Perfect for an accent wall or a room with a more playful design, removable wallpaper is a low-effort, high-impact means of updating a home’s look. Whether the shopper is a renter or someone who simply likes to switch up their room’s color scheme or style frequently, the best peel-and-stick wallpaper is easy to install as a weekend DIY project. We put our top picks to the test, applying, reapplying, removing, and seeing how they held up to humidity and common stains.
For anyone who has dealt with soaking and pasting traditional wallpaper, peel-and-stick versions will seem like a breeze to hang. The reusable panels have a self-adhesive backing that can easily be applied—and later, removed—without any scraping or leftover residue. These options don’t require paste or a roller brush to apply, either, which makes them much neater to handle than more permanent wall coverings.
There is removable wallpaper available to suit every design preference. To find the best peel-and-stick options for the home, it’s important to learn more about the types of peel-and-stick wallpaper and the features to look for. Shoppers will want to note the various styles and types of paper available, as well as the product’s washability, moisture and fire resistance, and overall environmental impact.
●Rolls: Like traditional wallpaper, some removable wallpaper options are sold in single or double rolls. Because they are printed in larger quantities, they are typically less expensive. It’s important to measure carefully, however, to avoid having too much or too little paper in the end.
●Panels: Many peel-and-stick wall coverings are panels that are meant to be hung side by side. A standard-size panel measures about 2 feet wide by 4, 8, or 12 feet long. For those who are looking to cover a small area or accent wall, purchasing just one or two panels makes the update affordable.
●Mural rolls: Mural peel-and-stick wallpaper will come in one large piece or a group of panels that, when hung together, create a single large image or scene. Some companies will even print custom-size murals for shoppers.
●Custom peel-and-stick: Creative DIYers may want to try their hand at custom wallpaper, which allows the designer to use photos, images, or text to create personalized peel-and-stick paper.
Cleaning wallpaper can be as simple as wiping with a damp cloth or even dusting gently. Many affordable peel-and-stick options are made of vinyl, which is easy to wipe clean. Vinyl can be scrubbed without users worrying about damaging the surface. Though convenient, vinyl wallpaper’s ingredients and manufacturing process is less environmentally friendly than other wallpaper options.Woven polyester is another material commonly used to make removable wall coverings. It requires nothing more than light dusting or vacuuming to maintain.
The biggest complaint about peel-and-stick wallpaper is its potential for peeling off prematurely. Peeling certainly happens, particularly in high-moisture areas such as the bathroom. Traditional cellulose-based wallpaper isn’t made to fend off water, making it possible for moisture to seep through and damage the paper or even cause mold to build up. Shoppers looking to decorate a high-humidity space with peel-and-stick wallpaper are advised to seek out wallpapers that have some water resistance. For wet areas, vinyl wallpaper is typically the most resilient.
There are advantages and disadvantages to fire retardants in wallpapers. Wallpaper is inherently flammable due to its makeup, so the obvious benefit to retardants is the extra protection against the spread of house fires. Some chemicals used in the fire-retardant coating are toxic. Traditional brominated flame retardants (BFRs), for example, are known to have harmful effects on human health. Newer products may use intumescent flame retardant, which has been found to be less harmful and more eco-friendly. Products labeled with a GreenGuard certification indicate lower chemical emissions.
Some removable wallpaper can be reused in different parts of the home, making it somewhat more eco-friendly than traditional wall coverings. Many peel-and-stick wallpaper manufacturers have taken additional measures to lower their environmental impact, including using natural water-based inks and sustainable materials.Shoppers also may not realize that wallpaper can potentially emit toxic chemicals into the home. While vinyl papers are conveniently washable, they are made with a plastic chemical called PVC (polyvinyl chloride), making them less environmentally friendly. Many of these wall coverings have been found to emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), reducing air quality in the home. Shoppers who are concerned about indoor air quality may want to consider products with a GreenGuard certification, which, as mentioned above, indicates the use of eco-friendly materials and low chemical emissions.
Textured wallpapers, such as those with a natural weave or damask pattern, can add dimension and drama to a space. For decorators who want to create this look without the hassle of installing permanent wallpaper, peel-and-stick selections that have the appearance of brick, shiplap, velvet, or grass cloth might do the job. Unlike traditional wall coverings, most of these selections look textured but are actually smooth to the touch, or they have just a slightly raised pattern.
Wallpaper adds whimsy, texture, and color to bland spaces. Peel-and-stick options provide the perfect opportunity for a low-commitment, high-impact home update. Available in many different patterns and colors to suit both modern and traditional tastes, popular wallpaper designs include floral, retro, graphic, geometric, and tropical patterns. Larger patterns and murals will work well on an accent wall, while more subtle designs such as grass cloth can lend a sophisticated, finished look to a space.