Learn Everything you need to know to use Peel and Stick Wallpaper to instantly refresh your home!
Hello Friends, and welcome back to our blog! If you’re new here, we are Jodie and Julie, the twin sister blogging team. We love sharing budget home decor, DIY projects and the ins and outs of Instagram. We are so glad you’re here.
Before you dive into this hot decor trend, we bet you have a few questions. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Between Jodie and I have become experts over the past few years. We’ve tested out six different brands of peel and stick wallpaper. We put wallpaper all over our houses on all kinds of surfaces. We’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. Don’t worry, after you’ve read this post you won’t make any mistakes. We’ve made them all already, so you can learn from us and not waste any time, money, or wallpaper.
Jodie and I are huge fans of peel and stick wallpaper and we can’t wait to show you how easy it is to transform your home with this new alternative to traditional wallpaper.
What is Peel and Stick Wallpaper?
Peel and stick wallpaper is just what the name implies: paper this is applied by peeling the backing off and adhering to the wall (like contact paper). It is a convenient alternative to traditional paste wallpaper.
Peel and stick’s easy, hassle-free application and removal makes it oh-so-attractive. Peel and stick wallpaper makes it possible to transform your walls in an afternoon. The temporary aspect of peel and stick makes sense for seasonal wallpaper or if you love change like Jodie and I do. If you don’t absolutely LOVE the result, you can easily take it down without damaging the walls underneath or leaving behind a sticky residue.
Benefits of Peel and Stick Wallpaper
Peel and stick wallpaper comes with built-in adhesive, which saves the time and mess of putting the paste onto your walls.
It’s also ideal for renters, college-students. The ease of application and removal make it the perfect choice. Now, you can refresh any space in your home while saving time, money and wallpaper-related heartache. Let’s get into the more nitty-gritty regarding how to best use peel and stick.
How to Apply Peel and Stick Wallpaper
- Make sure your rolls match and are the exact pattern and style you ordered. To do this, check the pattern and batch numbers match on each roll.
- Check for any damage or misprints on your wallpaper.
- Gather your tools. You will need:
- utility knife
- plastic wallpaper smoother
- step stool or ladder
- tape measure
- Choose a smooth surface. Be wary of textured walls.
- Let the wallpaper acclimate in the room for at least 48 hours.
- Clean your surface with warm water to remove any dirt, debris or dust. Allow to dry completely.
- Using a level, draw a straight vertical line 20 inches from the left side of the wall. This is where your first panel of wallpaper will go, so accuracy is important.
- When you’re ready to start applying, peel 12 inches of the backing away and place the strip at the top of your wall. Leave about half an inch of extra wallpaper at the top overlapping with the ceiling. This ensures an easier and more reliable application. You can remove excess wallpaper with an X-ACTO knife at the end.
- Begin slowly rolling out the panel as you approach the bottom of the wall, pressing towards the straight vertical line to the right. As you go, press firmly into the wall (from the center outwards) to smooth out any air bubbles. You can use your hands for this, but I highly recommend using a plastic smoother.
- Repeat steps 8-9 for the remaining strips, making sure to overlap the next strips by 1/3- 1/2 inch, matching the pattern and length to the previous strip. The wallpaper may shrink, so if the strips are not overlapped, a gap will appear.
For more info on how to master the application process, check out Amber Oliver’s blog.
How Much Do You Need?
Calculating how much you need is tricky. Some companies have online help or site calculators that can assist you with estimating.
We like to follow this simple rule of thumb: It’s always better to have too much than not enough. You don’t want to get towards the end of your project and have less than you need to complete the wall.
- Before ordering your peel and stick wallpaper, measure out the entire space.
- Don’t forget to allow for extra on the top and extra on the bottom to be trimmed off after you hang each piece.
- And, allow for extra so that you can match up the pattern. This isn’t a huge deal if you have a small repeating pattern. However, if you have a pattern that repeats on a larger scale you will have to allow for more.
Don’t compare the square footage you want to cover with the square footage of the wallpaper. This doesn’t take into consideration all of the factors that are involved in understanding how much you will need.
Factors to Keep in Mind
You need to measure the height of your walls and the width of the space you want to cover. Then you will want to take a look at the width of the wallpaper roll. For example, if my wall is 8′ tall by 4′ wide (96″ tall by 48″ wide) I will need to figure out how many strips I can get per roll of 18′ (216″). How many times does 96″ go in to 216″ evenly?
It’s important to take my crown and baseboard molding into account. I have no crown molding, but my baseboard molding is about 5″ so that is enough to allow for extra at the top and extra at the bottom that I need. You can use the height of the wall to measure. Adjust if your molding is more or less. When I divide 216 by 96, I find that I can get 2.25 strips on my wall per roll. This means I can complete two full strips (floor to ceiling) with some left over.
More is Better
Next, I need to find out how many 20.5″ strips do I need to cover my wall which is 48″ wide? I divide 48 by 20 (.5″ is needed for overlap). The answer I come up with is that I need 2.4 20″ rolls to cover the 4′ wall. This means that I need 2 rolls because I can’t get 3 strips out of one roll.
If you have windows, doors or other things you can allow for those as well. What’s good to know is that you don’t have to be exact. Taking these measurements will help you get enough wallpaper without running out and will hopefully allow for a few mistakes too.
When ordering your peel and stick you always want to err on the side of caution and order more. Especially if this is your first peel and stick project you will want to allow for some mistakes. I definitely made my fair share. You can always return the unused rolls but ordering separate rolls may mean that you end up with wallpaper from different batches. Different lots or batches don’t always match up identically.
Peel and Stick Wallpaper for Backsplash
Peel and stick is great for adding a little pattern, color or allusion of texture to any room, even the kitchen. You can easily use peel and stick wallpaper as your kitchen backsplash, like I did in my kitchen. I used a subway tile wallpaper for my backsplash, and it turned out amazingly.
I applied it over my granite slab backsplash. It’s the ideal surface because it’s perfectly smooth. It has been up for years and hasn’t moved a bit. I got the look of a remodel without the remodel. I put it up myself in a few hours. The hardest part was just getting it straight.
The vinyl is so easy to clean. When my boys splash grease or tomato sauce a simple wipe and it’s good as new.
I also love this relatively inexpensive way to “try out” a look. When the peel & stick subway tile went up, I knew that it was a great look if I wanted to replace with real subway tile.
Peel and Stick FAQ’s:
If peel and stick wallpaper seems too good to be true and you’re still not sure if it will work for YOUR particular project take a look at the frequently asked questions below. Since Jodie and I have been sharing our projects over on Instagram for several years, I think we have heard almost every question in the book on this topic. And if you don’t see your question answered please ask us in the comment section at the end of the post. We’d love to help you!
Q: How Much Does Peel and Stick Wallpaper Cost?
A: The brands we have used and have researched range from $27.28 per roll to $34.99 per roll, a roll covering about 28 square feet.
Q: Is it More Expensive Than Regular Wallpaper?
A: No, peel and stick wallpaper that we have found is actually much less expensive than most regular pasted wallpaper. For example, Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines sells for $79.99 to $95.99/roll, a roll covering about 56 square feet. This is a larger (double) roll but it costs approximately 30-50% more.
Q: What are Your Favorite Brands?
A: Our favorite brands are Tempaper & Devine Color by Valspar which we have both used and are both linked in our shop. We also love NuPaper and Wallpops which Julie has used and are both linked in our shop.
Q: Do you Have to Prep the Walls Beforehand?
A: No, not much. Just make sure they are clean. Going over with a damp cloth to remove dust or dirt is all it takes. Be sure to allow your walls to dry completely.
Q: Do You Have to Overlap the Seams?
A: Yes, it’s a good idea to overlap the seams by 1/3 – 1/2 inch to allow for imperfect angles and some amount of shrinkage in order to avoid any gaps forming.
Q: Can Peel and Stick Wallpaper Be Reused?
A: No, it can’t be reused. However, if you need to take it off and realign you can successfully do so.
Q: Can Peel and Stick Wallpaper Be Used in Bathrooms?
A: Unfortunately, peel and stick wallpaper is not recommended for places with humidity, like bathrooms. If your bathroom has a shower or tub it is not recommended. However, if you have a powder bath without a shower or tub it should be fine.
We recommend getting creative for your bathrooms. We shared an easy, inexpensive DIY painted wall treatment in this post. Be sure to check it out for your next room makeover.
Q: Can You Put Peel and Stick Wallpaper Over Textured Walls?
A: Peel and stick wallpaper and textured walls are not a good combination. It depends on how textured they are. It also depends on the brand, as we have had different experiences with different brands. Textured walls are not the ideal surface for peel and stick wallpaper, but it can be done.
To be honest, both of us have done it. If it starts to come down, it’s very upsetting. It’s time and money wasted. I put it up in my daughter’s bedroom and thought it was fine. I went on a trip and came back and a third of the wall was hanging down. Tape didn’t help. I finally fixed it by redoing the pieces that had come down and adding two thumbtacks. No one can see. Obviously, it’s not ideal, but it worked.
Q: Can You Put Peel and Stick Wallpaper Over Paneling?
A: You can put peel and stick over paneling. But again, like textured walls, it won’t be ideal. There are bumps and grooves that are going to be harder to work with than a perfectly smooth wall. You will see these grooves and it could inhibit the paper from staying up.
Q: Does Peel and Stick Wallpaper Damage Paneling If You Want to Take it Down?
A: No. Even though peel and stick wallpaper will adhere very well to paneling it doesn’t leave any residue or damage paneling in any way when removed.
Q: Does Peel and Stick Wallpaper Remove Paint on Walls?
A: No, peel and stick wallpaper won’t damage the paint on your walls. The only time you might see damage to the paint on your walls is if the paint was in bad condition and chipping/peeling before you put the peel and stick wallpaper up.
Q: Can You Apply on Top of Existing Wallpaper?
A: It depends. If the existing wallpaper is in good condition you can. The wallpaper needs to provide a smooth surface. It also needs to be securely attached. The new peel and stick paper will obviously come down if the existing paper is coming down.
Q: Can You Put Peel and Stick Wallpaper Over Granite?
A: The answer is, yes, you can. Smooth surfaces are ideal for peel and stick paper, especially if it is a slab and not tiles.
I put white brick peel and stick wallpaper over my existing black granite fireplace surround, and it was one of the best design decisions I’ve made thus far. I also used peel and stick paper on top of my granite backsplash and years later it still looks perfect.
Q: Can Peel and Stick Wallpaper Be Near Heat?
A: Most manufacturers won’t guarantee the life of the product if placed near heat. But it is safe to use near heat. From my own experience, it lasts wonderfully around my fireplace and around my stove. It’s been several years, and I haven’t seen any peeling or bubbling or any negative effects from heat.
Q: What if I Put it Up and it’s Not Straight? Can I Take it Down and Try Again?
A: Yes. You can easily take it down, realign and place it on again. It will not lose its stickiness. Just be careful handling the wallpaper as you take it off the wall. You want to make sure it doesn’t fold over onto itself and stick to itself.
If the sticky sides come in contact with one another it is nearly impossible to get it unstuck. My advice is to get an extra set of hands to help if you need to take a piece off to realign.
Q: Does Peel and Stick Wallpaper Damage Walls?
A: No, as long as the wall is in good condition it will not damage your wall. The only exception to this is if the structure of the wall is not in very good shape to begin with. (i.e., you put the peel and stick wallpaper over bare drywall or walls that are not primed and painted evenly.
Q: Does Peel and Stick Wallpaper Leave Behind Any Sticky Residue?
A: No, peel and stick wallpaper doesn’t leave behind any residue.
Q: How Do I Get Rid of Air Bubbles?
A: If you have tried smoothing with your hand and/or a plastic putty knife and you still see bubbles try using a pin and poking a very small hole in the center of the bubble. This will release the air and then you can smooth it out.
Q: Is Peel and Stick Wallpaper Easy to Remove?
A: Yes, it is extremely easy to remove. Just pull from either the top or bottom and it will come right off. It only takes a few minutes and you’re done!
Q: Is Peel and Stick Wallpaper recommended for use in rental apartment and homes?
A: Yes, peel and stick wallpaper is the perfect solution to use as a temporary update in rental homes and apartments because it is easy to put up, relatively inexpensive, easy to remove, and doesn’t damage walls or surfaces.
As you can tell, Jodie and I are big fans of peel and stick wallpaper. It’s affordable. It’s fast. It makes a huge impact on a space. And it can be easily changed out. What’s not to love?
You could say we’re slightly obsessed. We’re not denying it.
We hope this information was helpful and made you confident to tackle your next peel and stick project.
Let us know if you have any additional questions in the comments. We are here to help, so please don’t feel hesitant to ask.
Now, you should be ready to conquer your own peel and stick projects. Tag us on Instagram to show us your completed projects or rooms.
For more easy, DIY projects, check out our peel and stick barn wood wall transformation.