These five tips to hang removable wallpaper are essential to read before you begin the project. I also detail how to avoid one big mistake!
Wallpaper is back baby!
The go-to décor option of every domestic Goddess of the seventies is back with a vengeance.
But unlike its impossible to remove ancestors, this generation of wallpaper includes a wealth of wall friendly options, including one penultimate choice: removable wallpaper.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit that I think wallpaper is in my DNA.
My mother covered almost every wall of our home in 1980 with prints, chintz, grass cloth and more. It was spectacular.
Until it wasn’t …
And then it was a nightmare to remove when we renovated her house for sale.
Despite that trauma, I found myself drifting toward using wallpaper when I began thinking about renovating my home office.
As I began my search, I realized removable wallpaper is everywhere these days and is a great option for accent walls, the back of bookcases or any other spot you want to highlight with an amazing print.
And I was drawn to that one magic word: removable!
Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself it’s this …
Unlike my mother, who would redecorate the house once every two or three decades, I like to frequently change my home’s décor. And my generation’s love of painted walls has made that relatively simple.
So removable wallpaper seemed like an obvious and attractive choice.
Or was it?
Here are five tips to hang removable wallpaper that I learned and that you should consider, before starting this project.
And you’ll also discover how to avoid one really big, really important mistake that I made:
1. DECIDE IF YOU WANT TO PAPER AN ACCENT WALL OR THE WHOLE ROOM
Today’s wallpapers are full of rich patterns and bold colors that can really add impact to your home’s décor. Geometric shapes, bold florals, tropical prints, abstract botanicals, textured grass cloths … the possibilities are truly endless.
But some of today’s design forward wall coverings can also be a bit overwhelming, especially in large doses, so you may not want to hang it on every wall of the room.
At the onset of the project, you need to determine if your chosen pattern should be hung on every wall of the room or simply one accent wall.
As with many things in interior design (or any design for that matter), sometimes less is more!
This is especially true with wallpaper.
For my office renovation project, I determined one accent wall was all I needed to make a big impact.
And when you’re choosing which wall to accent, I recommend picking a wall that is contiguous without any door or window cutouts.
It will make the project much, much easier.
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2. CHOOSE A DESIGN THAT FITS YOUR OVERALL VISION OF YOUR ROOM
For my office renovation, I wanted to create a tranquil room that was feminine and cozy. I envisioned a space that I was as comfortable crafting in, as I was working in.
And I selfishly wanted it to look good on Zoom calls. Because, let’s be honest, that’s a real thing these days. And it’s likely here to stay!
My previous space (pictured above) was dated, really cold and not very inviting. The blues and blacks had to go! The room was completely devoid of personality … or at least my personality.
Truth be told, my home office had always been an afterthought. I hadn’t really paid any attention to it since we’ve moved into our home. Because it was housed in an upstairs bedroom, it was kind of a case of “out of sight, out of mind.” The kindest thing I can say about the space is that it was functional.
But that was about to change …
My first decision was to add an accent wall of printed floral removable wallpaper to set the tone I desired. The colors within the pattern would influence and dictate the design palette of the rest of the room.
Shortly into my search for the perfect choice of removable wall covering, I found Spoonflower.
Have you discovered Spoonflower, yet? If you haven’t, you need to!
Not only do they embrace eco-friendly practices and sustainable materials, they connect you with independent designers and artists to purchase completely unique wall coverings, fabrics, table linens, home decor and more! I simply adore this brand!
I narrowed down my selection to two patterns (both by artist Crystal Walen) and ordered a sample of each:
Sierra Floral – a fun, whimsical floral pattern with pleasing pinks, sage green and classic navy blue, shown on the left.
Genevieve Floral – a big, bold floral pattern with rich pinks, traditional blues, shades of gray and warm golds, which is on the right.
Next I placed each of the samples on the wall and pondered. And pondered. And then I thought about it some more … I really loved both of them but knew each would give my office a totally different vibe.
I even put it to a vote of my friends on social media. Come to find out they were also split!
In the end, I went with Sierra Floral. Since my office isn’t a huge room, I thought the smaller pattern would suit it best.
When it came to measuring the wall, Spoonflower made it easy to with their online wallpaper calculator. Because, you’ll want to make sure you order the right amount of wallpaper and figuring out the proper amount is a bit tricky, you’ll want to use their calculator.
(Side note: Crystal Walen sent me a thank you note for my order! I was so happy to support this phenomenal artist and her work!)
3. DETERMINE IF YOU HAVE THE SKILLS NEEDED TO PROPERLY HANG REMOVABLE WALLPAPER
A lot of people ask, “is it difficult to hang removable wallpaper?” And the answer truly is, it depends.
Are you good at measuring, matching patterns and making sure things are smooth? Somewhat similar to wrapping a package?
Then wallpapering will probably come easily to you.
If those skills are not your jam, you’ll likely find the project to be problematic.
And even if you choose removable wallpaper, you’ll still want it to hang for at least a year or two. Because, yes it’s removable, but it’s also somewhat permanent. So it needs to look like a professional completed the job.
If you don’t have the chops for this, don’t sweat it. There are lots of professional paper hangers that can help you out! You can probably find some great leads on your local Facebook marketplace.
The awesome thing about the removable wallpaper I used from Spoonflower, is the sheets were pre-cut.
This made matching the pattern much less complicated. In addition, it guaranteed the top edge of the sheet was perfectly straight which literally got us headed in the right direction.
Their system made it really easy (or as easy as it could be!) to hang the removable wallpaper.
Since I was only doing an accent wall, I painted the other three walls of the room and let them cure, prior to starting the project. You’ll want to edge a bit of the paint onto the accent wall, since most houses aren’t 100 percent plumb!
I absolutely ADORE the paint I chose! It’s Sherwin Williams Comical Coral! And it’s just PERFECT! I pulled the color out of the wallpaper pattern to create a cohesive, well-balanced room design.
4. RECRUIT A BUDDY TO HELP YOU HANG REMOVABLE WALLPAPER
You will also likely want another person to help you, since the sheets of wallpaper will be at least eight feet in length and they can be a bit tricky to handle.
Because the last thing you want to happen is for the sheet to wind up sticking to itself and becoming unusable.
Also, the most important part of the entire papering project is to ensure the pattern is aligned and the sheets hang straight, without any bubbles or wrinkles.
So it really requires two sets of hands. That’s four hands total. LOL! Of course, I recruited Matt.
GATHER THE TOOLS YOU WILL NEED …
You’ll also want to gather several basic tools you’ll need for this project. These include:
A set square – this is a ruler with a right angle. It will ensure you keep the pattern straight, as well as act as a straight edge when you need to trim excess paper.
Wallpaper smoothing tool – this $5 tool is ESSENTIAL to ensure you won’t get bubbles and wrinkles in your paper as you apply it to the wall.
Sharp pair of scissors – these are helpful to cut the wallpaper into more manageable pieces when you are hanging it.
An Xacto knife or box cutter with a sharp blade – this will allow you to cut a perfectly neat edge at the bottom of the sheet, after the wallpaper has been adhered to the wall.
5. DETERMINE WHAT TYPE OF PAINT IS ON THE WALL YOU’RE TRANSFORMING!
This is THE most important of the tips to hang removable wallpaper! So pay close attention …
Walls with flat paint, matte paint, or scrubbable paint, as well as textured walls are not good candidates for removable wallpaper. In fact, they are horrible options. Like tragically horrible!
Repeat after me, walls with flat paint, matte paint, scrubbable paint, and textured walls are not good candidates for removable wallpaper.
Unfortunately I didn’t know this fact before embarking on this project and recruiting Matt to help me on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. One on which he’d much rather have been playing golf.
Oopsie. Love you babe!
Because our completed project looked perfect when we finished that Sunday afternoon!
And then …
Wednesday morning (before I even had a chance to even hang a single picture on the wall), the wallpaper came tumbling down. Or it may have been Tuesday night … I’m not sure.
Regardless, all I know is that I was shocked and saddened when I peeked in my office before my morning coffee.
This is what my formerly beautiful wall looked like on that fateful morning …
This is not what I mean when I say “Make Every Day an Event!” LOL.
I was THIS CLOSE to being done with this project!!!
So I took a deep breath and called the customer service line at Spoonflower.
And they could not have been more terrific!
Spoonflower gave me a credit and explained that I likely needed a different substrate (type of wallpaper) for my specific wall.
I was very grateful for their helpful customer service.
My new wallpaper arrived quickly and my office renovation was back on track.
It was just a bit delayed!
Did you find these tips to hang removable wallpaper useful?
Share your project photos on Instagram with the hashtag #makeeverydayanevent and tag @makeeverydayanevent.
If you like this blog, be sure to check out these other decorating ideas:
10 Ways to Transform Your Bathroom into a Spa This Afternoon
How to Transform Your Home Office Into a Space You’ll Love
DIY Cachepots are an Easy and Adorable Outdoor Centerpiece
If you have any questions or suggestions, contact us or leave a comment!
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Terri Price says
Just saw your article in WD 3/22
I am also an Ovarian cancer patient in active chemo. Also, an event planner and crafter😍
Will love following you !
I too find joy in these things to help me in my treatment journey . Thank you for sharing your story!
OMG Terri! Thanks for reaching out! We are definitely kindred spirits!
I’m thinking about doing removable wall paper. I have walls like the ones you described. What type of wallpaper did they replace yours with?
They replaced my removable wallpaper with traditional substrate wallpaper. And it looks great!