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Removable Wallpaper: Everything You Need To Know Before The Install

January 16 2017

Removable Wallpaper: Everything You Need To Know Before The Install

In the past, home renovators have been easily intimidated by the task of installing wallpaper. Messy glue, misalignment, and everything in between have put people off for decades.

But in the advent of digital printing technologies, wallpaper has become easier for you to apply and install yourself, particularly when it comes to removable wallpaper.

We can’t sing the praises of removable wallpaper enough, so if you’re keen to take the reins on your next home reno, check out our ultimate guide of things you need to know before you install…

 1. Your wallpaper purpose

Before you go about buying and installing your wall coverings, it’s vital that you have thorough knowledge of what you hope to achieve with your room revamp.

An issue people have when renovating is that they don’t have a clear vision of what they want. Consider these questions:

  • What mood do you hope to imbue in the space?
  • What is your existing decor like? Does this suit the wallpaper you have in mind?
  • Will you be applying it to one wall or all the walls in the space?
  • Does the wallpaper for this space also make sense as a whole when someone walks through the house?
  • What will the wallpaper look like in different lighting?
  • Will it stand the test of time, or will you regularly update your interiors?

While these questions may seem obvious, you’d be surprised at how many home renovators don’t consider the revamp from all angles.

2. Round up your measurements

Obviously you’ll have to measure your selected walls before you order your wall covering, and while it’s good to be accurate, it’s also better to have more paper to work with.

Inevitably, mistakes will happen (don’t worry, they happen whether you’re a professional installer or a newbie) and so it’s important that you have spare to work with. Wallpaper is designed to be cut to size, so having extra can work in your favour, particularly if a store decides to discontinue a style.

3. Clean your walls

If you take one things away from this guide it should be this: always make sure that the surface of your wall is smooth and clean before application.

Dirty or uneven walls can interfere with the adhesive backing on your removable wallpaper. The wallpaper may not stick properly, or may look lumpy and uneven, which isn’t what you want when you’re going to the effort to renovate.

Any irregular surfaces, like peeling paint, need to be attended to. For example, scrape off the peeling paint and sand the surface back until it’s smooth.

It’s also worth wiping down the walls with a damp cloth to remove any dirt and dust.

4. Be wary of switches

It’s rare that you’ll find a wall in a home that’s entirely free of light or power switches, and these can be tricky when it comes to installing wall coverings.

What we recommend is removing the faceplates from the switches and outlets (as long as you’re not exposed to live wires).

You can then cut around the light switches and place the faceplates back, ensuring that you have a professional finish.

5. Plot your seams

When you’re ready to install your wallpaper, you’ll likely have more than one piece to apply. Be sure to plot out on your wall where these seams will fit together.

If you skip this step, you’ll likely misalign your pattern or texture in the middle of your wall, causing a bit of a mishap in the aesthetics department.

Always be sure to mark up where a pattern meets to ensure a professional and uniform look.

6. Use a sharp knife

This of course refers to when you’re cutting or trimming your wallpaper to size. You need to have a sharp knife so that the edges of your design don’t tear or fray or look uneven.

We always recommend testing your knife on a spare scrap of your wall covering to be sure that it does the job properly.

7. Bubbles aren’t the end of the world

We’ve all heard the horror stories of wallpaper bubbles, but the truth of the matter is: bubbles aren’t a big deal. There are bound to be a few bubbles when you’re in the process of applying your wallpaper.

However, you can smooth these out as you apply the wallpaper with your hand. If you find that they’re too big, you can simply lift your wallpaper off the wall and re-apply.


See? Not so daunting is it? With these seven things in mind, installing your removable wallpaper should be a walk in the park.

Want to tell us about your own advice or experiences? Why not share them in the comments below?