As you might have seen last week on Instagram and TikTok, we finally made some progress on finalizing our bathroom vanity makeover. You might not remember, but our bathroom vanity isn’t actually located in the bath… instead it is in our bedroom, like in a hotel. It’s weird, but we’re going with it until we can afford to fully renovate. I’ve also wanted to incorporate more print and pattern into our cabin, so we decided to install removable wallpaper. I love how it instantly transforms the space!
I’ve gotten a TON of questions about how to install peel and stick wallpaper, how to care for it, ways to use it, and where to buy it… so today’s blog post is literally my ultimate guide to EVERYTHING related to temporary wallpaper! Let’s dig in.
My Ultimate Guide to Peel and Stick + Removable Wallpaper
Keep in mind that I am not a professional wallpaper installer. But we have installed the temporary kind a few times enough to have a grasp on what to do and what not to do. Here’s a quick rundown on installation!
How to Install Peel and Stick/Removable Wallpaper — Step-by-Step Instructions:
Recommended Supplies and Materials:
- Natural cleaner and cleaning cloth
- Measuring tape
- Peel-and-stick wallpaper
- Plastic smoothing tool
- Utility knife or box cutter
- Step ladder
Step 1. Prepare the surface
This is arguably the most important step because any surface texture on your wall will show through the wallpaper. For example, your wall needs to be very smooth. Any ridges or bumps in the drywall will affect how smoothly the paper adheres to the wall.
I also recommend using a natural all purpose cleaner to wipe down the wall before applying the wallpaper. This will ensure that any dust and debris have been removed. Be sure to let the surface dry before continuing the installation.
If you want to go really in depth with your wallpaper installation, paint the wall in a color that will best hide the seams. For example, the background of our Cowboy Toile wallpaper is white, so we simply used white primer. If we don’t perfectly match the seams, the white behind the paper will help camouflage any bit of wall that’s peaking through. This step is totally optional though!
Step 2. Find the center of the wall and make a guide
I recommend starting from the middle of your wall and working out toward the corners. This will help to avoid an awkward pattern stoppage in the corner. To do this, measure the width of your wall at the top, middle, and bottom and mark accordingly. Use your level to connect those marks, drawing a line. This is now your guideline for installing the first piece of wallpaper.
Step 3. Hang the first panel
Gently remove the backing on the wallpaper and peel it down a few feet. We found that this works best with two people: one holding the roll from the top corners and one slowly peeling away the backing. Then, align the edge with your guideline.
If the top corner of your wall isn’t level or square, overlap extra onto the ceiling. For example, apply an inch of the paper to the ceiling, pushing into the corner and then continue down the wall. Continue applying the wallpaper, making sure that the edge lines up with your guideline the entire way down. Use the smoothing tool to push out air bubbles and remove backing as you go.
If you get misaligned from the guideline, simply peel up the wallpaper and try again. That’s the beauty of using removable wallpaper instead of permanent, pasted wallpaper!
Step 4. Trim excess wallpaper
To trim the excess from the ceiling or floor, use the edge of your scraping smoothing tool to push the paper into the corner, then use a utility knife to trim along the edge of the tool. This will ensure a straight line! Repeat at the bottom, too.
Step 5. Match the repeat and apply another panel
Once you’ve installed a panel and are happy with it, continue the process on the other edge by matching the pattern’s repeat. Do your best to align the edges for a seamless look.
Step 6: Trim for outlets, lighting, etc
If you have outlets, apply the wallpaper over and carefully trim to expose the outlet. Turn off the electrical breaker for this, just in case! For an even more professional look, cover switch plates and outlet covers with wallpaper and match the pattern so they all but disappear!
Matching outlet covers and switch plates can take a little bit of trial and error to get right, but trust me — it is SO worth it! I mean… look how satisfying that is!
How to Care for Peel and Stick Wallpaper
Caring for removable wallpaper is pretty straight forward. The biggest thing to keep in mind is to be gentle and avoid anything that could scratch the surface. I simply use an all natural spray cleaner and clean towel to wipe down the walls.
Creative Ways to Use Removable Wallpaper
There are SO many fun ideas for using wallpaper in your home. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Line a bookshelf or drawers with the print for a fun pop of pattern (I did this in our entryway)
- Cover an accent wall, like our vanity area
- Wallpaper the ceiling and paint the walls a complementary color
- Adhere it to a flat door or over mirrored closet doors
- Line a closet for a fun surprise
- Use excess as wrapping paper
- Mat artwork and then apply wallpaper to frame the art in pattern
- Install wallpaper as a kitchen backsplash instead of tile
- Cover appliances like your refrigerator or dishwasher
- Add to stair rises
Where To Buy Peel and Stick/Removable Wallpaper (My Go-To Sources):
In case you missed it, I created an epic round up of removable wallpaper based on color. Definitely check it out, if only because it’s so visually satisfying to see the patterns in a rainbow! But at a glance, here are some of my favorite places to get temporary wallpaper in gorgeous, colorful patterns:
- Chasing Paper — Truly my favorite source for wallpaper (and peel and stick flooring)! They have such great quality and fun patterns.
- Drop It Modern
- Graham & Brown
- Hygge & West
- Urban Outfitters
- West Elm
- World Market
Have you ever installed peel and stick removable wallpaper? I’d love to know more about how it went for you and if you have any additional tips to add to this post! Leave a comment and let me know!