Redecorate? Here’s what to know about the tenant-friendly wallpaper – LifeSavvy

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Looking for a way to personalize your living space on a non-permanent basis? We’ve got all the tips and tricks you need to use peel and stick wallpaper for a fresh (and DIY) look.

Maybe you’re in a rented house or apartment, or maybe you’re looking to spruce up your home without making any long-term changes. The solution that works in all situations is peel and stick wallpaper. Also sometimes referred to as tenant-friendly wallpaper, this simple option makes a big impact while being easily reversible. If you’re considering it for your own home, let’s go over everything you need to know before you get started.

What is Peel and Stick Wallpaper?

As the name suggests, peel and stick wallpaper is a type of wallpaper that comes with an adhesive backing. Instead of requiring a long application process and permanent glue, these wallpapers are more like giant stickers, with a removable backing that reveals the pre-stick side of the paper.

The biggest advantage of peel and stick wallpaper is that it’s usually removable without much effort, whereas traditional wallpapers are much more difficult to remove once they’ve been applied. As a result, peel and stick wallpaper is extremely popular with people who want to spruce up their space without committing to permanent change.

It is ideal for a number of circumstances in your home, such as:

  • If you’re in a tenancy and can’t make permanent changes
  • If you want to spruce up a room but don’t want to do a major overhaul
  • If you’re not confident in your wallpapering abilities and want a more forgiving, repositionable option
  • If you want to swap out a small area, like an accent wall, more often than you could with traditional paint or wallpaper

How to Measure for Peel and Stick Wallpaper

Peel and stick wallpaper usually comes in large sheets, panels or rolls. When you’re ready to buy it, you’ll need to figure out how many units you need. While buying a little more is always a good idea in case of measurement or application errors, it’s important to be as accurate as possible in order to stay within your budget.

Point: Check with the brand of wallpaper you are buying. Some strongly recommend buying more to ensure a perfect match between pattern and stitching.

If you are working with walls that are simple rectangles or are made up of rectangular areas (such as a space around a rectangular door or window), you can use basic area calculations to get the area you want. you need.

  1. Measure the length and width of the wall and multiply them to get the area of ​​that wall.
  2. If it is a wall that has openings for doors or windows, divide the wall into smaller rectangles. For each “mini” rectangle, calculate the “width times height” area, then add them together to get the total.
  3. Once you have the sum total of square footage you need, divide that number by the square footage per unit of wallpaper. For example, if you needed 100 square feet and the rolls were sold in 25 square foot units, you would divide 100 by 25 and get 4 units. Always round up to the next whole number; never round down.
  4. Depending on individual brand recommendations, as well as the specifics of any models, you may want to buy around 20-25% more, budget permitting, to ensure you have enough for a perfect match. seams or overlap if necessary.

How to apply peel and stick wallpaper

A bucket pouring soapy water;  a smoothing tool applying black and white wallpaper
Rubbermaid/tiptopcarbon

There are two main parts to the peel and stick wallpaper application process. First, you will need to prepare the wall so that the wallpaper adheres cleanly and forms a strong bond. Next, you’ll get down to cutting and applying the wallpaper itself.

To get started, the day before wallpapering, follow these steps to prepare the wall:

  1. If the wall in question has electrical outlets and/or light switches, make sure the power is turned off in that part of the house and temporarily remove the covers.
  2. Prepare two buckets of water: one clear and one with a mild cleaning solution of 1 teaspoon of dish detergent to 1 liter of warm (not hot) water.
  3. Dip a soft cloth in the soapy solution and wipe the wall in sections.
  4. Follow with a clean, cool cloth dipped in clear water and wipe to “rinse” the walls and remove the soapy solution.
  5. Leave to dry for 24 hours.

Once you’ve prepped the wall, just follow this simple process to apply the wallpaper:

  1. Measure the width of a single piece of wallpaper.
  2. Using a pencil, lightly mark this width on the wall as a guide for the first piece.
  3. Peel off several inches of the wallpaper backing on the first piece and line it up using the edge of the wall and your pencil marks as a guide.
  4. Start at the top and press the adhesive side of the wallpaper against the top edge of the wall.
  5. Continue working down, gently peeling backing and pressing adhesive as you go.
  6. Use a plastic smoothing tool to smooth out any air bubbles below the surface.
  7. If necessary, use a utility knife to cut off any excess paper at the bottom.
  8. Repeat, matching the edges of subsequent pieces to ensure pattern matching throughout.

How to remove peel and stick wallpaper

A putty knife;  a plastic scraper in someone's hand
Amazon Basics/YUUMEA

One of the biggest benefits of peel and stick wallpaper is how easy it is to remove. This is also why it is so popular with tenants: it allows you to personalize the space while you live in it, then remove it without damage and restore the property to its original state at the time. to move.

If you’ve ever peeled off a price tag on something, you already have the basic idea of ​​how to remove peel and stick wallpaper. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Using a putty knife or similar scraper, start at a top corner and gently work the edge of the paper until it comes loose enough to grab.
  2. Pull down and at an angle, applying steady, slow pressure.
  3. Continue until the entire panel is removed.
  4. Repeat for each section.

If you come across a tough spot, don’t try to force it, it could damage the wall below. Instead, try these steps to loosen the remnants:

  1. In a spray bottle, mix a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 2 parts warm water.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Spray a small section of the remaining wallpaper and allow the solution to soak in for 10 minutes.
  4. Try to remove the wallpaper by pulling on it. Use the knife tool if necessary to start the edge, but otherwise just pull as with large sections – don’t scrape it all off.
  5. Repeat as needed.


Whether you’re renting a place or just want an uninviting change in your home, peel and stick wallpaper is one of the many home decor trends that can have a big impact on your space. All you need is a little imagination and some free time, and your home can be more personal than ever!

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