Kitchen Tour

Before & After: Pre-Pasted Wallpaper Completely Transformed This Bare-Bones NYC Kitchen

published Jul 17, 2023
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White stone tiled floors in apartment before renovation.

In the world of interior design,

traditional wallpaper

brighten kitchens in renter-friendly (read: non-permanent) ways.

For example, peel-and-stick wallpaper is adored for its ability to be swapped out and removed. But have you ever heard of pre-pasted wallpaper? It has a different application method than peel-and-stick and might be the way to go for your kitchen.

Pre-pasted wallpaper was the perfect DIY solution for brightening the kitchen in Katelyn Sailor’s glamorously modern New York City rental apartment. And it’s no typical wallpaper pattern. “I wanted something quintessentially New York,” Sailor writes. “I also wanted something really fun, and the bodega coffee cups fit the bill! I also love pink and have a lot of it throughout my apartment, so bringing pink into the kitchen worked well with everything else.”

Sailor nabbed the “NYC Coffee Cup Venti” wallpaper by smirkshop from Spoonflower, and said hanging the pre-pasted wallpaper was somewhat easy for a few reasons. Here’s how she did it. 

How to Hang Pre-Pasted Wallpaper

Hanging the pre-pasted wallpaper took Sailor and her husband, Kyle, around 10 hours to complete (the pair did it over several weekends), and the process had advantages over the peel-and-stick installation process. For starters, Sailor says that all she had to do to make the wallpaper stick was spray the blank side with water to make it adhesive (look for a “goopy consistency,” according to Spoonflower’s directions).

“This also allows you to adjust the paper slightly while it’s still wet versus a sticker back that stays put once it’s placed,” Sailor says. Ensuring that the patterns were correctly aligned was the most time-consuming part of their process, but she shares a great reminder: “It’s easy to become a perfectionist while hanging wallpaper, but it’s important to remember you’ll never notice the small imperfections on a daily basis.”

Because the process was so simple, Sailor and her husband only needed a few additional tools to get the job done. The pair used the following:

And the result was absolutely stunning. “My apartment is pre-war, so the walls in the kitchen weren’t in the best shape just due to age,” Sailor shares. “I love that the wallpaper hides the old walls and becomes a conversation starter with guests!”

Whether you opt for a more traditional solid (or striped!) wallpaper, or follow Sailor’s lead and add some fun shapes and motifs to your kitchen, pre-pasted wallpaper is a great way to add color and character to a space.