Wallpaper Installation Mistakes to Avoid in Nurseries and Kids’ Rooms

Written by Lee Orlian
Interior designer & co-founder of Teepee Joy.

Imagine creating a magical space for your little one, where the walls are not just barriers but gateways to imagination. A room where every glance reveals stories of adventure, wonder, and dreams taking flight.

I’m Lee Orlian, co-founder of Teepee Joy, and my passion lies in transforming ordinary spaces into extraordinary worlds of imagination for children.

Today, I want to guide you through the enchanting yet intricate world of wallpaper installation in nurseries and kids’ rooms. With the right approach, these spaces can become a lasting source of joy and wonder for your child.

Join me as we navigate the common pitfalls and learn how to avoid them, ensuring that your choice in wallpaper not only captivates but endures, making your child’s room a beloved backdrop to their childhood.

Understanding Wallpaper Basics

Color It Pink – Kids and Nursery Room Wallpaper by Teepee Joy

Before diving into the world of wallpaper, it’s essential to grasp the basics. Wallpaper isn’t just about adding color or pattern to a room; it’s about creating an environment that stimulates creativity, comfort, and joy.

When it comes to decorating nurseries and kids’ rooms, the choice of wallpaper can significantly impact the overall ambiance and even the functionality of the space.

There are primarily two types of wallpaper to consider: peel-and-stick and traditional (paste-the-wall) wallpapers.

Peel-and-stick wallpapers are known for their convenience and flexibility. They’re ideal for parents who seek an easy, mess-free application or for those living in rented homes, as they can be easily removed without damaging the walls.

This type of wallpaper allows for experimentation and can be a great option if you anticipate updating the room as your child grows.

On the other hand, traditional wallpapers require a bit more commitment and skill to install but offer a durability that’s hard to match. 

They’re perfect for creating a lasting feature wall or a timeless backdrop in a child’s room that won’t need changing frequently.

Traditional wallpapers can handle the wear and tear of playtime and daily life, making them suitable for high-traffic areas or for parents looking for a more permanent solution.

When choosing wallpaper for nurseries and kids’ rooms, consider not just the aesthetics but also the practicalities.

 Look for wallpapers that are washable, durable, and made from non-toxic materials to ensure a safe environment for your child.

Whether you lean towards the convenience of peel-and-stick or the durability of traditional wallpaper, selecting the right type and material is crucial in creating a space that is both beautiful and functional.

Common Installation Mistakes to Avoid

Misty Garden – Kids and Nursery Room Wallpaper by Teepee Joy

Even the most beautiful wallpaper can fail if not installed correctly. Let’s address these common pitfalls. 

The journey from selecting the perfect wallpaper to witnessing it adorn your child’s room is filled with anticipation and excitement.

However, the installation process is where the vision comes to life, and missteps here can detract from the room’s magical feel. 

To ensure your wallpaper installation enhances your child’s space without hiccups, it’s vital to steer clear of these frequent errors.

Improper Wall Preparation:

One of the most overlooked aspects of wallpaper installation is preparing the wall. A clean, smooth surface is essential for both peel-and-stick and traditional wallpapers. 

Make sure to repair any holes or cracks, sand down rough areas, and remove any residue from previous wall coverings. 

Skipping this step can lead to uneven textures showing through and reduced wallpaper adhesion.

Misalignment of Patterns:

For wallpapers with patterns, aligning the design from one strip to the next is crucial for a seamless look. Starting with a misaligned first piece can throw off the entire room. 

Use a level and measure carefully to ensure your starting point is straight, and take your time to match patterns precisely at the seams.

Inadequate Smoothing Techniques:

Bubbles and wrinkles can mar the finish of your wallpaper, giving it an unprofessional appearance. 

Use a smoothing tool or a soft cloth to gently press the wallpaper against the wall from the center outwards, eliminating air pockets as you go. Be patient and thorough, especially with larger pieces.

To avoid these common installation mistakes, arm yourself with patience, the right tools, and a meticulous approach.

Preparing the wall thoroughly, aligning patterns with care, and smoothing out the wallpaper diligently can transform the installation process from daunting to rewarding.

With these tips in mind, you’re well on your way to creating a captivating and smoothly finished space that your child will adore.

Measuring and Cutting: Precision is Key

Blooms in Spring – Kids and Nursery Room Wallpaper by Teepee Joy

Accurate measurements and cuts are the foundation of a successful wallpaper installation. It’s a stage where the saying “measure twice, cut once” holds paramount importance.

The beauty of a wallpapered room lies not just in the pattern or texture of the wallpaper but in its flawless application, which begins with meticulous measuring and precise cutting. 

Let’s navigate through this critical process to ensure that your child’s room turns out exactly as envisioned, if not better.

When measuring your walls, use a reliable tape measure and note both the height and width of each wall in inches.

For rooms with irregular shapes or additional architectural features like alcoves, ensure every distinct area is measured. Remember to account for doors and windows, subtracting their area from your total square footage.

This initial step determines how much wallpaper you’ll need, so accuracy is crucial.

Calculating the amount of wallpaper required involves a simple formula: divide the walls’ total width by the width of the wallpaper roll. This will tell you how many rolls you need.

However, it is wise to add an extra roll to your calculations to account for any mistakes or future touch-ups. Especially for patterned wallpapers, matching the design across seams may require more material than anticipated.

Cutting the wallpaper to fit your space perfectly demands precision and patience. Use sharp scissors, a utility knife, and a straightedge to ensure clean cuts. 

For tricky spots like around windows, outlets, and light switches, measure and mark the areas on your wallpaper before cutting.

It’s often helpful to cut a larger piece than needed and trim the excess once the wallpaper is in place.

By focusing on precise measurements and careful cutting, you can avoid common pitfalls and ensure that every inch of wallpaper perfectly complements your child’s room. 

This attention to detail will pay off in a beautifully finished space that your child will love for years to come.

The Importance of Ordering Extra

Meadow’s Bloom – Kids and Nursery Room Wallpaper by Teepee Joy

When it comes to wallpaper, a little extra goes a long way. It’s a simple truth that can save you from unexpected headaches and ensure the longevity of your beautifully wallpapered room.

While it might be tempting to order just enough to cover your calculated area, opting for additional rolls can be a decision you’ll thank yourself for down the line. 

Let’s delve into why having that extra roll or two is more than just a safety net—it’s a strategic move for maintaining the pristine look of your child’s nursery or room.

Firstly, mistakes happen, especially in DIY projects. Whether it’s a misaligned cut or an accidental tear, having spare wallpaper means you can correct errors without compromising the design or having to wait for additional rolls to be delivered. 

This is particularly crucial for patterned wallpapers, where matching the design across seams requires precision and sometimes trial and error.

Looking ahead, wallpapers, like any other aspect of a room, may require repairs due to wear and tear, especially in a child’s space.

Having additional rolls from the same batch guarantees that any patches or replacements you need to make in the future will not stand out due to slight variations in color or design that can occur between different production runs.

Moreover, consider the design evolution of your child’s room. As they grow, you might decide to update the room’s layout, furniture, or even add architectural features like built-in shelves. 

Having extra wallpaper allows for adjustments and additions without the stress of finding a discontinued pattern or dealing with batch variations.

By investing in extra wallpaper, you’re not just covering your walls; you’re ensuring that the backdrop to your child’s growth and adventures remains as perfect as the day it was completed.

 It’s a small step that speaks volumes about your attention to detail and commitment to creating a space that’s both beautiful and adaptable.

Installation Day: Best Practices for a Flawless Finish

The big day is here! Let’s make sure your installation goes smoothly. Transforming your child’s room with new wallpaper is an exciting endeavor, one that promises to bring a fresh burst of joy and creativity to their space.

However, the key to a successful transformation lies in the preparation and application. 

Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate through the installation day, ensuring a result that’s as beautiful in reality as it is in your imagination.

1. Preparing the SpaceBegin by clearing the room of furniture and any wall decorations. This not only gives you ample space to work but also protects your belongings from dust or adhesive.

2. Wall Preparation: Ensure your walls are clean, dry, and smooth. Remove any old wallpaper, fill in holes, and sand down rough patches. For traditional wallpaper, apply a primer or size to help the wallpaper adhere properly.

For peel-and-stick varieties, simply ensuring the wall is clean and dry is sufficient.

3. Measure and Cut: Based on your earlier measurements, cut the wallpaper strips, allowing a few extra inches at the top and bottom for final adjustments. If you’re working with a pattern, ensure that each piece aligns with the next for a seamless look.

4. Application Process – Peel-and-Stick: Start at the top of the wall, peeling back a portion of the backing and gently smoothing the wallpaper onto the wall. 

Use a soft cloth or a smoothing tool to press out air bubbles as you go, working from the center outwards.

5. Application Process – Traditional Wallpaper: Mix your adhesive according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply a thin, even layer of paste to the back of the wallpaper, allowing it to “book” if necessary.

Carefully place the wallpaper onto the wall, smoothing it outwards from the center to remove any bubbles or creases.

6. Trimming and Cleaning Up: Use a sharp utility knife and a straight edge to trim excess wallpaper at the top and bottom of the wall. Wipe away any excess adhesive with a damp sponge, being careful not to soak the wallpaper.

7. Dealing with Air Bubbles and Creases: Should air bubbles or creases appear, gently lift the wallpaper and re-smooth it. For persistent bubbles in peel-and-stick wallpaper, a small pinprick can release the trapped air.

8. Final Checks: Once all strips are applied, step back and inspect the walls for any misalignments, bubbles, or creases. Making these adjustments while the adhesive is still wet (or the peel-and-stick backing is adjustable) is crucial.

By following these best practices, you can achieve a professional-looking finish that not only brightens up your child’s room but also stands the test of time. Remember, patience and attention to detail are your best tools on installation day.


Maintaining Your Wallpaper

Rocket Launch – Kids and Nursery Room Wallpaper by Teepee Joy

Keep your child’s room looking pristine with these wallpaper maintenance tips. Once the wallpaper is up and the room is transformed, the journey doesn’t end there.

Maintaining the wallpaper is crucial to ensure it continues to inspire and delight your child without showing signs of wear and tear.

 Here are some simple yet effective tips to help you keep the wallpaper in your child’s room vibrant and in perfect condition, no matter its type.

1. Regular Dusting: Dust can accumulate on wallpaper, dulling its colors and patterns. Use a soft, dry cloth or a duster to gently remove dust from the surface of the wallpaper.

For textured wallpapers, a vacuum with a soft brush attachment can be used carefully to lift dust without damaging the surface.

2. Spot Cleaning: Accidents happen, especially in a child’s room. For non-washable wallpapers, immediately blot spills with a dry, absorbent cloth. Avoid rubbing, which can spread the stain or damage the paper.

For washable or scrubbable wallpapers, a damp cloth can be used to gently wipe away marks. Always test any cleaning method on an inconspicuous area first.

3. Avoiding Direct Sunlight: Over time, direct sunlight can fade the colors of your wallpaper. Consider using blinds or curtains during peak sunlight hours to protect the vibrancy of your wallpaper’s design.

4. Dealing with Peeling Edges: For peel-and-stick wallpapers, edges may begin to peel over time. Simply smooth them back into place, ensuring the wall beneath is clean.

For traditional wallpapers, a small amount of wallpaper adhesive can be applied under the edge and then pressed firmly back into place.

5. Annual Inspection: Once a year, take the time to inspect the wallpaper in your child’s room thoroughly. Look for signs of peeling, bubbling, or fading, and address these issues promptly to prevent further damage.

By incorporating these maintenance tips into your routine, you can ensure the wallpaper in your child’s room remains as lively and enchanting as the day it was installed. 

This not only contributes to a clean and healthy environment but also extends the life of your wallpaper, making your investment last longer.


1. Can I install wallpaper myself, or should I hire a professional?

You can definitely install wallpaper yourself, especially if you choose peel-and-stick options that are more forgiving and easy to adjust. However, for traditional wallpapers or if you’re not comfortable with the process, hiring a professional might ensure a smoother finish.

2. How do I prepare the walls before installing wallpaper?

Start by removing any old wallpaper, nails, or adhesive from the walls. Fill in any holes or cracks, and sand down rough spots to create a smooth surface. Finally, clean the walls with a damp cloth to remove dust and allow them to dry completely.

3. How much extra wallpaper should I order?

It’s advisable to order an additional 10-15% more wallpaper than your calculations suggest. This extra allowance accounts for pattern matching, potential mistakes, and future repairs, ensuring you won’t run short.

4. What’s the best way to deal with air bubbles and creases?

Use a wallpaper smoother or a dry, soft cloth to gently work the bubbles and creases out towards the edges. For stubborn air bubbles in peel-and-stick wallpaper, a small pinprick can release trapped air without damaging the wallpaper.

5. How can I clean and maintain the wallpaper in my child’s room?

Dust the wallpaper regularly with a soft cloth or duster. For washable wallpapers, spot clean with a damp cloth and mild detergent, testing on a small area first. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or tools that could damage the wallpaper’s surface.

Final Thoughts and Next Steps

As we conclude our journey through the enchanting process of selecting, installing, and maintaining wallpaper in your child’s nursery or room, it’s clear that a little knowledge and preparation can go a long way.

The walls of your child’s space are not just part of the room’s structure; they’re the backdrop to their daily adventures, a canvas for their growing imagination, and a reflection of their unique personality.

Remember, the right wallpaper can transform a simple room into a magical world that grows with your child, but achieving that perfect finish is all about avoiding common pitfalls.

From selecting the right type of wallpaper to ensuring precise measurements and cuts, and finally, to the care and maintenance of the wallpaper, every step is crucial in creating a space that is both beautiful and durable.

If you’re feeling inspired to embark on this transformative journey, I invite you to explore Teepee Joy’s collection of whimsical and vibrant wallpapers.

Whether you’re drawn to the ease of peel-and-stick options or the enduring charm of traditional wallpapers, we have something to suit every style and vision.

Don’t hesitate to order a sample to see and feel the quality of our designs firsthand, or reach out for a personalized consultation. Our goal is to help you create a space that delights and inspires your child every day.

So, take the next step and let the walls of your child’s room tell a story of wonder, creativity, and joy. Together, we can make those walls not just a part of your home, but a cherished chapter in your child’s childhood.