best results with peel and stick wallpaper, we will go over the most common mistakes people make when applying removable wallpaper, and will give you some tips on how to solve or avoid them.
In This Blog:
Air bubbles under the wallpaper
One of the most common “mistakes” people make when applying peel and stick wallpaper (or traditional wallpaper) is that they create a lot of air bubbles under the wallpaper while installing it. This mistake results in wallpaper having weird texture and visible defects – the wallpaper looks clumpy and the design is ruined. Removable wallpaper can be taken off and reapplied, of course, but that’s too time consuming. It’s better to do everything correctly with the first try, than to struggle with removing and applying the wallpaper multiple times, wouldn’t you agree?
To avoid this problem, when you take off the protective film and apply the wallpaper, repeatedly smooth it out with a squeegee in the direction from the center to the edges of the wallpaper. This should help avoid creating bubbles and the wallpaper will smoothly stick to the wall. We also advise you to go over the wallpaper with the squeegee again after 24 hours. And if you notice some air bubbles after the wallpaper has already been installed, don’t worry - grab a needle and just pop those bubbles! Pin the needle into the center of the bubble and then squeeze out the air with your fingers. The needle won’t leave a visible hole in the wallpaper, you won’t even notice it, so don’t worry about damaging the wallpaper design.
Stretching the wallpaper
Naturally, all wallpapers stretch a little bit, but a mistake some people make is stretching the wallpaper even more during the installation process. When applying the wallpaper, you might think that the pattern is not aligning properly, and your reaction would be to stretch it to fit the pattern. But don’t rush into such actions, because peel and stick wallpaper solves small misalignments itself by shrinking back to its initial state.
So, to avoid messing up your design, take off a small area of the protective film from the top of the sheet and carefully apply the wallpaper on the wall. Then gently move further, while taking off the protective layer with both hands. You just have to trust the process. It is not unusual for the wallpaper to stretch a little bit, but it will naturally shrink back and the misalignment will disappear, unless you stretch it even more and ruin everything, of course. So, don’t use force - when pulling back the protective layer, you shouldn’t feel too much of a resistance and the need to pull hard. Just follow the installation instructions, be patient and gentle when installing the wallpaper.
Another mistake some of us make is not aligning the wallpaper properly, or overlapping the wallpaper sheets. The result ends up looking quite chaotic and it’s hard to fix it. Of course, misalignment is not intentional, but without doubt it can be avoided.
First, you have to take in mind that many houses and apartments have uneven walls that don’t make a perfect 90 degree angle in the corners. Don’t just assume that yours are perfect and take precautions - get yourself a spirit level and some extra wallpaper. Measure your walls with the spirit level and mark the walls with a pencil where each wallpaper strip will be. And, when ordering wallpaper, add some extra inches for the height. It’s better to be safe than sorry! But in case you have an uneven wall, when applying wallpaper, overlap it on the other wall, the one it corners with (don’t worry, this is a removable wallpaper we talk about). And after the whole wall is done, cut and take off the extra piece of wallpaper you applied on the other wall. This method will help you cover the whole uneven wall, without having to cut out random, small pieces of paper to cover the empty spots like in some kind of a puzzle. If you have uneven walls and are worried that you won’t be able to create a neat result, we suggest using wallpaper designs that don’t have complicated motifs, or huge artwork in it, rather something more simple and forgiving of mistakes. For example, you can try “Seashells in Bloom,” “Chips of Quartz,” or “Gradient Marble” - the many colors will help hide some small defects.
Measure twice, cut once
Even though peel and stick wallpaper is easy to install, it doesn’t mean that you can just free-style the whole installation process. Careful planning and measuring is still vital, no matter the wallpaper type, and you shouldn’t assume that you know everything about the removable wallpaper application process (unless this is not the first time you), do read the instructions beforehand and carefully follow them through.
Often people make the mistake of cutting off too much of the wallpaper before applying, or ordering not enough of it. It’s harder to fix this problem than to just order a little bit extra of the wallpaper beforehand, so measure your walls and calculate how much of the wallpaper you will need (and don’t even think about getting your measurements from a phone app). Moreover, Deccoprint produces custom size wallpapers too. You can order wallpaper that will perfectly fit your walls - an eco friendly option, where you won’t have to cut off and waste any paper.
Rushing into the process without preparation
We understand that it can be exciting trying out peel and stick wallpaper, but there are some things you have to take care of before applying the removable wallpaper. And the most important thing is preparing your walls. Don’t rush into the wallpapering process, before you have taken care of the walls, or you will have to deal with much fixing and problem solving afterwards.
For example, you mustn’t apply the wallpaper on walls that have recently been painted. You have to wait at least 2 weeks before you get to work. This is because paint emits fumes for a few weeks, while it dries (even if it looks dry, it still emits the fumes), and if you cover the wall surface with a wallpaper, the fumes will have nowhere to go and will create bubbles under the wallpaper as well as damage it. This is one example where you should be patient and wait before applying wallpaper, another is to clean the walls beforehand. Don’t install wallpaper on dusty walls. Dust and dirt won’t allow the wallpaper to stick properly and the wallpaper will be damaged, since it’s impossible to remove dust from adhesive afterwards. So, clean your walls first, especially if you have recently renovated the room - there will definitely be a layer of dust on the walls. It’s important to take things slow, if you want a neat result, don’t rush. And it’s worth mentioning that you should do some research before you get your removable wallpaper. For example, you should take note that it doesn’t go well with textured walls, it simply won’t stick (peel and stick wallpaper only sticks to smooth surfaces). Some people learn this the hard way.
Peel and stick wallpaper is made to be easy to install and save you from all the mess and chaos that usually surrounds traditional wallpaper. So, as long as you follow the application instructions, you should be able to get a wonderful, neat result on your wall.
But, of course, it’s natural to make mistakes or misjudge your skills, even more, if wallpapering is something you haven’t done in your life before. That’s why this article is your small guide and warning of what might happen if you are not careful enough. Thoughtful planning and preparations is all you need to avoid the above mentioned mistakes. Also, it’s worth mentioning that it won’t hurt getting a helping hand - a friend or a family member. It’s easy to make mistakes when you are trying to do everything by yourself. With help from others, not only will this be an easier process, it will also be more fun! Hopefully you learned something useful today. Good luck!