I love wallpaper. It’s an easy way to totally transform a room without buying new furniture or rearranging the layout. However, it can be costly, time-consuming and often requires a professional to help install it. Wallpaper is also a big commitment – it’s no easy task to remove wallpaper so you better hope you love it for years to come. This is why I’ve fallen in love with removable wallpaper.
Removable wallpaper (also known as temporary or peel and stick) is (1) super simple to install, (2) very forgiving (if you make a mistake you can easily fix it), and (3) non-committal (no hassle to remove and there’s no damage to your walls). Don’t get me wrong, there will always be a place for regular wallpaper – everything is about balance and some aesthetics you can truly only achieve with real wallpaper (think grasscloth). But if you want something fun, easy and quick that can give you a good temporary redecorating fix, especially in this time of quarantine, removable wallpaper will do just the trick. The good news is that it’s becoming more and more popular which means there are a lot of different options out there to choose from to fit your budget and style.
Below I’ve listed a few of my favorite brands right now. Note that many of these you can find on Amazon, Wayfair, Home Depot and others. However, I always recommend going to the brand websites first because they likely have the most options available. As a bonus, a lot of these brands offer removable decals as well, which can be super fun for your kids. They can stick them all over their bedroom walls and it won’t ruin your walls.
- Be prepared with a step stool, scissors, a razor and a wallpaper smoothing tool. Note that I didn’t buy an official wallpaper smoothing tool so I just used the hard edge of the package that the wallpaper came in. You can also use a book or some other hard surface as long as the color won’t transfer from one to the other.
- Buy at least one more roll than you think you need. Based on your coverage area, the patterns will not line up exactly when you cut at the top and bottom so you will end up with a lot of extra, unused paper. With both my pantry and my son’s room I had to buy an extra roll after I started because although I measured correctly, there were situations where I had unusable paper due to the patterns.
- Start with a clean wall. This helps the paper adhere to the wall. If there’s dirt and dust it won’t stick well. You can also sand down any uneven spots from old paint but I didn’t find that to affect how well it stuck – it’s just for you to have a smoother look.
- Cut your sheet longer than you need (I just used standard scissors for this). You don’t need to spend time making it perfectly straight against the edges – you’ll drive yourself crazy. Cutting the sheet longer than needed will make it easier to have a clean line against the ceiling/floor or the molding/baseboard. Once I reached the molding I would sharply press the paper into it and then use a razor to cut across.
- Peel only a few inches of the backing off of the wallpaper to stick on the wall at first. If you peel the backing off of the whole sheet it can stick to itself and then it becomes totally unusable. Once you have it firmly in place at the top, you can slowly start to peel away the backing as you press it into the wall with your hands at the same time. Once the paper is in place on the wall then I went back and used my “smoothing tool” to smooth away any bubbles and imperfections.
- It’s okay to make mistakes. There were some sheets that I stuck on the wall and had to peel and re-stick several times because the placement wasn’t right.
- Have fun with it! My walls are not perfectly even with my ceilings and floors so it made for an imperfect outcome – but that’s okay! Any imperfections will be near the edges and no one will notice.