How to Wallpaper the Back of a Cabinet

Spruce up basic kitchen cabinets with wallpaper. It's fun and easy to add color, texture, and visual interest to an otherwise bland space. Plus, wallpapering cabinets is no more difficult than covering a wall.

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Cabinets are an integral part of any kitchen, but their interiors rarely get much decorating love. With the help of wallpaper and a few other basic DIY supplies, you can turn the inside of your cabinets from boring to beautiful. We'll show you how.

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Wallpaper

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What You Need

  • Prepasted wallpaper
  • Stepladder
  • Measuring tape
  • Worktable
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper or drop cloth
  • Water pan
  • Wallpaper brush
  • Ruler
  • Utility knife
  • Sponge

Step 1: Remove the Shelves

Clear out the contents of each cabinet you wish to wallpaper, then remove the shelves. Some cabinets have adjustable shelves that can be simply lifted off of their supports, while others are more permanent. If you can't remove the shelves, you'll need to cut smaller pieces of wallpaper and go shelf by shelf instead of papering the whole cabinet at once. For easier access, consider removing cabinet doors, too.  

Step 2: Measure Up

Use a measuring tape to measure the length and width of the back of the cabinet. Add 1 to 2 inches to each measurement so you can trim as needed. Roll out prepasted wallpaper onto a worktable and mark the needed length and width of paper with a ruler and pencil. Cut out with scissors. 

Estimate How Much Wallpaper You'll Need

Step 3: Ready to Adhere

Lay drop cloths over kitchen counters and flooring. Roll up the cut piece of wallpaper lengthwise with the back facing out. Fill a wallpaper water pan with cool water, then soak paper according to package directions—usually less than a minute. Make sure the paper is evenly wet before bringing it back to the table, unrolling it, and folding it back over itself with the pattern facing out. 

Step 4: Line Up

Start in the top corner of your cabinet. Place the premeasured piece of wallpaper on the wall, and smooth it lightly with your hands until the interior is covered. 

Step 5: Smooth It Out

Secure the paper with a wallpaper brush. This tool will eliminate any air bubbles or wrinkles. Start in the center, then work your way out to the edges. Press firmly. Trim any excess paper with a ruler and utility knife. If any paste squeezes out, gently wipe it with a damp sponge. 

Step 6: Repeat as Needed

Repeat Steps 2–5 until all desired cabinets are wallpapered. Let paper dry 24 hours before attaching shelves and doors, and restocking the cabinet. 

More Creative Ways to Use Wallpaper in the Kitchen

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