Peel-and-stick wallpaper is used in two ways to add visual interest to furniture.

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old-fashioned cabinet upgraded with wallpaper
Credit: Kate Sears

A blank canvas. That's what Martha Stewart Living home editor Lorna Aragon saw when she spotted this old-fashioned china cabinet lingering at an auction. She knew a little wallpaper would make a world of difference, so she unfurled a lush forest vignette inside to make the shelves (and the items on them) pop, and covered the doors with seagrass. You can use any combo of complementary prints and solids; the peel-and-stick kind makes it easy to try out a look. Follow our steps to turn any old hutch into a piece that puts your personality on display.

old-fashioned china cabinet
blue floral and grass cloth wallpaper swatches
Left: Credit: Peter Ardito
Right: Credit: Courtesy of Cowtan & Tout and York Wallcoverings

Clean It

First and foremost, clean the piece of furniture. Dust the cabinet; degrease the areas to be wallpapered. For this task, we used Spray Nine Heavy Duty Cleaner/Degreaser/Disinfectant ($5 for 32 oz., homedepot.com).

Snip and Prime

Measure the areas to be papered. Cut out wallpaper panels with a utility knife and steel ruler. Prime the wood—we used Rust-Oleum Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer ($23, homedepot.com) and let dry. Brush on wallpaper sizing—we used Roman Pro-935 R-35 Primer ($39, homedepot.com). Let dry.

Add Paper

Place the panels one at a time, smoothing out from the center with a wallpaper brush. For prints, we used Cowtan & Tout Rutland Wallpaper in Sage/Teal ($68 a yd., cowtan.com) on the cabinet and Ashford House WB5500 Grass Cloth ($28 for 5 1/2 yd., decoratorsbest.com) on the doors. Use a ruler and utility knife to trim excess; then, lastly, let dry. Fittingly, our decorative scheme even complements the paint on living room wall—Benjamin Moore Advance paint, in China White.

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