Friday, October 29, 2021


Every now and then I start a DIY project that makes me wonder what in the world I was thinking. This project most definitely fell into that category. And even though I absolutely adore the outcome, it was rough going there for a while.

I love that I have built-in book shelves in our living room. It's always fun to arrange and rearrange them through the seasons and the years. They give my creative decorating juices a place to flow. But in our home, they are in a room that doesn't get much natural light, and the room often feels dark if the blinds in the adjacent room are not opened. I don't really want to paint the wood--not now anyway--so, after seeing a many people on the Internet using peel and stick wallpaper, I thought it would be a great way to lighten up part of the room.

A few before shots:

A little about the process...

This is the paper I ordered from Amazon. It's a grass cloth look alike. It even has a slight texture.


This is my emptied shelf, my starting point. That support molding at the top was, let's just say, a pain in the rear! I looked at a lot shelves online during this project, and realized they almost all have something like this. 
I started on the left side of the built ins, at the tip top--over the molding. Remember, I have never done this before and have no idea what I'm doing or what I'm about to get into. (Insert crying smiley face here.) 

This first piece went up fairly easy. It was a bit cumbersome and awkward, and I did have to readjust the paper a couple of times, but I got it up. Miraculously, it was even straight. 
Now, if you are familiar with real grass cloth wall coverings, you know that the seams of the cloth do not match up like wall paper. The seams are obvious like in this beautiful example from Serena and Lily.
However, when I was measuring the paper for the next section, I found a repeat and was able to match up the seams to some degree. I trimmed the edges with a razor blade, and the left side was finished!

Somewhere in the midst of papering the left side, I realized there was a possibility I was going to need another roll of paper. I went back to Amazon and put a roll in my cart, and then finished up the left side. That one side was so overwhelming that I took a little break before starting the right side. 

After roll #2 was delivered, I didn't immediately start on the right side. Because (obviously) I now knew what I was getting into once I opened the roll. 

After finally deciding there was no time like the present, I went back to work. For some reason, however, I had a horrible time getting started. Nothing was lining up right, it looked crooked, and that darn molding at the top was making me crazy!! Then I got the bright idea to just do the molding by itself first. There wouldn't be an issue of matching it up under the piece; it wouldn't matter with vertical lines. Small victory! 

Now I was onto the first big piece for the shelves on the right. I measured and lined up the paper, found the match, cut the two strips for the right side, and went to work. 

I thought for sure this side would go faster. But, it was worse than the left side. I had trouble lining up the starting point. Then, once I was able to get it started, I could not get it to smooth out correctly. I pulled it up and re-positioned it so many times, that I had to discard the entire piece. Then the tears came as I realized I would now have to order another roll, or I wouldn't have enough paper to match the pattern as I had done meticulously on the other side. Back to the Amazon drawing board. 


Roll three. 

At this point I was more determined than ever to finish this project. I took a deep breath and got to work! I watched a few tutorials to see why I was having so much trouble, changed a few things I was doing, and got it done!

It has made a huge difference in the room. It feels so much lighter! 

I began this project during the stay at home order and didn't really start writing the post until August of 2020. It has gotten longer and longer. Ha! If you are still reading, bless you for sticking it out (no pun intended).

I guess the moral of this story would be, 1) "Don't let the term 'peel and stick' fool you. It's not quite as easy as it sounds." And, 2) "Just do it. You'll love it!!" :-)

Feeling brave yourself? Here is the paper I used. I truly was pleased with the look and the quality of the wallpaper. It comes in four pretty colors from Amazon. 

cream  //  navy (steel blue)  //  wheat  //  ivory

(affiliate links)

What a difference! 

Have you used peel and stick paper anywhere in your home? Comment below and tell us about it. 


  1. Well, despite all your ups and downs, it sure turned out beautifully! I have thought about doing some peel and stick somewhere but now I'm not so sure (LOL)! Anyway, great job!

    1. You have to do it anyway! Just watch a few videos before you start. I still smile every time I walk by them. :-) Thanks for stopping by.


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