How To Wallpaper 101 – Easy DIY Project
Last Updated on October 2, 2022
Closets…they’re boring, right? They don’t have to be when you’ve taken How To Wallpaper 101. Miles Redd changed my mind when I heard him speak at the Design Influencers Conference last Spring. His argument, in a nutshell, imagine yourself as a guest, standing in a foyer. The homeowner says, “May I take your coat?” The closet door opens and shazam! Tiny jewelry box surprise is hidden inside. Before we get into the tutorial, if you’re looking for some budget-friendly ideas to the cost of wallpaper, check out that link.
This idea swam around in my brain all last year, and I searched for just the right wallpaper to bring it to life. While perusing Instagram, I stumbled upon Divine Savages Crane Fonda pattern. This ain’t your grandma’s wallpaper. ERMERGERD pink pattern play perfection.
How To Wallpaper 101
Now, please note, I’ve never wallpapered anything in my life. I’ve paid someone to do it, but a DIY no. Nervous was an understatement. The paper arrived right before the holiday party I was hosting, and I told The Boy Crane Fonda must be installed before that Thursday at 7 pm. Thrilled he was not. Here are the supplies we needed for our weekend wallpapering project.
Supplies Needed For Your Wallpaper Project
Wallpaper – Crane Fonda
Wallpaper Smoothing Tool
Paint Roller and Tray
We rochambeau’d, and I handed him a list of everything needed for the project, and he was on his way to Home Depot. Again, unthrilled. Meanwhile, I Googled how to wallpapering 101 and found some great tutorials on YouTube. Gawd, I love the internet. It looked easy enough. Slap on some paste, press, and smooth, right?
The condition of our closet walls was good. A bit of spackling and sanding was required when we removed the existing rod and shelf. To ensure your wallpaper adheres properly, prep your walls with an acrylic primer or sizing.
Once your walls are dry, draw a vertical plumb line using the level and pencil. Measure the height of the wall from floor to ceiling. Add 4″-5″ to the length to allow for final trimming. Cut your paper.
Before hanging the first strip, we found it best to measure the second panel based on the repeat. Line the pattern up and cut the second panel.
Before you apply the wallpaper paste, be sure to check the directions. Some wallpapers require you to add the paste to the back of the paper. Some are pre-glued. This particular paper requires you to roll the paste onto the wall.
After the how to wallpaper 101 crash course, we set up shop in the foyer. I became the cheerleader slash assistant. Here goes nothin’. Now, I have this horrible reaction of laughing when I’m scared, nervous or someone gets hurt. To boot, The Boy is full of dry sarcasm, making me laugh even harder. When he sang “fat guy in a tiny room,” I almost peed. Tears streaming down my face, laughing. The first panel of wallpaper went up, and it looked a-mazing! Even more sweat and swearing ensued. Uh dude, calm yourself…besides you’re doing great!
Carefully hang the first panel to the wall using the plumb line as your guide. Sweating and swearing will ensue…completely normal. Once the paper is in place, smooth it out carefully with your hand and then with the wallpaper smoother to remove any bubbles.
If you get a bubble you can’t remove, don’t panic. Use the utility knife to slit the bubble. Using a syringe, squirt some glue into the opening. Deflate the bubble with a roller and wipe any excess adhesive with a damp sponge.
Trim the excess paper from the first sheet using a straight edge and a utility knife.
Before hanging the second panel, line up the next few panels. It’s much easier to match the repeat.
Now it’s time to hang the second sheet. Roll the paste on the wall and carefully butt the sheets up against one another. The Boy found it best to begin by lining up the pattern at eye level. Again, smooth the paper with your hand and then give it a good once over with the smoother.
Use the seam roller to ensure the edges are completely tacked down. If you encounter excess glue, wipe it off with a wet sponge.
If you encounter a small gap, don’t fret. A pro wallpaper installer told me to touch up any seems with watercolor paint. And no matter how hard you try, you’ll never match it perfectly. It’s okay. The only person who will notice is you.
Looking back on it, wallpapering a closet was slightly hectic, to say the least. The space was tiny, dark, and every panel had a corner. We tackled probably the most difficult space in the house. Was it worth it? Absofreakinlutely. Miles Redd, you sir are a genius! Was the wallpapered closet surprise a hit for the party? Yes, indeed! Would I do it again? Fo sho without a doubt. It’s a great way to make an organizational space super fun, and the fancy florals and bold graphics add a bit of hummena, hummena, hummena to what’s normally boring and bland.
To finish off the look, I painted the existing rod and shelf in a high gloss black paint and added black baskets (no longer available) and black coat hangers. It was a hit at the party!
Would I change anything? Yes. I’m thinking about having an electrician install lighting. That top shelf feels a bit dark, but for now, Imma save my pennies. I’m also searching for a new doorknob. I think the jewelry box needs something a bit extra.
If you’re looking for bold, quirky, and playful wallpaper, give Divine Savages a looksy. I’ve got my eye on Safari Soireé for my next project. A giraffe wearing a suit. A tiger dancing with a flamingo. A zebra doing the can-can. Mind blown.
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Love this, and agree 100% that it was worth the effort! For your lighting issue, you could do what I did in my rental- get a motion detected, battery operated light (mine was from Lowes) and attach it to the closet ceiling. It’s the best cheap upgrade and made the closets soooo much more usable.
That’s a great idea! I wonder if I can take a light like that and stick it in something fancy looking…you’ve got my brain workin’.
Oh wowee Kyla, what beautiful job you and The Boy did. I love the wallpaper, love everything about this little jewel. I do believe I am going to give this a try, thank you!
I am inspired! Now how do I get Hubby on board?
Mine just gave in and said whatever you want dear LOL =)
I’m proud of you,Kyla! Good job and very scary to tackle it yourself. If you recall, I papered Potty Paradise for you. Yes, small rooms LOOK easy but can sometimes be the most difficult. I’m no longer in the biz but call me anytime if you need tips. And, the closet looks beautiful1?
Thanks Renee! You made Potty Paradise look easy. I’m going to take you up on those tips for next time.
Gorgeous! I never thought of a closet like this before, but I will now!
Everyone thought I was a bit crazy to want to wallpaper a closet, but I absolutely LOVE it! I highly suggest doing it =) Jerry will be thrilled LOL.
Chanel Van Zile
Love this Kyla! Totally makes me miss you and college days..darn What crazy fun we had! Love your newsletters keep ‘em coming.
kylaChanel Van Zile
Awe! Thanks Chanel =) miss you too girl!
Absolute gorgeousness! I am the knucklehead who asked what kind of wallpaper this is as I didn’t see you mention it on your site. Well, duh, I found it. I’m in love. I really want to paper a wall in my bedroom with this beautiful paper. Can you recommend a paint color for the other three walls? Ceiling? I can’t wait to get creative!
There are so many colors you could do with Crane Fonda! You could play it safe with an ivory or white…or you could get crazy and play with charcoal, darker pink or even muted forest green or earthy brown. Can’t wait to hear how you used it!
Hi! Can I ask where you found the beautiful pink and blue runner rug you have in front of the closet? I’ve been looking for one just like it! Thanks!
It’s a vintage rug I found at an estate sale.
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Love this project – just finished ripping out the wire closet shelves in my coat closet and waiting for spackling to dry. I read where the closet shelf and rod were existing but can you give me any hints as to brand/model so I can purchase them?
Thanks so much!
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[…] reviews were a mixed bag. After reading through the comments today, I felt compelled to revisit this post as to why on earth I would wallpaper a closet and reply to some of the comments here on the […]