Three Secrets to Peel & Stick Wallpaper

The tricks that no one is telling you!

Gather round, friends, and get an inside scoop on the little secrets of peel & stick wallpaper that no one tells you. We've been working with all types of wallpaper for years now, and have heard feedback from thousands of you, both beginners and pros. Here we've rounded up the top insider info that no one else is talking about, but that we think you really need to know to make your application a great experience. 

Do not hire an installer for peel and stick wallpaper

Customer photo of Map Mural installation courtesy of @alicedubin 

Secret #1: You can and should apply yourself! Do NOT Hire an Installer

Umm...I'm sure this doesn't apply to me because I'm not a "DIYer" you might be saying right now. Hear us out: if you have a little patience with yourself and give yourself plenty of time, application will be smooth sailing, even for the most DIY challenged individual. Our installation instructions are simple, and if you have questions we're always available to offer advice. And remember the panels can be removed and repositioned over and over again until your wallpaper looks just how you want it. :) 

Installers are great with traditional paste wallpaper. They typically prefer paste wallpaper because, well, they're more practiced at it. But they can't be counted on for peel & stick wallpaper application. A particular installer may be super amazing at applying peel & stick wallpaper....or they might be apocalyptically bad. Even the most experienced installers may have very little know-how when it comes to peel & stick application.  

Here you might be thinking "if an installer can't do it properly, how on Earth can I apply it??" Listen, YOU will take your time removing air bubbles (we'll get to that below). YOU will read the instructions and see the wall should be completely dry before applying the wallpaper, not primed or painted just days before. Installers may not do this. We've seen it. Just trust us — avoid the wasted money and heartache and give it a try yourself. 

You CAN apply it yourself. You SHOULD apply it yourself! It will be cheaper and prettier and you can feel super good about your new mad skillz. :)

Are there any situations when you should hire a professional installer? 

Yes, if you're unable to apply the wallpaper due to health conditions (i.e. can't hold your arms up or have poor balance on a stool) then please do hire a professional. Just be sure to tell them you're using peel and stick wallpaper, and ask for the number of jobs they've done using peel and stick material. If the answer is less than 20, look for another installer.  

Installation tips for Peel & Stick wallpaper

@jennapilant applying our Miami Paint Swirl Mural to her bedroom wall

Secret #2: Don't Rub Away Air Bubbles

Air bubbles are par for the course with peel & stick wallpaper, and they're surprisingly easy to get rid of...if you know the right way.

Here's the scenario: you're applying your first peel & stick wallpaper panel on the wall, and it's going great, but a little ways down you notice an air bubble under the wallpaper. There are two things you can do now...

The CORRECT thing to do is to gently pull up the wallpaper panel until the trapped air is released, then smooth the panel back down. Remember to peel up the panel slowly and gently so as not to stretch the material. You'll do this every time you see an air bubble. 

The INCORRECT thing to do is use your hand or squeegee to rub the air bubble out of existence. By all means use the squeegee to smooth the wallpaper down the wall, but don't use it to press out air bubbles. The pressing and rubbing technique seems easier and effective, but it's deceptive. The air bubble will disappear for the time being, but sometime in the future the air bubble will come back with a vengeance. That trapped air has to go somewhere! It might not even resurface until a weather change, but it will come back. 

So do what we suggest and peel up your wallpaper to release trapped air so you never see air bubbles again. 

peel and stick wallpaper installation secrets

Install your panels slowly, making sure the pattern aligns perfectly at eye level.

Secret #3: Ensure the Pattern Matches Perfectly at Eye Level

Unless you've chosen one of our Easy-to-Apply wallpaper designs, you'll be doing a little seam matching with your wallpaper panels. That means when you place the panels side by side you'll position them so the design matches up at the edges, to give the appearance of one seamless design. 

There's nothing to fear with seam matching, and we have a sure-fire trick to help you get it looking fantastic.

The trick is to make certain the pattern matches up perfectly at eye level. Allow any "off" sections to be at the top or bottom of the wall.

There will be some parts of the pattern that don't match up 100% perfectly down to every millimeter because that's just the nature of wallpaper — the material stretches a tiny bit. But if you focus on ensuring the pattern matches perfectly at the spots you'll most often look, then you'll be happy with the finished project and ready to show it off at your next party.

With these three tips, plus a little patience, you're well on your way to becoming a peel & stick wallpaper pro. Time and time again we hear "I was nervous at first, but once I got used to the material it was easy and I'm amazed at how good the wallpaper looks! I can't stop staring at it." Join the throngs of MUSE Wall Studio wallpaper fanatics and order wallpaper for your project today. Let's make some #peelstickmagic happen.