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What You Should Know Before Trying Removable Wallpaper

What You Should Know Before Trying Removable Wallpaper

By Jacquelyn Nause


Whether you want an easy DIY accent wall or want to add flair your home with the beauty of wallpaper without the headache, we have all the information you need. From design tips to practical things to consider before you start, here’s everything you need to know about removable wallpaper.


The Basics

Wallpaper is desirable because it comes in a variety of vibrant patterns and natural textures. Unlike traditional wallpaper, peel and stick wallpaper is glue-free, repositionable and very easy to DIY.

There are just a few basics to know before getting started, and some tips and tricks to help your removable wallpaper look like the real deal.


First, consider lighting and the size of the space, choosing a color and pattern of wallpaper that doesn’t overwhelm the room. Wallpaper can be used to highlight a space, add dimension, establish a theme or hide imperfections. Choose your color and pattern thoughtfully, being sure to match the style with the rest of the home.


Next, calculate the total square footage of wallpaper needed, taking into account windows and doors, as well as any potential waste.



Not every surface is compatible with self-adhesive wallpaper. Check specific brand instructions before beginning. In general, it is not recommended to use removable wallpaper on matte or flat paint, mirrors or glass. Textured walls are generally not ideal. Patch any holes, smooth any rough areas, and be sure the wall is clean and dry. If the paint color is dark, you will want to prime the wall before applying a lighter colored wallpaper, just be sure to allow the primer to dry completely.


Read the specific instructions that come with your wallpaper in order to properly prepare the panels before application. You may need to lay them flat or re-roll them the opposite direction.
Once your walls are ready, you will need wallpaper panels, a sharp utility knife, a squeegee or plastic spackle tool, measuring tape and level.


Getting Started


Mark a vertical line on your wall using a level. Do not trust corners or trim to be even. Once your plumb line is drawn, you can get started! Starting at the upper left corner of your wall, remove the backing to reveal a sticky side that you will apply directly to the wall. Pull the paper backing away a little bit at a time for ease in application.

Take extra time when positioning the first panel, as it will be the guideline for the remaining panels. Continue pulling off the paper backing and smoothing the wallpaper with your plastic squeegee tool, working top to bottom to get rid of bumps and air bubbles. Be careful not to rub too hard, you risky tearing or damaging the paper finish.


If your panel is not level, or you are not happy with the application, remove it and restick! Peel and stick wallpaper is very repositionable, making fixing placement errors a breeze.


Careful Details


Use a sharp utility or craft knife to cut the wallpaper around trim or outlets. In corners, it may be difficult to get two strips to line up at the corner, so you might plan to slightly overlap at the corner. Once you get to the bottom of your first run, use the knife to cut the wallpaper along the bottom wall edge.

Repeat this process for the remaining wall area, making sure to line up the pattern and reading any specific instructions regarding overlap from the manufacturer information. Note that if your wallpaper has a larger format pattern, you may need additional footage of wallpaper to account for any additional waste in trying to line up the pattern on each strip.


Removable wallpaper is an easy DIY project to spruce up your spice in a big way. The most difficult part is picking out your pattern and planning the space. From there, application and removal (and reapplication) are a breeze, making removable wallpaper an affordable and hassle-free way to change the look and feel of a room.


Jacquelyn Nause is a contributing writer with specialties in real estate, parenting and wellness. She enjoys traveling with her husband, being a doting mother to her two incredible kids and enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest playground.

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