How to put up wallpaper

So you want to know how to put up wallpaper, do you? Well, my first suggestion would be don’t…just hire a professional. If however, you want to do it yourself, as I did, let me take this opportunity to congratulate you on your bravado! At this point, you should also kiss your sanity and good judgment goodbye and let’s press on. If you have recruited any unsuspecting helpers then congratulations. I took on this task solo and I am still not sure if that was a good or bad choice. I am pretty sure The Hubby and I would not still be married if I had enlisted his help. Just to be clear you will swear, you may cry and your definition of perfection will decrease indirect correlation with the amount of time it takes you to put up the wallpaper.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

So if at this point I haven’t completely crushed your will to live or at least put up wallpaper at this point we might as well get down to it. The wallpaper I used was a stylish birch print from Bouclair. I recently came across a peel and stick version on Amazon, which pretty much makes the rest of this post unnecessary unless you want to see how I struggled.

Homemade plumb bomb

To start I should point out that I should have picked up a plumb bomb with string so that I could lay down a nice straight line to act as my starting point. But my planning failed me and I didn’t have one. So off I headed to my sewing room (check out my other side hustle The Honey Bagger where I make custom purses) to grab some thread and one of my sewing machine screwdriver. Queue the MacGyver music as I proudly made my own plumb bomb that worked in a pinch!

"Wallpaper" tray

Because my wallpaper was pasted I knew I was going to have to bring water into the equation. In reality, I much prefer this to the alternative of having to apply the paste manually! But to each their own. I had used a “proper” wallpaper tray like this one on Amazon, but I didn’t want to spend that much.

So off I went to Dollarama and scored a window box planter for $2. Which will serve a few more purposes once I am done with the wallpaper fiasco! Its second life will be as a starter for my onion seedlings and its third life will be outside full of some flowers!

Wallpaper tray

Impressed with my own brilliance and frugality I pressed ahead with cutting and soaking my first sheet of wallpaper. Looking down at my own feet and my tray, still full of purpose and positivity I was in my element. When you cut your first wallpaper piece make sure you leave it a bit longer to make sure you can get it positioned just right.

When you go to cut your second and every piece after that you HAVE to pay attention to the repeat on your pattern. Unless you have a non-repeating pattern and then damn you made a good choice! But assuming your wallpaper does have a repeat pay attention to it. You will need to take this into account BEFORE you cut your next piece. If you don’t then you will waste a lot of wallpaper and potentially end up in a crumpled heap having an ugly cry.

Wallpaper dripping

After it soaked for a minute or two I held it up to drip off most of the excess water and then went in to hang it. And then, at this early juncture, it all fell apart so quickly. I found that there were still some drypoints (how I have no idea) but they were there none the less. So I pivoted and came up for a new plan.


I dragged out my yoga mat and laid my sheet of wallpaper paste side up and used a foam roller that I had the brilliant (thank god) foresight to pick up on my Dollarama trip. I found this worked WAY better as I could see where there was water and where it was dry.

Hanging wallpaper

Once the sheet was all watered up I folded the top down towards the middle about 1/3 and folded the bottom up the other 2/3.

How to hang wallpaper

I have no idea why I took this oh so sexy picture of my feet and I am sorry to subject you to it, but literally every picture is like this…lmao. I then folded the sheet in half.

How to put up wallpaper

Then in half again and I found this made it easier to take up to the wall. Then when I was up on my folding workbench (which was a godsend) I slowly let it unfold until it was in the original position of 1/3 and 2/3. Grabbing the smaller 1/3 and unfolding it I lined up the edge with the top of the wall. It is better to leave extra at the top than go conservative and leave a gap. Once you are done you can use a straight edge and an Exacto knife to make a nice sharp edge. As you unwrap the piece use your wallpaper scraper to SLOWLY and CAREFULLY work out any air bubbles. Do not rush or get too rough or you could end up ripping your wallpaper (more on that later).

How to put up wallpaper

With the first piece up I felt like the queen of the world…look at it in all it’s perfect glory! See this is the part where you get sucked in and think this will be a breeze and that you GOT this. You don’t, not really, not in the way that you will look at it up close later and be like I nailed it. That is unless you are a wallpaper pro (in which case why are you reading this?) or some kind of wallpaper savant.

Wiping off wallpaper paste

As soon as a piece was up I went over it with a damp sponge to remove any paste that leaked through the seams. You will have to rinse it regularly so you don’t just cover all the wallpaper with paste. You want to take it off, not just move it around!

Ripped wallpaper

Remember how I said your standard of perfection would decline in direct correlation with the amount of time it has taken you to put up the wallpaper? Well, THIS happened on my second last piece. All it took was a second of frustration on my part. One of the pieces wasn’t quite lined up and instead of taking a second to 1-2-3 breathe I gave it a tug…note to self…don’t do this again. Ironically unless you are up really close and know where it is you really don’t notice it.

Lion-o the Sphynx

Lion-o one of my sphynx cats came to check out the new look. If you’re curious about sphynx cats then be sure to check out my post on 13 Things you need to know about sphynx cats. As we are on the subject of cats I have to give a shout out to my friend Andrea and the epic Christmas card she got me this year. And yes I know it’s February and yes I do still have it!

Cat Christmas card

With the wallpaper fiasco officially over all that was left to do was to get my bedroom all set up again. Initially, I had a more modern bedframe but later I came to realized that this just wasn’t my style anymore. So I picked up a new bed frame that I came across on Wayfair but this one is pretty close to the one I got and it’s cheaper! I love the way my bedroom was coming together, the new bedframe was definitely more in line with my farmhouse vibe. That said I wasn’t really feeling the whole bedside table setup.

How to put up wallpaper

Skip forward a month or two and I’m doing some decluttering (check out my 1-hour decluttering challenge) and I came across some copper twinkle lights I bought for Christmas. I suddenly decided to add them to my bedframe.

Farmhouse bedroom

As an added bonus they are great for reading in bed a night! They give off a decent amount of light and I love that it comes from behind rather than from the side like a normal light on a bedside table!

Twinkle lights

So how did your own wallpapering journey go? Smoother than mine?

No Comments

    Leave a Reply