Everything You Need to Know About Removable Wallpaper
Plus, tips from an expert about installing it like a pro.
Removable wallpaper is the gift that keeps on giving. Affordable and simple to install, these peel-and-stick coverings are made with low-tack adhesive, which makes them a foolproof way to spruce up your place in a pinch. "Removable wallpaper has the look and feel of traditional wallpaper—but no glue," explains Chasing Paper founder Elizabeth Rees. "There's an immediate curing or dry time, so there's no smudging or discoloration. Essentially, it makes installation simple. There's no need to hire a professional, because most people can accomplish the installation process by themselves."
The best part? Removable wallpaper won't damage your space, so it's 100-percent renter-safe. "It's perfect for renters and commitment-phobes," Rees says. "We also find that it's perfect for kids' spaces, as their rooms can change and grow with them. When you're ready to change it, the headache of traditional wallpaper removal is also eliminated, as removable wallpaper will peel right off your wall—no scraping needed!" Ready to revamp your own space with peel-and-stick wallpaper? We asked Rees for her best advice on the installation process, and here's what she had to say.
Pick an appropriate wall.
While removable wallpaper can work in almost any room, Rees says to avoid applying it to unprimed or textured surfaces. "Start with smooth walls that have been primed with a premium eggshell, satin, or semi-gloss paint," she says. "Matte finishes can be a bit trickier, as the adhesive can bond and pull the paint, and textured walls make it difficult for the wallpaper to stick properly."
Measure and mark accordingly.
Prior to applying any wallpaper, Rees says to wipe down the walls at least a few days ahead of time so they're clean and dry when you're ready to begin. Then, to make installation a bit easier, she recommends marking the walls lightly with a pencil—to indicate where a wallpaper panel will end; this ensures that all of the panels are installed evenly. "Chasing Paper's removable wallpaper panels are available in two- by four-foot panels," she explains, "so if you're using our removable wallpaper, you would: First, measure with a measuring tape; second, mark the walls four feet down from the ceiling; and third, repeat again at the eight-foot mark, and so on."
When you're ready to install, Rees suggests starting at the top of the wall on one side of the room. "Peel off the back of just the top of the panel, and slowly peel more of the backing off as you go," she says, noting that you "don't have to be worried about messing up! You can just take it off the wall and re-stick. For any tricky spots—like light plates or angled walls—use a ruler and an X-Acto knife to cut out the holes or angles."
Smooth things out.
For a sleek and unwrinkled finish, Rees says to smooth out the removable wallpaper with your hands or with a straight-edged object like a ruler or credit card once you've applied it to the wall. "If you still have an air bubble, just prick it with a small pin to release the air," she says. "Repeat until your wall is complete!"
Remove and reuse.
Removable wallpaper isn't just damage-free, says Rees—certain iterations are reusable, too. "The adhesive wallpaper bond in Chasing Paper's removable wallpaper actually grows stronger over time," she says. "Our wallpaper can be removed and reused—just take care of the adhesive when removing from your walls."