Applying wallpaper to furniture may not be as hard as you think. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it.
1. Choose A Piece Of Furniture
Wallpapering a piece of furniture is a great way of updating an older item, whether it’s an out-of-style Ikea table or a vintage dresser found at a thrift store. Sustainability is the way of the future and wallpaper is a great way to give a piece new life and while helping to avoid it being thrown out altogether.
So maybe you already have a piece in mind or maybe you just need a fun DIY project. Either way, the wallpaper will allow you to make any piece of furniture unique and beautiful.
However, there are some things to keep in mind when choosing a piece of furniture. The surface that you want to wallpaper will determine the ease of wallpapering and the type of wallpaper you can use.
Try avoiding surfaces with lots of small details. It will be near impossible to wallpaper. You should opt for a flat surface instead. Also, try to avoid masonry surfaces. These will also be harder to wallpaper and the wallpaper will not stick as well. Glass and metal are okay for some types of wallpaper. Wood is the best material for wallpaper.
2. Choose A Wallpaper
This step is arguably the most fun! However, before you start looking at different colors and patterns, you should note what type of surface you are going to wallpaper and where in your home this piece of furniture will sit. This is going to determine what type of wallpaper you can get.
If the surface that you are wallpapering is glass or metal, you will need to choose an adhesive wallpaper. This is because wallpaper glue will not stick to these surfaces. If your surface is wood you are free to choose whatever type of wallpaper you desire.
That being said there are pros and cons to each type of wallpaper that you should consider before choosing. These will mostly involve price points and ease of application.
This type of wallpaper has lots of pros and few cons, but you should still be aware of them. First off, this wallpaper is temporary. Just like the name suggests, this wallpaper can easily peel off if you decide you don’t like it anymore.
This type of wallpaper is also quickly gaining popularity, so you’re guaranteed to find tons of beautiful options in color and designs to choose from. Also, this type of wallpaper will stick to any type of surface, so if your surface is glass or metal then you will have to choose from this type.
That being said, peel-and-stick wallpaper is the most expensive type of wallpaper and it is not as durable nor will it stick as well as traditional wallpaper.
Traditional wallpaper is non-adhesive which means to get it to stick, you’ll have to soak the paper or use glue. While peel-and-stick is rising in popularity, traditional is still more common right now, which means with this type there will be more options and they will be cheaper than peel-and-stick options.
It’s also important to note that this type of wallpaper works great on masonry and wood, while it does not work great on glass and metal. Traditional wallpaper is also much more durable and sticks better than peel-and-stick wallpaper.
After deciding between those two main types, wallpaper can be narrowed down even more, into 7 subtypes which include the following:
Made from paper or fiberglass, this type of wallpaper is great at hiding defects. It can be used as a base for other wallpaper or can be painted. It is also easy to apply and remove.
This is a common type of wallpaper, though not the most common, and comes in digitally-printed or hand-printed. This is also not a good option for bathrooms or kitchens, since it is water-based. This wallpaper is also easy to tear off.
This type of wallpaper is the most common, due to its durability. It is made of printed paper with a layer of vinyl. Because it can withstand steam, this type of wallpaper is a great option for kitchens and bathrooms.
This wallpaper is made with metal foil as its base. This gives the wallpaper an intense reflectivity. Because of this, this wallpaper highlights defects. If you decide to use this type of wallpaper, precision will be extremely important for a great finished look.
This type of wallpaper is especially unique as it features a velvety embossed design. It is extremely hard to maintain and is the most expensive of the wallpaper types. Because of this, you may not want to use this type on a piece of furniture that is used a lot or comes in contact will steam.
This type of wallpaper is very similar to vinyl. It is made of printed paper will a layer of polyester film on top. This option is great for the kitchen and bathrooms and it is easy to remove. Creasing this wallpaper should be avoided at all costs.
This is the most natural type of wallpaper, as it is made of natural bamboo that is glued onto paper. Though it is environmentally friendly, the color of the wallpaper is not consistent and it requires extreme care when applying.
3. Get Your Supplies
There only a few supplies that you will need and these include:
- Your piece of furniture
- Box cutter or scissors
- Measuring tape
- Soft cloth or hanging brush
If your using traditional wallpaper you’ll also need:
- Wallpaper glue
- A brush for applying glue
4. Prep Your Surface
Whatever the type of material you are planning on wallpapering, it must be prepped before wallpapering. This will include cleaning and completely drying the surface.
It may also include smoothing out any texture if your surface has any. Most wallpaper will not stick well to texture. Also, some wallpaper does not hide defects well, so you may want to repair those first. If the surface you plan to wallpaper is wood and does not have a varnish, then varnishing is also recommended.
5. Measure Your Space
Measuring out your space to cut pieces will save you time and a mess. How you measure your surface will depend on how you want the finished look to be. Do you want the edges to be hidden? Do you want a very clean and sharp edge?
If you want your edges to be hidden then you will need to measure out a little extra paper on your pieces. If you want your edges to look sharp and clean, then you will need to be as precise with your measuring as you can be.
Draw lines on your wallpaper with your pencil so that you will know where to cut later on.
While it will be possible to trim up your wallpaper later, being as exact as possible in this step will make it much easier for you further down the road.
6. Cut Your Wallpaper
Like measuring out your pieces of wallpaper, when cutting them out, being as precise as possible will make it so much easier to apply and will allow for a better chance to get a great-looking finished product.
You can definitely use scissors to cut out your pieces, but in our experience using a box cutter on a flat surface will give a much cleaner and more exact cut.
Make sure to follow the lines that you drew earlier as closely as possible to ensure that your finished product looks great.
7. Apply Wallpaper
Once you’ve cut out your pieces it is time to start applying them!
If you are using traditional wallpaper…
Then you will have to apply the glue first. If you are wallpapering multiple surfaces then you will want to only apply glue to one surface at a time. You could also apply glue to the wallpaper if that is easier.
Start in the corner of your surface and slowly apply the wallpaper piece, making sure to avoid air bubbles as the wallpaper is applied. Air bubbles that are left in could potentially ruin the wallpaper and ruin the finished look.
If you are using peel-and-stick wallpaper…
Then go ahead and peel off the protective cover and, starting in the corner of the surface, slowly apply, making sure to avoid air bubbles.
After the wallpaper is completely applied, gently go over it with the cloth or brush and try to smooth out any small air bubbles. It is important to be careful because if any air bubbles get caught they could create a crease in the wallpaper. If the air bubble will not come out, then you can try slowly unpeeling undried wallpaper and applying again.
Depending on how you did measuring and cutting beforehand you may have even edges or edges hanging off. Go ahead and trim these up with some box cutters.
Now your wallpapering is done and you can enjoy your “new” piece of furniture.