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How to Choose Removable Wallpaper: A Guide

Published on:

11/06/19

written by:

Carrie Barker

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Wallpaper is a GREAT way to give your home a custom look and to add a WOW factor! However, if you are a little bit scared to make such a big ‘commitment’, then removable wallpaper is a great way to dip your toe into the world of wallpaper!

If you aren’t sure what exactly temporary wallpaper it is … or the pros and cons … or even where to start shopping for it, I’ve got you covered in this guide on how to choose removable wallpaper!

Caroline on Design guide on how to choose removable wallpaper for your home. Included are several temporary wallpaper ideas and sources for where to purchase.

I’ll start by answering common questions and then will wrap up with recommendations for where to shop for the best temporary wallpaper. I’ve even gone a step further and rounded up several removable wallpaper options for you!

Affiliate links are used for your shopping convenience. You can read my full disclosure HERE.

WHAT IS REMOVABLE WALLPAPER?

FYI: we’ll refer to traditional (permanent) wallpaper as ‘real wallpaper’ in this post. 

Removable wallpaper goes by a few different names … temporary wallpaper, removable wallpaper, and peel and stick wallpaper to name a few.

Removable wallpaper has the look and feel of real wallpaper BUT without the paste and mess of installing real wallpaper. It uses a low tack adhesive that adheres to smooth, flat (not textured) surfaces with minimal wall damage and pulls off the wall cleanly (if installed correctly).

Be sure to look at the manufacturer details (if ordering online) to ensure it an adhesive or peel and stick (as opposed to requiring paste used with real wallpaper). Some ‘removable’ wallpaper does have paste involved … steer clear of these products if you want to do this the easy way!

With peel and stick wallpaper, you peel the product from a backing and apply to the walls (much like a sticker or contact paper). Typically you can easily remove and reposition the wallpaper if needed.

Just to be fully 100 (i.e. 100% honest) … my professional wallpaper installer informed me that removable wallpaper can’t be shifted as easily as traditional wallpaper during installation (i.e. once the sticky side is stuck on the wall, you can’t easily shift the panel). However, you can certainly take the panel off and start over.

DOES REMOVABLE WALLPAPER REALLY WORK?

Yes, it works as long as you follow the manufacturer’s directions and guidelines. If hung properly, removable wallpaper can last for as long (or as short) as you want it to. Just because it’s temporary doesn’t mean it won’t last for long periods of time! Just make sure to check manufacturer recommendations to verify the product can be used in high humidity if you are wallpapering your bathroom.

WILL REMOVABLE WALLPAPER DAMAGE MY WALLS?

It won’t damage your walls IF you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions for installation. Are you noticing a theme here? Read the directions … and then read them again!

Three general rules to follow in order to minimize wall damage:

  • don’t hang on freshly painted walls … removable wallpaper adheres best on paint that has cured for at least four weeks 
  • apply over premium eggshell, satin, or semi-gloss paint … the adhesive may damage walls if your paint is flat or matte
  • do not use on textured walls … removable wallpaper should be hung on smooth surfaces (so be sure to smooth out textured walls before hanging)

RECOMMENDED POST: WALLPAPER 101: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO GET STARTED Although this recommended blog post is geared toward traditional wallpaper, there are some great pointers that will work for temporary wallpaper too :).

REMOVABLE WALLPAPER PROS AND CONS

PROS

  • temporary (I’m looking at you, wallpaper commitment-phobes!)
  • can DIY hang (without hiring a professional)
  • less expensive than traditional wallpaper
  • low-commitment compared to traditional wallpaper
  • easy removal
  • can be used in rental spaces

CONS

  • might be difficult to find a professional installer to hang removable wallpaper (my wallpaper installer does not hang removable paper)
  • not the ‘real’ thing (but looks like it)
  • cannot be hung on textured walls
  • cannot be hung on matte or flat paint

HOW TO MEASURE FOR REMOVABLE WALLPAPER

The best way to determine the amount of removable wallpaper you’ll need is to measure the width of the wall (or walls) that you want to cover, then divide that number by the width of a single panel (or roll) of wallpaper.

This will give you an approximate number of how many rolls you’ll need to cover your wall(s).

If you have a window or door, plan to order paper for that area and then cut around the window or door frame while you are hanging the removable wallpaper.

TIP: Just like traditional wallpaper, order ALL the paper you’ll need (plus a little extra) at one time bc dye lots can vary. If you need to order extra paper later, the color might be slightly different. It’s a good idea to order roughly 15-20% more paper than you think you’ll need. This will come in handy if you mess up while installing or if you underestimated the amount of paper you needed.

BONUS TIP: Measure at least twice before you order your removable wallpaper!

WHERE CAN I BUY TEMPORARY WALLPAPER?

Temporary wallpaper is available to purchase many places, but below is a list of retailers that I recommend.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Read the online product description to ensure the product is temporary wallpaper (i.e. not permanent).

Hopefully, you have a much better understanding of how to choose removable wallpaper for your home after reading this post.  Now for the fun part … it’s time to find the perfect temporary wallpaper pattern (or two) for YOUR home!

SHOP REMOVABLE WALLPAPER

  1. […] QUICK TIP: Make sure to READ THE PRODUCT DESCRIPTION to verify if your desired wallpaper is permanent or removable. I prefer permanent wallpaper; however, removable wallpaper is very popular and I have a great blog post called HOW TO CHOOSE REMOVABLE WALLPAPER: A GUIDE. […]

  2. […] choose removable wallpaper guide design permanent. source […]

  3. Reena says:

    Always choose the one that fits the interior of your home.

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