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How to Hang Removable Wallpaper (with a couple of issues resolved)

The one main floor bathroom in our house was in need of a makeover. It’s just a little box of a room with no windows and is visible off the kitchen.

When we moved in, the walls were painted very bright red, which made my neutral-loving-eyes ache. I painted the top part of the walls white a few days after we moved in last fall (see that here) and the bathroom has sat untouched since then.

This summer, it was time to continue with the makeover. I’ll share the full reveal with before and after shots later this week, but for now here’s a sneak peek:

Today, I wanted to talk about that amazing wallpaper.

It’s removable! I installed it myself! In just a few hours!

I knew wallpapering this little window-less room would be a bold statement but it felt like a good way to add interest and something special to an otherwise uninteresting, yet regularly used room. For the past nine-ish months, I’ve been looking at patterns and ordering samples (here’s one I liked) until I finally ordered a sample of this Vintage Poppy print I first spotted on Spoonflower.

As with every other space in our home, this makeover is a Phase One makeover. Are you getting sick of me saying this?! Eventually we’d like to move the door (so it’s not right off the kitchen), change out the vanity for something smaller and replace the beadboard with tile. But until then, I was ready to make the room a little more in line with our style.

Wallpapering with removable wallpaper was a great option – it is less expensive than regular, I didn’t have to hire a professional installer and, if we so choose, we could reuse the wallpaper elsewhere.

Once I decided that this was the wallpaper we wanted to use, I decided to contact the designer to see if she wanted to trade her wallpaper for a blog post. As it turns out, the wallpaper designer not only sells her designs on Spoonflower, but she actually has her own wallpaper shop, Art of Wallpaper.

Amy was happy to with me (yay!) and shared that her peel and stick wallpaper is printed on a much better grade paper. She sent me a sample from her shop and it was indeed a better quality. It is thick and has a canvas-y texture, so it more resembles a nice wallpaper.

I was wanting her Vintage Poppy pattern in deep navy color and she was kind to work with me on getting the color just right. Once I approved the sample, she printed up my order and sent it my way.

The paper comes in 24″ strips in whatever length needed. For our bathroom, it took 10 4′ strips.

I have installed removable wallpaper once before and loved the results (here is that post) so I was excited to try this easy wallpapering again.

The process is quite simple:

1 | PREPARE WALLS

It is recommended to wipe walls with 70% alcohol, but since our walls were painted not too long ago, I just wiped down with a microfiber cloth to remove any dust or dirt. It is suggested to you let paint cure for 30 days before installing wallpaper over to reduce the risk of paint peeling when removed.

2 | GO FROM LEFT TO RIGHT

This is where I messed up last time. I didn’t realize that the pattern is repeatable from left to right and I had a tough time getting my pattern to match up in the last house. This time, I paid attention to the instructions and installed correctly :)

To install, simply peel the backing paper from the top and line up along the top of the wall. The first sheet is obviously the easiest, but also most important. Make sure it is straight! I pulled out a level to make sure it was going on straight. If your walls are not square (very likely), adjust the paper to keep it level.

3 | MOVE DOWN THE WALL

Once the paper is lined up on the top of the wall, continue to pull the backing paper down and press lightly with you hand to hold the paper in place.

4 | PRESS TO SMOOTH AND ADHERE

Use a flat squeegee (or in my case, a pastry cutter?) to smooth out and firmly adhere the wallpaper. It is removable, which makes it super easy to lift and adjust if needed.

5 | LINE UP THE PATTERN

The second piece overlaps the first by about 1/2 inch, so lining up is fairly easy. It just takes a little bit of adjusting and readjusting to get it just right.

Then just keep going!

6 | TRIM AROUND OUTLETS

Use a utility or exacto knife to trim the paper around the outlets. Just don’t cut too far outside to make sure the outlet plates cover up the seams.

7 | TRIM THE EDGES

Once all the paper is up, go around the top and bottom edge with a utility knife to trim the ends. I just did it by eye, but you could also use a metal straightedge to help guide.

For the most part, installing was easy and straightforward, but I did run into a couple of problems that might be helpful to share to help you avoid them:

PROBLEM: WHEN CORNERS ARE NOT SQUARE

This piece wrapped around the corner and it turns out, the corner was not perfectly square. As you can see, the paper would not smooth flat. I tried and tried to adjust to get the paper to smooth out, but couldn’t get it to work. Ryan had the brilliant idea to use my utility knife in the corner to carefully slice the paper from the point it would not lay flat corner and then overlap the paper. Because the pattern is so busy, you really can’t see the overlap. Problem solved!

PROBLEM: WHEN THE PAPER STICKS TO ITSELF

UGH! I had this strip – my very last one! – up on the wall, but just didn’t love how the pattern lined up. I pulled it off thinking I could just reapply and somehow the paper folded itself together and stuck. I panicked for a second because I really didn’t want to waste an entire piece AND I was almost done! I brought the piece over to the kitchen table and although I was worried I would stretch out the paper and wreck it, I firmly pulled the paper away from itself. Slowly, but surely, it worked. Thankfully, the paper went back up on the wall and there is no evidence of it’s trauma. I completely attribute this to the quality of this paper.

After just an hour or two, the wallpaper was up!

It’s crazy and striking and just what I was hoping for.

I can’t wait to show you how great the before and after shots are!

If you’d like to try out removable wallpaper, I completely recommend it. For rentals, temporary spots or for long-term, the peel and stick variety makes wallpapering accessible.

Amy from Art of Wallpaper is offering us 15% off with code JONES15 through August.

She offers peel and stick and traditional wallpaper in hundreds of styles. Here are a few of my faves:

Have you tried removable wallpaper? Any other questions? I’m happy to answer!

20 Responses to How to Hang Removable Wallpaper (with a couple of issues resolved)

  1. LeAnn August 24, 2017 at 1:15 pm #

    Gorgeous wallpaper! Such a beautiful bathroom. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Carla August 17, 2017 at 8:01 pm #

    Can this wallpaper be used in a bathroom with a tub or shower? I fear the humidity over the years would make it peel.

    • emily August 18, 2017 at 4:14 pm #

      It might … I’m not totally sure. That’s a great question for Amy at Art of Wallpaper :)

  3. Tara August 16, 2017 at 8:06 pm #

    E- how does the peel & stick not damage the walls? Does it not leave any residue behind when removed?

    • emily August 18, 2017 at 4:20 pm #

      I’m assuming that the better the wallpaper quality, the least amount of residue will be left behind. I just read a few posts from different sources – some experienced no tackiness, some experienced a few patchy spots that needed to be washed with warm water and soap. You may need to add a fresh paint of coat after removing it.

  4. Miriam August 16, 2017 at 3:19 pm #

    This is so beautiful! Can you hang this paper in a bathroom that gets steamy from a shower?

  5. Marie-Maguelone August 16, 2017 at 1:30 am #

    It is really a beautiful idea and the pattern is very beautiful. Bravo! I searched in France, it also exists but the grounds are less beautiful! I think using this technique for a play is interesting as a technique, because not final! Bravo, this bathroom is very beautiful!

  6. Stephanie McCraw August 15, 2017 at 10:46 am #

    I love the bold pattern! I’m wondering what your thoughts are on the brushed nickel faucet with the brass accents? Have you thought of doing a brass faucet? I’ve seen so much more brass hardware and am curious what it can mix with. Great job as always!

    • emily August 15, 2017 at 8:24 pm #

      I don’t mind the mixed metals … although in a perfect world, I would not necessarily choose this particular faucet (or vanity, for that matter).

  7. Cheryl Morris August 14, 2017 at 3:14 pm #

    Hi Emily,

    Can this wallpaper be installed on walls with texture? Just curious if your walls were smooth or had texture. I looks great and I love the idea that it is removable! She has some great print also!

    • emily August 15, 2017 at 8:25 pm #

      Our walls have a slight orange peel texture and the paper seems to be sticking just fine. I’ll keep you posted after a month or so to make sure it stays up!

      • Cheryl Morris August 19, 2017 at 6:05 am #

        Thanks Emily! Looks great!

  8. Jenn August 14, 2017 at 3:09 pm #

    I’ve wanted to use reusable wallpaper for a long time and have been fans of Chasing Paper for years! I am a pattern coward and the idea of permanent wallpaper scares me.. what if I pick the wrong one?! I am currently updating the paint and design scheme of our dining room, which in a 1940s home is more use as a passkey room between the living room and the kitchen. Suggestions on patterns that would add some interest to the room, but not be overwhelming as it’s not the largest of spaces. Or perhaps a smaller area would be a good place, I really am inspired to just go for it now! Thank you!!

  9. Keverett August 14, 2017 at 2:54 pm #

    Are your walls textured? Would it work on textured walls?

    • angela August 15, 2017 at 7:09 pm #

      the entire post i was thinking the same thing. i have textured walls and love the idea of using removable wallpaper. my concern is the wallpaper won’t adhere to textured walls the same way it does on flat walls.

      • emily August 15, 2017 at 8:23 pm #

        Our walls have a slight orangepeel texture. I would email Amy at Art of Wallpaper and ask her about your specific wall texture just to be sure.

  10. J Andrews August 14, 2017 at 2:23 pm #

    Love it! Did you have to do anything to smooth the wall before applying the wallpaper? My walls are textured – but only very lightly (a normal amount I’d guess?). When I have had wallpaper in the past, I know the walls had to be prepared.

    • emily August 15, 2017 at 8:25 pm #

      I just went right over our textured walls and it was fine.

  11. Lindsay August 14, 2017 at 2:23 pm #

    I LOVE the way this looks, Emily! Question- are your walls textured? I tried something very similar to this in our home and no matter how many times I reapplied, it kept peeling from the top down due to our (slightly) textured walls.

    • emily August 15, 2017 at 8:26 pm #

      Our walls are slightly textured as well and it seems to be sticking well. I do like the thickness and quality of this paper so it might be worth a shot!

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