When researching the best way to apply wallpaper, the consistent theme I saw was that your walls had to be completely smooth. The process of smoothing walls is lengthy and costly and it was just not something I was willing to do for likely temporary wallpaper. Knowing myself, the design of her playroom will likely change with her age. So I scoured for examples of wallpapering over textured walls which I was only able to find one detailed source. Here is this link for the method I used. What I like most about Megan’s method was that it is renter-friendly. My husband was very reluctant to allow me to tackle this project because he did not want the wall damaged though we are not renters. This method uses liquid starch instead of an adhesive. I was skeptical about its sticking power but it worked out fine. Another plus was you could easily wipe off mistakes.
My sister and I were able to complete this project in 3 days. It can definitely be knocked out in a few hours but we split it up so we could do it during my daughter’s naps. At one point when we first started my toddler started peeling off the first strip we applied. We quickly realized doing this when she was awake was a no go.
Liquid Starch– I ended up using 2 bottles for one wall
Paint roller frame and cover
Small paint brush
Putty knife/scraper/spackle knife– for smoothing out air bubbles I found this easier that using one of those huge wallpaper tools.
Push pins– to assist holding up wet wallpaper due to the texture of the wallpaper I purchased. It was very canvas like so this may or may not be necessary for other types.
Scissors- I initially tried using an exacto-knife to cut off excess wallpaper after adhering it to the wall but the scissors provided a more polished cut.
Wallpaper– I was able to find the wall mural I had been wanting for a much cheaper price through this site. It did take a few weeks for shipping but I didn’t notice because it arrived right before we closed.
Unravel the wallpaper and ensure you enough for the dimensions of your wall. This is extremely important. The last thing you want to do is realize you don’t have enough paper (ESPECIALLY for a wall mural) midway through your project.
Cut off excess paper to fit your wall. My specific mural came in 5 column strips with an excess white border on the side and bottom of each strip. I did this individually before applying each piece.
Cover your floor. We ended using ended up using paper from my daughter’s roll of drawing paper which worked perfectly to catch the starch on the edges of the wallpaper.
Step 4: (for wall murals)
Get organized. The wall strips were numbered 1-5. MAKE SURE you start with the correct piece if you are doing a wall mural.
Application. After some trial and error we discovered the best way to apply the wallpaper securely and smoothly was to do each strip in 3-4 sections. So DO NOT apply starch on the entire wall and the entire wallpaper strip initially (it will dry too fast). The starch is very slippery and thin so keep that in my when first applying. In Megan’s blog she mentioned applying a coat to the wall AND the paper. I had hoped to get away with only applying it on one or the other with a trial piece and it failed. So definitely apply it to both. We did the wall first and then the paper.
This is the order we used to complete one strip:
- Apply starch to the top 3rd of the wall where the strip would cover.
- Apply starch to the top 3rd of the wallpaper strip
- Adhere the top of the strip and place push pins on the corners and top edge
- Smooth it down with the spackle knife
- Apply push pins to the bottom edges
- Allow to dry 15-30 mins
- Work your way down repeating until the entire strip is fully adhered
I allowed ~30 minute drying time after each strip before applying the next because they overlapped.
Below, is a snippet on me applying the top of a section on one strip.