Wallpaper in the Dining Room

The world is being turned upside-down, and we decided to add wallpaper to our dining room.

You can’t see it in the picture, but we had some major dings and scrapes on the wall just from having the old dining table and chairs in there. They were just a wee bit too big, and the wall was showing the wear and tear.

how it began . . .

We’d contemplated re-painting, but because of how the open space works, that actually would mean painting the entire room. Too big a job for now. (Or, we would risk having one wall looking different, even though it was the same exact color. Different batches produce — or can produce — slightly different colors.)

Then I came across a post about a couple that used peel and stick wallpaper because they were renters. This seemed like the best choice, just in case our basically nonexistent DIY skills weren’t up to the task of hanging paste wallpaper. When I found a gorgeous pattern at the big online retailer, I felt we were in good hands.

So we hung our first piece, and deliberately made it the most complicated one because there were several areas to cut — the outlet, the light switch, and the cut of the counter.

… looks great!

But then J. pointed out that there was a glitch in the area that needed to overlap, and we needed to hang from right to left. So we hung the second most complicated piece — on the opposite side of the wall.

still looking good!

And so we progressed from right to left, overlapping he edges just slightly.

… three pieces hung…

After we hung the fourth piece we realized two things. 1) Since we’d started a new roll, we were a little short on the bottom and 2) needed to remove that first piece we’d hung and so it over again. The fix for the shortage was to remove the overage from previous pieces (if you look in the pictures you can see that the pieces cover the top of the baseboard) and add it to the bottom.

fixing the shortage

We had to remove the first piece because we thought it was going to be too hard to cut a piece that fit between the two existing pieces. (After the fact, I’m not sure it would have been.) So off it peeled, and we added the fifth piece.

. . .nearing the finish . . .

The last two pieces took almost as much time as all of the others combined, because they required careful measurements and cutting. But I think it came out well.

I should point out that Roland was a very good supervisor through all of this.


Supervisor Roland

In the end, for a few hours of effort, we have a whole new look in our dining room!

just waiting for the new table to come


Things we learned:

  1. Clean your surface. We used a vinegar and water mix to make sure we got all of the dust and grease off. It wasn’t much, but being near the kitchen meant there was some.
  2. Watch a video on youtube before you start. It is trickier than the manufacturer would have you believe.
  3. Double check your measurements. I ordered 6 rolls and we only needed 2. I can return them for a refund, but that won’t always be true for everyone.
  4. Have two people. One *can* do it, but it is so much easier with another eye and pair of hands.
  5. Use a level to mark the top line. Your wall is most likely not a perfect straight angle and you’ll need to make some adjustments as you go. Knowing there is a level line to work with makes a huge difference. (We have a yard long level and used a pale pink pencil which easily wiped away when we were done.)
  6. Have a box cutter with fresh blades and a cutting mat. You don’t want to damage the surface you cut the wallpaper on.


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