How To Hang Peel & Stick Wallpaper

Dec 5, 2021 | 1 comment

Peel & Stick wallpaper (aka removable) is an easy way to jazz up your camper.  It goes on easy and can be removed without damaging your walls.  In this DIY I’ll give you the steps of how to properly hang it.    

What you’ll need:                           – a friend                             -cutting surface                -craft knife

                                                            -level                                   -tape measure                  -straight edge

                                                            -chalkboard eraser          -cleaner                              -cool wallpaper


Picking your paper is probably the hardest part as there are literally hundreds to choose from.  Once you have your paper, the first step is to clean and prep the wall you.  Patch any holes and make sure there are not sharp edges or nails sticking out that can tear the paper.  Use a cleaner such as Simple Green’s Surface Prep and follow the instruction on the bottle.  Test in a small, unnoticeable spot first, as it could remove the color on the wallpaper already in your camper.  If you don’t care….continue.  Once your walls are clean and degreased, you want to put a coat or two of primer on the wall.  I like to use Zinsser’s Universal Wallcovering Primer.  You want to prime the walls because removable wallpaper will not stick to textured walls.  It’s like tape.  Tape doesn’t stick well to sandpaper.  Primer will help smooth the wall surface.  Give the primer several days to dry.  Even if the can says it will be dry in a few hours, wait a week.  I’m not kidding. 

Next you will pre-cut your first panel of wallpaper to the height of the wall you are putting it on, leaving 2-3 inches of excess material at the bottom.  If you are putting up several panels next to each other, you will need to make sure you align the pattern with each consecutive panel BEFORE cutting the next panel.  You’ll want to number the back of each panel, so you know which one goes next to which.  Use a level and a pencil and draw a vertical guide down the length of the wall.  This will help make sure the panel is going on straight. 

Now you need your friend.  Use a friend and not your spouse cause you’re less likely to yell at a  friend than your spouse.  And we don’t want a repeat of the camper backing incident last summer at the campground.  Have your friend hold the top corners of the panel of paper in each hand.  Peel back 8-10 inches of the backing and have your friend hold the backing down so it doesn’t spring back up and stick to the wallpaper.  Apply the paper to the top edge of the wall and align the paper with the vertical guide you drew.  Slowly press this top edge of the paper to the wall gently using the eraser to smooth the paper to the wall working from the center out.  Smooth by going straight across the paper, left to right, or up and down starting from the middle of the paper.  Do not use circular motions.  Keep smoothing toward the paper edge to get any bubbles out.   Have your friend slowly move down the sides of the paper, peeling more of the backing down while you continue smoothing it on.  Do this till you reach the bottom edge of your surface.  Repeat these steps with any remaining panels and overlap the panels by approximately 1/4 inch if possible, carefully matching the repeat.  Take a credit card or a plastic scraper and use it on the edges and corners to push the paper down into the edge.  Trim all the panels once installed where you need with the craft knife. 

While removable wallpaper can be pulled off and repositioned as needed for pattern alignment and to eliminate bubbling, you want to avoid doing it as much as possible.  Remember it’s like tape and each time you peel it off, the less it’s going to stick.  So try to get your paper aligned right the first time.  Once you’re done, congratulate yourself (and thank your friend) for an awesome job done.  Be sure and post a picture to the Girl Camper South Dakota Facebook page.

Lesa McDermott | Girl Camper Guide to the Black Hills

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1 Comment

  1. Robert Ben

    Most campers use peel-and-stick wallpaper because it is simple to apply. It is safe for both children and adults to go camping because it doesn’t contain any hazardous chemicals. Unlike other wallpaper restoration techniques, this one for RVs is inventive and more affordable.

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