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The Easiest Wallpaper to Install For Beginners

Installing wallpaper for the first time? You'll want to use a wallpaper that is easy to use, doesn't require special skills, and can be hung quickly. Here's my top recommendation for wallpaper for beginners.

Does the idea of hanging wallpaper scare you? It used to scare me too!

There's so many things to consider with wallpaper: what are the different types of wallpaper? What kind of wallpaper is the best? Do you need to use wallpaper paste or not? How easy is wallpaper to hang, and how easy is wallpaper to remove once you tire of it? Should I do an accent wall or all walls? 

Not to mention the task of actually selecting a wallpaper pattern from the hundreds of thousands of designs available.

Easy To Apply Wallpaper

Let's face it, even the idea hanging wallpaper can be overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be! If you're looking for easy to apply wallpaper, I've done the comparisons and know which kind is easier to hang than all the others. Read on for a very specific recommendation for wallpaper for beginners, even those who have never hung wallpaper before.

wallpaper for beginners, easy to hang wallpaper, paste the wall wallpaper, faux grasscloth

What is the easiest wallpaper to install?

Paste The Wall wallpaper!

For the absolute easiest installation, choose a paste the wall wallpaper in a faux grasscloth pattern. I've come to this conclusion after much trial and error, and a lot of wallpaper hanging. 

Before I get to why I think this is the easiest wallpaper, it's best if aI tell you about our wallpaper journey, the different kinds of wallpaper we've tried, and why I don't recommend peel and stick removable wallpaper, nor unpasted wallpaper (paste the paper) for the beginner.

Different Types of Wallpaper

There are three main types of wallpaper which you might be familiar with:
  • traditional, unpasted wallpaper
  • paste the wall, unpasted wallpaper
  • removable or peel and stick wallpaper
With unpasted wallpaper, you will need to adhere the glue either to the paper (traditional) or directly to the wall (paste the wall). Traditional wallpaper also involves additional time to allow the glue to seep and bond to the paper. This is known as "booking". With Paste The Wall, there is no booking time required, you apply the glue to the wall and install the paper right after.

Removable or peel and stick wallpapers involve no glue at all. Removable wallpapers have a protective sheet on the 'sticky' side. You remove this sheet and directly apply the wallpaper on the wall. The challenge is, the sticky side can adhere to itself, like a giant saran wrap nightmare. 

How Easy Is It To Install Wallpaper?

Ease of wallpaper installation depends mainly on three factors: 
  1. the type of wallpaper used
  2. the pattern or repeat in the wallpaper
  3. your skill level. 
There was a time when we too were afraid of hanging wallpaper ourselves and hired professionals to do the job. For this gorgeous Nina Campbell Swan Lake traditional unpasted wallpaper in Chloe's old bedroom:

nina campbell swan lake wallpaper, girls bedroom with wallpaper, light aqua and white bedroom

and the Coronata Star unpasted wallpaper in our basement vintage bathroom, we had professional installers hang the wallpaper.

black wallpaper in the bathroom, coronata star wallpaper, black and white bathroom, vintage bathroom, grey vanity

Removing wallpaper was one thing we did DIY. After about five years, we tired of the yellow tropical vinyl wallpaper in the dining room and rented a steamer and replaced the wallpaper with crisp light aqua painted walls.

wallpaper removal, wallpaper steamer, removing wallpaper

We finally tried our hand at installing wallpaper, starting with removable wallpaper. We installed this faux brick pattern for the holidays:

faux brick removable wallpaper, temporary wallpaper for the holidays

In the new house, we installed this blue toile paste the wall wallpaper in my home office. I even shared some unpasted wallpaper hanging tips.

blue toile wallpaper, modern toile wallpaper, feminine office, office wallpaper, wallpaper accent wall

Bolstered by our newfound wallpaper hanging skills, we put this cheery gingham paste the wall wallpaper in Chloe's cottage bedroom:

large scale gingham wallpaper, plaid wallpaper, cottage bedroom, modern country bedroom, kids cottage bedroom

And finally this heavily patterned unpasted wallpaper on all four walls of our dining room:

floral dining room wallpaper, dining room with wallpaper and wainscoting

In summary, we've installed lots of wallpaper. As you can see, we progressed from seemingly 'easy' removable or temporary wallpaper to expensive, more challenging unpasted and heavily patterned wallpaper. Before you choose wallpaper for your next project, keep these tips in mind:

Tips for Selecting Wallpaper

  • Removable wallpaper can damage your walls. We removed the faux brick wallpaper after less than a year and it took off paint in the corners that had been there for at least five years
  • Removable wallpaper is a two person job. It could probably be installed by one person, but trying to prevent removable wallpaper from folding on itself (it's like a giant piece of super sticky saran wrap!) while you simultaneously try to hang it is best done with a crew of two. This paper adheres quickly to itself and to walls and is not easily repositionable
  • Wallpaper with a repeat pattern makes for a more challenging/intermediate installation. Pattern matching, especially around corners, requires advanced skills
  • Unpasted wallpaper takes much longer to install. You spend a lot of time booking the wallpaper and waiting for the paste to soak before you can adhere the panels to the wall. There is also more work spent prepping your workstation and cleaning up. Depending on the type of paper, you might need a more specific type of wallpaper paste that can be harder to find.
  • Unpasted wallpaper is easier to install with two people. You can save time by having one person pasting and booking a panel while another person is hanging ready panels. This paper can be easily repositioned
  • More expensive wallpapers tend to be of the unpasted variety 
  • Paste the wall wallpaper is quick and can be easily installed by one person. You can put the paste on the wall and immediately adhere the wallpaper. There is no time wasted. This paper can be easily repositioned

Wallpaper for Beginners

Taking all of that into consideration, you can see why paste the wall wallpaper is the easiest type of wallpaper to install for the beginner DIYer. Additionally, for an even easier installation I suggest faux grasscloth wallpaper for two reasons:

  1. You don't have to pattern match panels grasscloth panels. The random striations (horizontal pattern) are part of grasscloth's charm
  2. Faux typically means the paper will be easier to use than the real or natural product. In this case, faux grasscloth is wipeable and less fragile than real grasscloth.
Personally, I love how grasscloth can add subtle texture, pattern, and colour to your walls. In Chloe's bedroom, we recently installed this breezy Bluestem Blue Faux Grasscloth Wallpaper from Brewster Home Fashions:

blue faux grasscloth wallpaper, paste the wall wallpaper, blue grasscloth

blue faux grasscloth wallpaper, paste the wall wallpaper, blue grasscloth

If you look closely, you can see the right and left edges of the wallpaper panels as the striations (the horizontal line patterns) don't quite line up. Since this is faux (ie. manufactured) grasscloth, there was a repeat pattern. However, when we did pattern match, the striations became obvious and looked more 'fake' because they were lined up; it looked like a horizontal stripe along the wall. As a result, we decided to intentionally not pattern match.

blue faux grasscloth wallpaper, paste the wall wallpaper, blue grasscloth

Installation was very easy and we were able to put up three walls of wallpaper, including around doors and closet, in about 4 hours. It was our easiest wallpaper installation ever.

What do you think? Are you ready to tackle a wallpaper project? In my next post, I'll share some simple wallpaper tips for hanging paste the wall wallpaper and how to wallpaper for beginners.


Looking to try Paste The Wall faux grasscloth wallpapers? 

Here's a few great patterns and colours:

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