Since we opened this business we have advised to look for a professional if you have no experience with wallpapers. Our understanding has always been that someone who offers services as a professional wallpaper installer has indeed the necessary experience to work with any type of wallpaper or brand.
Well…. we are dedicating this blog post specifically to our experience along five years with installers hired by our customers.
Before continuing we need to say we know a few awesome professional wallpaper installers, true pros are going to laugh out loud reading this.
Most of all peel and stick installation issues reported involve a "very experienced" installer while normal customers who install themselves our wallpapers report way less issues. We’ve found some common ground among all the installer troubles and want to share with you the things we have learned along the way.
Now, if you are not handy, if you find you need help we will never advise not to look for it. But it is crucial to look for the right help. Because you will trust expensive materials to an installer we will give you a few tips to help you choose the right person for your project.
A real wallpaper installer or a handyman to install you wallpaper
Cheap can be very expensive, be careful. If you just need someone to install your wallpaper make sure your wall is appropriate, your wallpaper material is the right one for your project, require them to follow instructions provided, watch and supervise closely everything.
A handyman may have the skills to align a few panels but will probably lack a lot of technical knowledge necessary to hang wallpaper. One time a customer told us her installer had 20 years experience painting walls: He painted the wall and right after sealed it with a nice peel and stick wallpaper. Wet paint fumes lifted the whole thing and permanently damaged the adhesive.
Hire a professional the right way
If you are thinking of an installer look for the service before purchasing the wallpaper.
Talk to the installer about the wallpaper you intend to purchase, ask for experience with those specific materials. Many old school pros just won’t touch peel and stick wallpapers, and for them we offer Traditional Pre-pasted. So it’s a great idea to always ask them before buying. If your installer prefers a certain brand, my personal opinion is to go with their brand of preference.
One time a customer contacted us very worried because after her peel and stick arrived she called 7 companies of wallpaper installation and they all denied the job. While it is not common so much denial, consider when you call a professional installer they think of a wallpaper as something that lasts for many many years and Removable Peel and Stick wallpapers are for temporary applications, in general they can degrade more or less after a couple years depending on the brand.
It is always useful to hand them samples of the actual thing you want to purchase so they can check beforehand what they will be installing.
Stick to Traditional Materials with an Old School Wallpaper Installer
Looking for a pro means your budget will go up and you will probably keep the wallpaper for a few years. Professional wallpaper installers feel more comfortable around traditional materials. We have a Traditional Pre-pasted paper that can be installed with extra generic wallpaper glue and it’s preferred by professional installers rather than peel and stick.
Out Traditional Pre-pasted is a strong material and even when used with extra glue it can be removed by stripping in a single piece, it won’t tear in little pieces while trying to remove it (like old school wallpaper) Just make sure your installer uses a strippable glue.
If your installer does not use extra glue and installs it with the recommendation of just adding water it will be even easier to strip off, just spray water over the wallpaper, wait a few minutes and you will be able to take it off the wall without pulling the paint.
So don’t be afraid about the removal, with our Traditional it can be done!
Look for a pro who is willing to assess your walls prior to wallpapering, pass by your house and look at your wall before saying yes. Never trust someone who tells you yes on the phone, and will arrive to check on the wallpaper and the wall the day of the install. Your wall might need some repairs or be smooth out if it’s textured and these steps need to be done and let dry before installing a wallpaper.
Be very careful if your wall is textured.
What’s a textured wall?? Find a guide below.
Now if your wall is textured…. When a professional wallpaper installer finds a textured wall will tell you the wall needs to be smoothen out prior wallpaper and this will have an extra cost. This is the right thing to do, if your walls are textured and you want a professional service you need to go all the way out.
If you find this step unnecessary or gets out of your budget your installer will probably tell you he/she won’t take the job. A true pro will know the installation of a wallpaper (whichever type) over textured walls is just not professional. Or if they take the job will tell you a disclaimer they are not responsible for the misalignments, texture pass through, deformations, lifting off the wall, and they are right in doing so.
We offer our Long-Term Peel&Stick which works on textured walls, and you might think, - “well I can use this wallpaper so my installer does not need to smooth out the wall”-. And you are right, but this is still not a professional installation. Our Long Term Peel&Stick is mainly designed for customers with textured walls with no budget to smooth it out, it will hold over normal interior textures you can find in houses today (heavy textures are still out of question) but this wallpaper adapts to the deformations on the surface so the texture from the wall will still show, when texture is present the wallpaper will never truly match since textured walls deform in different rates. So… it will work, will hold, will look cute considering the installation surface, but it will never be a truly professional installation. Again, to achieve a professional installation you need to smooth out the wall.
The right wallpaper for the right wall
Read all our documentation, get the right wallpaper for your wall. Your installer can’t do magic either!
A removable peel and stick does not work or hold over a textured wall or a wall with irregular finishes. You can't expect just because they installed did it will hold, it does not work like that!
Blaming the material
We know there are many crapy papers out there, we do wallpaper installations and unfortunately not always for our own products. Crappy or not it is our professional opinion that blaming the material is just an easy way out of trouble.
Being a professional wallpaper installer is to have enough knowledge either to say just no -I won’t do it-, or pull up quite a few tricks professional installers have to make it work.
When after making a mess a “pro” justifies itself saying the wallpaper is not good, that’s not a pro. A pro will deliver a perfect job and after that will tell you the material was crappy.
A professional who can’t guarantee results.
Do you find this normal?
A pro is someone who has made all the mistakes there are to be made and learned how to solve them in order to gain the experience necessary to be called a professional.
If after reading all this your installer won’t offer any security, just think about it!
A professional Installer who does not know what an Overlap is?
It’s not frequent but, (don't laugh) it also happens. We did not invent the overlap, it is not a new thing, it is old, ancient!!! It is also called seam… wallpaper seams. The Double Cut, which is the technique to remove it, is basic knowledge of any wallpaper installer.
Now jokes apart, when your installer does not know what an overlap is, be careful, it is not funny at all.
Why DIYers are better at peel and stick wallpaper installs
Peel and Stick installs are less messy than traditional installations but the process is completely different. All the knowledge of a very experienced traditional wallpaper installer is useless when installing peel & stick, the rules are different as installation methods defer a lot. We’ve heard many times professional wallpaper installers stating that while traditional is more messy it is easier than peel & stick.
An old school traditional wallpaper installer does not necessarily know about peel and stick wallpaper, asking for the right experience is key. One time we had a customer telling us our products were a disgrace: The installer removed all backing papers at once and tossed the panels on the wall expecting the panels to “slide” on the wall just like the traditional does when you apply wet glue.
Truth is they don’t feel comfortable around peel and stick and when a customer reports the pro had an issue it has always been with peel and stick, we do not have a single log for an issue with a traditional paper.
When you are used to doing the same over and over and someone comes and changes the rules that causes some resistance. It is just a matter to do a bit of research and tryouts.
Our DIYers don’t have the experience but they read the instructions and are patient, go for it without preconceptions and we guess there is a very important factor for a successful install: wanting to learn new things.
Our Experience with Peel and Stick as professional and advice for everyone.
We pride ourselves to be almost exclusively peel and stick installers.
Our favorite is the Long Term Peel and Stick but we do mainly commercial installations so the strongest adhesive is the best in these cases. We have tested it extensively in restaurants, hair salons, office locations and bathrooms where the use is even more demanding, the Long Term is a smooth film with nothing extraordinary apparently but technically is a very tough material.
Removable wallpapers are best for interior home decoration projects, specifically for nurseries where the wallpaper is going to be updated in 5 years or so ( kids will grow) and for that reason needs to be removable so the wall can stay intact and ready for other wallpaper.
We treat EVERY wall as if it was low VOC, and always wash is with 70% isopropyl alcohol prior a wallpaper install.
When we install removable peel and stick we always secure the top and bottom edges with double sided wallpaper tape to help it stay in optimal conditions for a longer time.
Now if you have questions or comments please let us know in the box below!