DIY Wallpaper Installation: Tips and Tricks for Parents

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

Imagine transforming your child’s room into a magical space where their imagination can soar – all with a bit of DIY flair and some wallpaper!

The joy of watching your child’s eyes light up as they step into a room tailored just for them is unmatched. But embarking on a wallpaper installation project can seem daunting at first.

Fear not, dear parents, because I’m here to guide you through each step, ensuring that this DIY adventure brings as much joy to you as the finished room will bring to your child.

In this article, I’ll share my top tips and tricks for DIY wallpaper installation that will make the process as smooth and joyful as embarking on a creative adventure with your little ones.

From choosing the perfect wallpaper to the final touches that make all the difference, you’ll find everything you need to confidently transform a simple space into a realm of wonder and delight.

So, let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into the world of colors, patterns, and textures that await!

Choosing the Right Wallpaper

Astronaut Adventures – Kids and Nursery Room Wallpaper by Teepee Joy

Embarking on the Journey of Selection

The first step in your wallpaper project is choosing the perfect design that sparks joy and creativity in your child’s space.

This decision is not just about finding a pattern that appeals to the eye; it’s about discovering a design that resonates with your child’s imagination and spirit.

The right wallpaper can turn a mundane room into a nurturing environment where stories unfold, and dreams take flight.

Personal Touch: Finding Harmony in Design and Imagination

In selecting high-quality, imaginative wallpaper, it’s essential to consider your child’s personality and interests closely. At Teepee Joy, we pride ourselves on offering a range of wallpapers that cater to every young dreamer.

From enchanted forests and fairy tales to space exploration and underwater adventures, our designs are crafted to ignite the imagination.

We understand the importance of personalization in creating a space that’s uniquely theirs, which is why we offer customizable options.

Furthermore, our samples allows you to bring home a piece of the magic before making a full commitment, ensuring the chosen design truly fits your vision for the space.

Practical Advice: Navigating the Choices of Application

When it comes to selecting the type of wallpaper, your living situation plays a crucial role. For renters or those who love to refresh their decor frequently, our peel and stick wallpaper offers an ideal solution.

It’s designed for easy application and removal, allowing you to transform a room without the worry of long-term commitment or damage to walls.

This option is perfect for adding a splash of fun and personality to your child’s bedroom, playroom, or nursery with the freedom to update the theme as they grow.

On the other hand, our traditional wallpaper provides a more permanent solution, ideal for homeowners looking for durability and a long-lasting finish.

It’s suitable for areas of high traffic or where a more enduring design feature is envisioned. Although traditional wallpaper may require a bit more effort in installation and removal, the result is a sophisticated and durable backdrop for your child’s ongoing adventures.

Choosing the right wallpaper is the first step in a journey that transforms a simple room into a sanctuary of creativity and joy.

Whether opting for the ease of peel and stick or the longevity of traditional wallpaper, Teepee Joy has the perfect design to match every child’s unique spirit and imagination.

Preparing Your Space

Abstract Tints – Kids and Nursery Room Wallpaper by Teepee Joy

The Foundation of Success: Proper Preparation

Proper preparation is the key to a flawless wallpaper installation. Just as a painter needs a smooth canvas to create a masterpiece, a well-prepared wall is essential for the perfect wallpaper application.

This stage is crucial in ensuring that the final outcome is as enchanting as you’ve envisioned, laying the groundwork for a transformation that will bring endless joy and inspiration to your child’s room.

Step-by-Step Guide: Laying the Groundwork for Magic

  1. Wall Cleaning: Begin with a clean slate. Remove any dirt, dust, or grease from the walls with mild soap and water. This step ensures the wallpaper adheres properly, providing a smooth and lasting finish. Let the walls dry completely before proceeding.

  2. Measuring the Space: Accuracy is your ally in this journey. Using Teepee Joy’s guidelines, measure the width and height of the wall(s) you plan to decorate. Add a few extra inches to both measurements to account for any irregularities in wall dimensions or potential mistakes in cutting. This precaution ensures you won’t find yourself short of material mid-application.

  3. Calculating Wallpaper Needs: Once you have your measurements, it’s time to determine how much wallpaper you’ll need. Our rolls come in widths of 24 inches and lengths of 6, 8, 10, or 12 feet, designed to accommodate a variety of spaces and projects.

    Divide the total width of your wall (in inches) by 24 to find out how many rolls you’ll require. Don’t forget to round up to the nearest whole number for completeness. For example, if your calculation comes to 4.2 rolls, it’s wise to order 5 to ensure you have enough.

  4. Ordering with Confidence: We recommend ordering an extra 10-15% of wallpaper on top of your initial estimate. This allowance caters to any unforeseen challenges you might encounter, such as pattern matching or slight miscalculations. It’s better to have a little extra than to find yourself needing more mid-project, especially considering slight color variations may occur between batches.

By meticulously preparing your space and accurately planning your materials, you’re setting the stage for a successful DIY project. These preliminary steps might seem like small details, but they’re the foundation upon which the magic of transformation rests.

With everything in place, you’re ready to bring your vision to life, creating a space that reflects the boundless imagination and wonder of childhood.

The Installation Process

Whiskers And Wings – Kids and Nursery Room Wallpaper by Teepee Joy

Crafting Your Canvas: The Joy of Installation

With the right tools and a bit of patience, installing wallpaper can be a rewarding DIY project. This phase is where you’ll see your vision start to come alive, transforming a plain wall into a vibrant backdrop for your child’s adventures.

Whether you choose peel and stick or traditional wallpaper, each type offers its own journey toward beautifying your space.

Peel and Stick Installation: Simplicity Meets Style

Peel and stick wallpaper is a fantastic option for those looking for a hassle-free installation experience. Here’s how to ensure a smooth application:
  1. Tool Check: Gather your essentials – a clean cloth, a sharp utility knife, and the included squeegee. These tools will help you achieve a smooth finish without any bubbles or creases.

  2. Alignment and Application: Start by peeling a few inches of the backing away. Align the wallpaper with the top of your wall or the corner, depending on your starting point. Press the wallpaper against the wall, slowly peeling the backing off as you go down, using the squeegee to smooth out any bubbles. This method allows for easy adjustments as you work, ensuring a perfect fit.

  3. Cutting and Adjusting: Once fully applied, use the utility knife to trim any excess material around the edges. The beauty of peel and stick wallpaper is in its forgiveness – if you notice a mistake or a bubble, simply peel back and reapply.

  4. Enjoy the Convenience: One of the greatest advantages of peel and stick wallpaper is the ability to remove or reposition it without damaging your walls. This feature makes it perfect for those who love to update their decor frequently or renters looking to personalize their space temporarily.

Traditional Wallpaper Installation: Embracing the Classics

For those drawn to the enduring charm of traditional wallpaper, here’s a brief overview to guide you:
  1. Preparation is Key: Before you begin, ensure you have all necessary tools at hand, including wallpaper paste, a paste brush or roller, a plumb line for alignment, a smoothing brush, and a sharp knife for trimming.

  2. Applying the Paste: Lay your cut wallpaper strips face down on a clean, flat surface. Apply an even layer of paste over the back, ensuring full coverage, especially at the edges.

  3. Hanging with Precision: Use a plumb line to ensure your first strip is perfectly vertical. This step is crucial for maintaining alignment throughout the installation. Carefully position the paper at the top of the wall, allowing a small overlap onto the ceiling. Smooth the paper onto the wall from the center outwards to remove any bubbles.

  4. Seams and Trimming: Make sure each subsequent strip is tightly butted up against the previous one, avoiding overlaps. Use a sharp knife for neat trims along the baseboard and ceiling.

  5. Seeking Expertise: Traditional wallpaper installation can be intricate, requiring a bit more skill and patience. If you’re not confident in your DIY skills, it might be wise to consult a professional. This ensures your wallpaper is installed beautifully and lasts for years to come.

Regardless of the type you choose, the process of installing wallpaper is a creative journey that brings immense satisfaction. As you step back to admire your work, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment knowing you’ve created a unique and inspiring space for your child to grow and dream.

Finishing Touches and Care

Tropical Cheetah Chill – Kids and Nursery Room Wallpaper by Teepee Joy

Perfecting the Masterpiece: Attention to Detail

The beauty of a project lies in the details and how you care for them post-completion. After the main installation, taking the time to add those finishing touches and understanding how to maintain your wallpaper will ensure that your child’s room remains a source of joy and inspiration for years to come.

Trimming and Smoothing: The Final Steps

  • Trimming Excess: Once your wallpaper is in place, you may find excess material at the top, bottom, or sides of your wall. Using a sharp utility knife, carefully trim away this excess. Ensure the knife is sharp enough to avoid tearing the paper and use a ruler or straight edge as a guide to achieve a clean, straight cut.

  • Smoothing Out Bubbles: Despite your best efforts, small bubbles or creases can appear during installation. While the wallpaper is still malleable, gently use the included squeegee to smooth out these imperfections. Work from the center of the paper towards the edges to push out any trapped air or excess paste.

Caring for Your Wallpaper: Preserving Its Charm

  • Routine Cleaning: Keeping your wallpaper clean will help preserve its colors and vibrancy. For most wallpapers, especially those in children’s rooms, a simple wipe down with a damp cloth is sufficient. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that could damage the surface. For peel and stick wallpaper, ensure it’s fully adhered to the wall before cleaning to prevent lifting.

  • Longevity Tips: To maintain the wallpaper’s longevity, keep it away from direct sunlight, which can cause colors to fade over time. In rooms with high humidity or potential for splashes, like kitchens or bathrooms, traditional wallpaper with a washable finish may be more suitable than peel and stick options.

  • Repairs and Replacements: Accidents happen, especially in spaces designed for children. For peel and stick wallpaper, one of the benefits is the ease of replacing damaged sections. Simply remove the affected piece and apply a new strip. For traditional wallpaper, patching may require a bit more finesse but is still doable with extra wallpaper from the same batch to ensure color consistency.

By investing a little time in these finishing touches and care, you ensure that your wallpaper remains as stunning as the day it was installed. This space you’ve lovingly created is not just a backdrop for your child’s daily adventures but a canvas that reflects their growing imagination and dreams. Caring for it becomes a part of the ongoing story you’re building together, filled with color, life, and love.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Leopard’s Lair – Kids and Nursery Room Wallpaper by Teepee Joy

Navigating the Pitfalls: A Path to Perfection

Even the most well-planned projects can encounter pitfalls. Wallpaper installation is no exception, and being aware of common mistakes can help you steer clear of them, ensuring a smooth and successful application. Let’s explore some of these common challenges and how to navigate them.

The Most Common Wallpaper Installation Missteps

  • Inadequate Preparation: Skipping thorough wall cleaning and priming can lead to poor wallpaper adhesion and longevity. Solution: Dedicate ample time to prepare your walls properly, ensuring they are clean, smooth, and primed if necessary. This foundation is critical for both peel and stick and traditional wallpaper types.

  • Miscalculating Material Needs: Underestimating the amount of wallpaper needed is a frequent oversight that can halt your project midway. Solution: Measure your space carefully, then add an extra 10-15% of material to account for pattern repeats and any errors. Remember, it’s better to have a bit extra than to run short, especially since colors may vary between batches.

  • Ignoring Wall Imperfections: Failing to address holes, bumps, or uneven surfaces before installation can result in a less-than-ideal finish. Solution: Fill any holes and sand down bumps before beginning your wallpaper project. A smooth surface is essential for a flawless application.

  • Poor Alignment and Pattern Matching: Starting without a plan for pattern alignment can lead to mismatched seams and an unprofessional look. Solution: Before cutting or applying any wallpaper, plan how the patterns will align at the seams. For peel and stick wallpaper, you can lightly attach the first section and adjust as needed before firmly pressing it into place.

  • Rushing the Process: Hasty application can cause air bubbles, creases, and misaligned patterns. Solution: Take your time with each step, from measuring and cutting to applying and smoothing out the wallpaper. Patience is your ally in achieving a beautiful result.

By being mindful of these common mistakes and embracing the installation process with patience and preparation, you’ll set the stage for a beautifully wallpapered room.

Remember, the goal is not just to adorn a wall but to create a space where your child’s imagination can flourish. With each careful measurement and thoughtful application, you’re crafting a backdrop for countless stories and dreams.

Let these solutions guide you away from potential missteps and towards a successful DIY wallpaper installation. This journey, filled with its challenges and triumphs, is an opportunity to bring a vision to life, transforming a simple room into a haven of creativity and joy for your little one.

FAQ’s

1. Can I install wallpaper if I’ve never done it before?

Absolutely! With a bit of patience and the right preparation, anyone can undertake a wallpaper installation project. Peel and stick wallpaper is particularly user-friendly for beginners, offering easy application and adjustment. Traditional wallpaper may require more skill, so if you’re not confident, consider starting with a smaller project or a feature wall.

2. How do I know how much wallpaper I need?

Measure your space carefully, noting the width and height of the walls you want to cover. Divide the width of your wall by the width of the wallpaper roll (24 inches for Teepee Joy wallpapers) to determine the number of rolls needed. Always round up to the nearest whole number and add an extra 10-15% for pattern matching, trimming, and any potential errors.

3. Can peel and stick wallpaper be applied over textured walls?

Peel and stick wallpaper works best on smooth, clean surfaces. While it’s possible to apply it over lightly textured walls, the texture may show through and affect the final appearance. For heavily textured walls, it’s recommended to smooth out the area with sanding or use a liner paper for a better finish. This ensures optimal adhesion and a smooth look for your wallpaper.

4. What should I do if I notice bubbles after installation?

If you spot any bubbles, don’t panic. For peel and stick wallpaper, simply peel back the section and reapply it, smoothing out the bubble. Use the squeegee provided to push air bubbles towards the edges. For traditional wallpaper, a small pin can release trapped air, and then you can smooth it down with a damp sponge or cloth.

5. Is it possible to remove wallpaper without damaging the walls?

Yes, peel and stick wallpaper is designed for easy removal, making it ideal for renters or anyone who likes to change decor frequently. It should peel off smoothly, leaving no residue behind. Traditional wallpaper removal might require more effort and tools like a steamer or wallpaper removal solution, especially if it’s been on the wall for a long time.

These questions and answers should help clarify any uncertainties you might have before embarking on your wallpaper installation project, ensuring a smoother journey from start to finish.

Final Thoughts and Next Steps

As we reach the end of our DIY wallpaper installation journey, it’s clear that the process is much more than just adhering a design to a wall.

It’s about creating a space that reflects the boundless imagination and joy of childhood, a room where stories come to life and dreams take flight.

From choosing the right wallpaper to applying those finishing touches, every step is an opportunity to pour love and creativity into your child’s space.

Remember, the key to a successful wallpaper project lies in preparation, patience, and attention to detail. By avoiding common pitfalls and embracing the process with a positive spirit, you’re well on your way to transforming a simple room into a magical sanctuary for your child.

And when you see the light of wonder in their eyes as they explore their new wonderland, you’ll know that every moment spent was truly worth it.

Now that you’re equipped with tips, tricks, and insights for DIY wallpaper installation, the next step is to begin your project with confidence.

Whether you’re drawn to the ease of peel and stick wallpaper or the traditional charm of pasted options, Teepee Joy is here to support your creative journey.

Browse our collection of whimsical and imaginative wallpaper designs to find the perfect match for your child’s room. 

If you’re on the fence about which design will best suit your space, remember, we offer wallpaper samples to help you make the most informed decision.

And if at any point you feel overwhelmed or uncertain, we’re just a consultation away.

Schedule a complimentary 15-minute video call with us, and let’s turn your vision for a dreamy children’s space into reality together. Your adventure in decorating doesn’t have to be a solo journey—Teepee Joy is here to guide and inspire you every step of the way.

So, take that next step, choose your favorite design, and embark on the rewarding path of creating a room filled with joy, imagination, and love.

Here’s to the spaces we create and the memories that will fill them—may they be as vibrant and enduring as the wallpaper that adorns their walls.