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Last fall, I tackled the kids bathroom. Nothing major, but a big time refresh. I painted the vanity, brought in new lights, and added the icing on the cake: wallpaper. I LOVE wallpaper. It brings in pattern and depth and fun. I especially love wallpaper in a smaller space like a bathroom.
Disclosure: I reached out to WallsNeedLove and they were generous enough to send me their Waves of Chic removable paper. I’ve wallpapered a few other times (like here) and there’s definitely a learning curve, but this was my first time trying the removable/ peel and stick style wallpaper.
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How to Install Removable Peel and Stick Wallpaper
The process for a peel and stick is basically the same as regular wallpaper. You need the following supplies (affiliate links included):
- box of razor blades
- metal ruler/ carpenter’s square
- scissors (I love my fancy gold ones!)
- step ladder (I have an ultra-lightweight one similar to this and I love it!)
- sturdy piece of felt (included) to smooth out paper (this might work too!)
Step 1. Mark a guideline
Start in the least obvious corner of the room. Measure the width of your wallpaper. Draw a vertical line away from your corner slightly less than this measurement. (I.e. If your wallpaper is 24″ wide, draw this line 23″ away from the corner to allow for a 1″ to overlap that corner.) Use your level to ensure this line is dead straight.
Using scissors, cut the first strip a few inches longer than the length of the wall to allow for some overlap on the top and bottom edge.
Step 2. Adhere the First strip of paper
Peel back six inches of backing and align your paper with your guide line. Carefully smooth down the paper, removing the backing as you go. Make sure the edge is lined up with your pencil line the entire length. Continue to smooth out your paper moving from the inside of the paper towards the edges, ‘pulling’ the air bubbles with you as you go.
Tip: for any stubborn air bubbles, make a small incision with your blade and smooth over with the felt.
Step 3. Trim the edges.
Place your ruler against the ceiling edge or molding edge and, holding your sharp blade against the ruler, slowly run the blade along the edge. A SHARP blade is super important. I ultimately used one blade for every 3-5 cuts.
Step 4. Repeat!
Line up the edges and overlap the next strip the tiniest bit. Smooth towards the edges as before and feel free to lift your paper up from the wall to realign as needed.
Doors and windows are always the challenge with wallpaper. I’m NO expert, but what worked best for me was to trim away as much of the excess paper as I could and then make release cuts into the corners. But there was definitely some cursing involved at times.
I realize that these instructions don’t seem all that extensive, but… that’s kind of the deal with wallpaper. The How-To is pretty basic! Smooth out the wallpaper onto the wall one strip at a time making sure each strip is dead straight. Repeat. No question it sounds MUCH easier than it is the first few times, but it truly isn’t hard. It just takes a little patience and a little practice!
The question I get asked the most is which one is better… So here’s my unscientific comparison of removable wallpaper vs. pasted/ traditional paper:
Ultimately, you apply both papers the same.
• Removable paper is CLEANER to apply… no drips, no sponge, no paste. No water bath or pasting table is required.
• Removable paper doesn’t require nearly as much space to apply. No table or large flat surface is needed to handle the paper
Note: There were some spots in our bathroom in which the removable paper actually peeled off the drywall in places so I wouldn’t bet your security deposit on the ‘removability’ of the paper, but in general… yes… it was repositionable.
But… traditional wallpaper is quite a bit more FORGIVING. The paste allows you slide the paper around on the wall to line it up, whereas the removable paper… sticks.
Verdict: IF you have the space required to apply traditional wallpaper (table, soak tub, etc.) I give it a slight edge.
Comparable. And with any design project, the cost will depend on the brand and the pattern.
I’ve only used removable wallpaper once and I LOVED the pattern I chose. I can’t tell if this pattern/ paper is the norm for removable wallpaper or not, but it has more of a pixelated quality than a screenprinted quality if that makes sense. I also noticed in one small spot where I got a little dirt on the paper, the color smudged ever so slightly when I went to scrub the mark off.
Verdict: Quality felt the slightest bit different with the removable wallpaper, but… I would DEFinitely use it again if I liked the color and the pattern. In other words, whatever miniscule difference there might be in the printing process of removable wallpaper versus traditional wallpaper… it wasn’t enough to deter me even a little bit. I LOVE this paper.
Ultimately I’m going to choose a paper that fits my scheme for the space. Period. BUT… if there was ever a situation in which the same pattern was available in both removable AND traditional pasted paper, I’d probably choose the pasted. No question it takes a little more prep work and a little more space to install, but… the ability to slide the paper around in order to line up the seems is worth the extra prep/ clean up required! (The one exception might be a small space like an accent wall. Removable might get the edge so I didn’t have to set up a whole wallpaper station.)
Please leave me any questions or comments! I’d be curious to know what your experience is with removable wallpaper!
Lastly… SHAMELESS begging… I won’t go into the details, but I’ve had to start a new YouTube channel in order to hopefully be At Charlotte’s House over there too! IF you were so inclined… I’d love you to click over and SUBSCRIBE! I’m trying to do more and more over there!