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What is Removable Wallpaper and Is it Worth it?

December 28, 2021

Wallpaper has gotten a really bad rap over the past few decades. What once was the hottest interior design trend has quickly become an antiquated nuisance. The animosity makes sense. Wallpaper is a royal pain to scrape off once it’s applied. 

Enter removable wallpaper.  

Removable wallpaper, also known as peel and stick wallpaper, is an innovative, modern option for the pattern enthusiast. It gives you the ability to let your creativity take the wheel. No need to worry about potential wall damage or a long-term commitment to a certain look. You can simply select a wallpaper you love and choose to easily remove it when you’re ready to. But is this option really it’s all cracked up to be? Let’s take a look. 

How Does It Work? 

Traditional wallpaper uses glue to adhere it to a surface. Removable wallpaper features a low-tack adhesive backing instead. Simply peel and stick! The adhesive will secure the wallpaper in place temporarily. You can easily adjust if you apply it incorrectly. And when it comes time to take down the wallpaper, you can simply lift it off. Keep in mind that removable wallpaper tends to adhere to clean walls painted with eggshell, satin, or semi-gloss paint best. It’s also important to be sure the wall paint is at least four weeks old. 

Is it Actually Removable?

Yes! Removable wallpaper actually will come off the wall without the need for special solutions or scrapping. But one thing you should keep in mind is that not all removable wallpaper is made equally. While it will all come off relatively easily, some cheaper options will leave a sticky, grimy residue behind on the wall. 

The best way to make sure your temporary wallpaper project goes off without a hitch is to invest in a higher-quality product. They may be a bit more expensive but you can rest assured that they’re more gentle on your walls. It’s also wise to check reviews before you make a purchase. 

How Do You Remove It? 

Taking off removable wallpaper is a breeze. Start by lifting a top corner and peeling down. No need to reach for tools, chemical removers, or a steamer. This process is fairly quick especially when you enlist the help of a friend or family member. Once you remove the wallpaper, you can throw it away or you can save it for later use. This can be a great option for the stylish renter hoping to carry their unique style with them from place to place. 

How to Install Removable Wallpaper

Installing removable wallpaper is a bit more complicated than the removal process. But it is still completely manageable for the savvy DIYer. 

Here’s what you’ll need

  • Tape measure 
  • Smoothing tool 
  • Razorblade knife 
  • Screwdriver 
  • Step ladder 
  • A helping hand

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Prepare your space. Clear out any furniture or other belongings that might get in the way. Remove outlet or switch plate covers. 
  2. Unfurl the removable wallpaper. Let it sit flat for about an hour. You can weigh it down with books or other heavy to help this part of the process along. 
  3. Now it’s time to measure and cut out panels. Be sure to make each section a few inches longer than you need. 
  4. Once you have your panels ready, it’s time to install the wallpaper. Start by peeling a bit of the corner down. Line it up at the ceiling corner and slowly apply and peel as you go. 
  5. Use your smoothing tool to remove any air bubbles. 
  6. Repeat with all panel segments. Be mindful of any patterns you need to match up. You may need to buy extra wallpaper for more intricate patterns. 
  7. Clean up the edges with a razor knife. 

What Should I Keep in Mind With Removable Wallpaper 

Removable wallpaper is a fantastic option for those looking to infuse their living space with more of their own unique style. But there are some drawbacks and considerations to keep in mind if you choose to use it. 

Not all walls will be well-suited for removing wallpaper. It can be tricky to apply on deeply textured walls. Brick and certain plaster may lend themselves to a bumpy appearance. In some cases, the wallpaper won’t even stick to these types of surfaces without air bubbles. Plus, damaged, flaky plaster may come off with the removable wallpaper when it comes time to take it down. 

Removable wallpaper doesn’t do well in high-moisture areas. It can be difficult to maintain a smooth, uncurled application in bathrooms that aren’t well ventilated. 

A common mistake people make when taking on a removable wallpaper project is not buying enough material. It’s a good rule of thumb to buy approximately 10 percent more wallpaper than needed to cover the walls to account for mistakes along the way. It’s important to do this ahead of time because sometimes colors won’t match exactly if you buy the same pattern later on. 

Armed with all of this information, you should have no problem enjoying all that removable wallpaper has to offer! Need more advice on home design and painting? Get in touch with Horner Painting to learn more! 


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