The Secret to Perfect Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper Is in Your Broom Closet

published Aug 22, 2023
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person installing peel and stick wallpaper to wall
Credit: SBenitez/Getty Images

As an editor at Apartment Therapy, I’ve seen tons of dreamy peel-and-stick wallpaper options — so many that when I moved into my blank-canvas apartment, I knew right away I wanted to cover at least one or two of its large white walls with a pattern or color. I decided to give DIY peel-and-stick a try. 

I landed on Tempaper’s peony-patterned peel-and-stick wallpaper (which I scored for a discount on Wayfair) and covered a wall in my bedroom first, then my entryway. I followed all the go-to tips for peel-and-sticking: cleaning the walls with soap and water first, using a ladder, making sure the first panel of my pattern was totally straight, and smoothing out bubbles with a straight edge. 

It was , and I learned as I went. In fact, I shaved hours off of my peel-and-stick time from the first wall to the second. The hardest part was smoothing out all the air bubbles in the wallpaper and making sure everything laid flat against the extremely not flat walls in my 103-year-old apartment. I used a smoothing tool and my bare hands for much of the wall (and yes, my hands did turn navy from all the smoothing, like when your hands rub against a new pair of jeans), but the hardest part was reaching the corners up high — even on a ladder.

Credit: Sarah Everett

After wallpapering two incredibly high walls (I’m talking 13-footers) as a 5-foot-2 human, I have a pro tip for you when it comes to getting any curling corners to stick: For the corners you can’t reach, use a Swiffer Sweeper as your straight edge to smooth the wallpaper — or a similarly styled mop with a long arm and flat edge.  

That’s right, the secret to perfectly smooth wallpaper was hiding in your broom closet all along! Is this the most stylish use for a Swiffer Sweeper? Most likely, yes. And the results paid off big time. 

Credit: Sarah Everett

One final tip for the road: Make sure to double-check that your ceiling corners — notoriously dusty in even the cleanest of homes — are dust-free because that’ll prevent sticking, too. You can use the same said Sweeper with a dust cover on it to accomplish this task (which is admittedly less chic, but equally practical). For another Swiffer Sweeper hack, check out this viral TikTok tip.