Homeowners are often searching for ways to add depth, style, and ambience to their homes. Whether it’s with lighting, wall color, fixtures and hardware, layout or windows, these factors elevate anyone’s personal aesthetic. But there’s another design element that can elevate a new home’s atmosphere in a snap: temporary wallpaper.
With this new and easy-to-use version of the old glued-on wall covering, homeowners can cycle through trends and experiment with color, texture, and pattern. In fact, wallpaper has become popular again because the temporary version is so easy to install and remove.
Whether your tastes change or you are planning renovations down the line, this product is not a huge commitment, and with all the designs on the market, you can find the perfect one to your home’s style—from cool and minimal to classic and traditional to colorful and cheeky. As with any home decor, there are advantages and disadvantages. So, we put together a detailed guide for choosing temporary wallpaper for your home.
What Is Temporary Wallpaper?
Is it like permanent wallpaper? If not, how is it different? Is it expensive? Does temporary wallpaper actually stick to a wall for long periods of time? These are very common questions homeowners ask when considering temporary wallpaper for the first time.
So, what is the difference? Temporary wallpaper — also known as removable or peel-and-stick wallpaper — looks and feels like permanent wallpaper. However, there are few key differences. Permanent wallpaper installation can be quite messy with glue or paste. Temporary wallpaper has a self-adhesive backing so the product just peels and sticks to a flat surface. The installation is literally that easy: Peel the temporary print from the protective backing to reveal the adhesive and then stick the exposed adhesive side to a flat surface.
Since the temporary wallpaper adhesive is already prepped on the sheet, removing the paper is simple and fast. And the adhesive coating is thin and light, which means it’s unlikely to cause any permanent damage to a wall, if at all. And to answer the “does temporary wallpaper actually stick?” question: Yes. Check the guidelines for the specific temporary wallpaper product you have in mind for preferred installation — but all temporary wallpapers are meant to last.
Before You Get Started
Temporary wallpaper is exciting and adds an artistic twist to any room. But there are a few points about the product you should be aware of before getting started. Temporary wallpaper is sensitive to heat and humidity, so if you’re considering it for the bathroom or a kitchen, double check the brand’s guidelines to make sure it will adhere properly. You’ll also want to hang temporary wallpaper on a clean, dry surface — one that is not textured and has not been newly painted. These products apply best on surfaces with semi-gloss, satin or premium eggshell paint.
Before diving head first into all the various temporary wallpaper products available, here are some key steps to take first:
- Determine the room or rooms where you want to hang temporary wallpaper.
- Note if any of the rooms have temperature fluctuations, like a bathroom or kitchen.
- Take accurate measurements of the walls for the temporary wallpaper.
- Create a budget for materials and installation if your contractor or builder is involved.
- Make a short list of colors, patterns, or textures to consider when making your selection.
How to Choose Temporary Wallpaper
Now it’s time for the fun process of selecting your wallpaper, whether for an entire room, an accent wall or even a decorative nook.
1. Look for a peel-and-stick paper that represents your mood. What does personal style mean to you? Browse prints and patterns that will add a little flair and unique spice to your space. Think about the atmosphere you want the wallpaper to amplify and get inspired from there. Whether it’s serene, warm, calming or playful, there’s a wallpaper style to fit.
2. It’s OK to stay in your comfort zone. While there are many bold, colorful and vibrant styles available, it’s totally fine to use temporary wallpaper as an existing extension of the existing aesthetics in your home. Take a good look at the layout and expression of your new home and look for colors or patterns in the same tone. You’re playing off an existing motif, but teasing out the sentiment to another level that’s sweet and safe.
3. It’s also great to take a big risk. Since temporary wallpaper can be easily replaced, it’s also a good time to go bold or outside of your usual style profile. Why not choose something of the moment? Look for designs that are bold, bright, inviting and vibrant. The worst thing that happens is you change the removable wallpaper!
4. Take light into consideration. When looking for the right product for your home, take into consideration installed lighting and natural light sources. Lighting has a big impact with color and reflection, and wallpaper is no exception in this realm. Light can reflect color and highlight depth and details too.
5. Be mindful of temperature and weather. As mentioned earlier, temperature can have a huge influence on the paper you select. Depending on the climate you live in or the room’s purpose, double check any wallpaper option to make sure it can withstand humidity (e.g., from a hot shower) or hold up against the test of time during heat or air conditioner usage.
Stephanie Valente is a Content Director and Editor in Brooklyn, NY. She’s previously held writing and social media positions at Barkbox, Men’s Journal, and currently works at a full-service advertising agency. She’s a self-confessed home and design enthusiast. Stephanie is an award-winning poet and fiction writer. When she’s offline, you can finding her taking a yoga class, running, hanging out with her rescue dog Pepper. Find her on stephanievalente.com.