How To Install Removable Wallpaper

Like shoulder pads, parachute pants, and denim jackets, wallpaper is back in style! It’s time to learn how to install removable wallpaper, because this is the perfect way to incorporate trendy patterns and colors without any long-term commitment. So many are hesitant to try trendy options in their homes, because they don’t want to spend time and money on something knowing that you’ll want to change it in a few years. Peel and stick wallpaper eliminates those concerns!

removable wallpaper

Removable wallpaper is REMOVABLE! There’s no drywall to patch, paint to touch up, just pull it down and your wall looks the same as it did pre-wallpaper. It’s the perfect way to jump on board with whatever trend you’re loving with minimal commitment. Whether it’s shiplap, florals, brick, vintage, or modern patterns like ours, there is a peel and stick wallpaper out there for you. Also, renters, this project is PERFECT for adding so much life and personality to an otherwise bland and beige rental.

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How to Install Removable Wallpaper

Supplies needed:

Step 1: Prepare the walls

Wash the walls with TSP to remove oil and dirt. Wipe the walls with a clean, wet rag to remove any TSP residue and allow the walls to fully dry. This will create the proper surface for your peel and stick wallpaper to adhere to.

Step 2: Hang your first sheet of removable wallpaper


If you were wondering how to install removable wallpaper, we recommend starting in a less visible corner of the room, so you’re a pro by the time you get to the focal points. Use a laser level or a level and pencil to draw a plumb line on the wall. Unroll your removable wallpaper and peel off the first 4″ – 6″ of plastic backing. Line up your wallpaper with the line and so you have a couple of extra inches of paper on the ceiling and sidewall. This will make sure you have enough paper to make it down the wall, even if the wall next to the paper isn’t straight. 

Starting at the very top, use your smoother to push all the air bubbles to the sides of the paper where they can escape. Take time to make sure the paper is adhered at the corners and along the top edge. Slowly peel off a few inches of the backing at a time, smoothing down and out to remove air bubbles. Repeat that process until you get to the bottom of your wall. Cut the removable wallpaper off of the roll, leaving plenty extra to trim off at the end.

Step 3: Hang the other sheets of wallpaper


Look on your wallpaper box to see how often your pattern repeats or just eyeball it until it looks like the pattern matches. Peel off 4″ – 6″ of backing. Overlapping the first sheet of wallpaper by ½” and the ceiling by several inches, stick the removable wallpaper to the wall and smooth down the corners, top edge, and any air bubbles. Working slowly, peel another 6″ of backing and smooth the air bubbles down and out. Repeat until you reach the bottom of the wall. Cut the wallpaper off the roll, leaving plenty extra to trim off at the end. Repeat until the wall is covered.

Step 4: Trim the wallpaper


Starting on the baseboard, place your smoother flush against the baseboard and the wall. This will be your guide to make sure your blade doesn’t cut too high. Take your utility knife with a fresh blade and place it against the plastic smoother. Slowly run the smoother and your knife along the entire baseboard until the paper is all trimmed. Repeat these steps for the ceiling. If you’re only installing wallpaper on one wall, you’ll also need to do this on the sides. 

That’s it! If you have any questions, scroll down to read our FAQ. If you’re ready to start putting up removable wallpaper, tag us in your photos on Facebook and Instagram (@thebuildits) so we can see your gorgeous peel and stick wallpaper installations!

peel and stick wallpaper bathroom


Is removable wallpaper easy to install?

Yes! If you can peel a sticker, you can install removable wallpaper. A second person does make the application go quicker, but it definitely isn’t necessary. We took turns flip-flopping between caring for the kids and hanging wallpaper and it was still pretty easy. 

Is removable wallpaper actually removable?

Yes! If you’re renting, this is the perfect project to personalize your space, because you can install removable wallpaper without damaging your walls. Plus, it’ll only take 5 minutes to remove when you move out. Just peel up a corner and the whole sheet quickly comes down. 

How do you prepare walls for peel and stick wallpaper?

Wash the walls with TSP to remove oil and dirt. Then, wipe them down with a clean, wet rag. Let the walls dry completely and start installing removable wallpaper.

Can I use peel and stick wallpaper in a bathroom?

Yes! The thick, vinyl material allows water and steam to run right off without damage. We’ve had peel and stick wallpaper in our tiny bathroom with poor circulation for 10 months without any peeling or damage. 

Does peel and stick wallpaper take off paint?

Most of the time, no. If you have a freshly painted surface, it’s recommended to wait 30 days or whatever the full cure time is for your paint. Once the paint is cured, the wallpaper will not take off paint when you remove it. 

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