Bathrooms · before and after · DIY · wallpaper

Oops, I Did It Again…..


After removing wallpaper from almost every room in the last two houses we owned, you would think I’d never want to look wallpaper in it’s pasty eye again. But the new designs were like a siren’s song, calling me: “I’m different than those others, trust me, you’ll love me…” and so I fell under it’s spell like many before me.

Ok so really, wallpaper gets a bad rap – but wallpaper done right, with the right design, CAN really make you fall in love again. At least I did.

Here are my tips:


1 – Buy only quality brands……I didn’t (geez I’m a tightwad) and I paid the price in a few ways.  The paper was very thin, curled up on the sides really easily which tends to tear it, over manipulation tends to tear it, trying to move it once it’s up tends to tear it….looking at it wrong tends to tear it…you really do get what you pay for.

2 – Prepare for a mess. Cover the floor with a dropcloth, towels or something else absorbent, not newspaper, your feet and the paper will stick. Oy. Remove anything from counters etc. so you don’t accidentally slop glue on or knock something over with the acrobatics needed to apply wallpaper.  Oh, and for heavens sake, get a babysitter where applicable.

3 – Measure, measure, measure! Especially if you have to match a pattern – take your time before you cut to make sure the piece you are about to cut lines up with the last piece pattern wise. Start out with a plumb line at the start of the project to see how straight it will all be.



4 – Be patient! Don’t do this on a day where time is a problem. You will need more time (and wallpaper) than you think. Be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions on how long to soak the paper and book the paper. This is a good lesson if like me you think instructions, insmuktions! because it really does make a difference to the finished product (and your sanity).

5 – You will need  a SHARP exacto knife/box cutter/blade – whatever. Lots of them. When the wallpaper is wet it tends to “skid” if the blade isn’t sharp. You will need to change it often. A good ladder, pencil, scissors and a level are also needed. And that wallpaper smoother thingy.

6 – If the paper tears as much as mine did, and you’ve run out of enough paper for a do-over, you can patch it with left over scraps, or try to match up a bottle of craft paint and do a touch-up here and there where needed. Try to be critical with your fix-ups however, otherwise you will forever be looking at the mistakes and feel annoyed.


7 – Keep your sense of humor, you’re going to need it. (How DO you get wallpaper paste out of dog fur?)

8 – If you’ve started but are just having the worst time – stop. Pick up the phone. There are professionals who can help!


25 thoughts on “Oops, I Did It Again…..

  1. Once long ago my hubby and I moved into a rental home in which almost every wall had been wallpapered. The wallpaper was poorly done as seams did not match up and the eyes were jarred by the disconnections in patterns. That’s not to mention the fact that the colors were loud and garish. We spent the best part of the year removing it and in the end we wallpapered only a single room ie. the master bedroom. It was struggle for sure and if we had your tutorial I’m sure we would have done a better job and ended up with the great results you have in your bathroom. Well done and thanks for sharing your wallpapering tips.

    1. Oh my gosh then you feel my pain! My arms ache remembering it. Lol Thanks for the thumbs up though, you can never be quite sure unless you give it a good shot! I would have loved a before and after of your bedroom…

  2. It looks beautiful! I just read a minute ago on another blog that they now have temporary wall paper! I have never heard of that. We had to remove so much wallpaper when we bought our home, so now we have everything painted. I would consider trying temporary wall paper. I think it really pulls a room together to have that pattern on the wall.

  3. The only time my parents fought when I was growing up was when they wall-papered together. Pete and I have not wall-papered any of our houses. 🙂

  4. I love the color and pattern of the wallpaper. I think I am still too big a chicken to ever think about wallpapering a wall again, but I plan on wallpapering a couple of 4 X 8 hardboard panels for my office. Thanks for your funny comment on my blog. karen@theweekendcountrygirl.

  5. Your observation about the siren song of the wallpaper cracked me up. I too have spent more hours than I care to count getting rid of someone else’s wallpaper choices. I want to get some built-in bookcases installed soon, and I’m digging the trend of putting wallpaper on the backs of bookcases to dress them up, but I was debating about whether I wanted to foist a wallpaper choice on myself and others after my past experiences 🙂

    1. ACTually, I plan on writing a post on left over wallpaper uses and that’s one way to use it. I have a couple of timesaver ideas too. But I say go for it!! Also you could test it on your newly stripped piece. If you hate it, peel it off and paint a funky surprise colour inside. Either way,I’ll be cheering you on!

  6. All the wallpaper in our current home was not sized. It was horrendous removing it. It pulled off drywall everything. It sucked, and after 23 years living here, I’m still pissed off about it.

    So, because of that, we lived with this small area they had put wall paper on because I could not bear the hassle to remove it. 10 years in, we finally decided it had to go. Lo and behold they had sized it and it came off in long perfectly intact sheets leaving the wall intact as well.

    Imagine living ten years with a wall paper you just tolerated to find that it was the only stuff that was put on properly?

      1. I’m going to try painting my own wallpaper. Thinking white on white (daughter’s room) when our daughter moves to her apartment. Room is currently a deep, bright pink. My least fave color.

        Hit 10,000 on my blog today. This feels like an accomplishment.


      2. Ana who? 🙂 had to google that. No, I’m just going to paint the walls white, and then paint my own design on one wall with a silvery white. That way if I hate it, no worries.

        I love to draw, so this is a way to use my artistic talent (talent used lightly) to use.

        Daughter moves 4/18. White paint comes out the next weekend.

        Will post.

      3. Wait. Use just clear polyurethane without pigment? Hmmmm. Great idea. I’m totally psyched about it. April 24 I will be doing it! YAY!

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