So you’re considering wallpaper for a home refresh. Wallpaper is suddenly everywhere and the choices seem endless. Sometimes, the process itself can feel overwhelming. We’ve compiled a handy list of important points to consider before making your wallpaper purchase.
1. Paid Installer or DIY?
How handy are you? Will you be hanging the wallpaper yourself or hiring a professional installer? In general, peel and stick is easier than unpasted to install as a DIY project, since it requires minimal prep work and tools, and does not require messy glues. It does help to have a friend for assistance, but in a pinch, peel and stick can be installed by one person. It can also be handed over to a professional installer.
2. Resale Value Versus Rental Clauses
Traditional unpasted wallpaper sometimes causes stress for new homeowners who prefer paint, and don’t want to tackle the tedious task of steaming and scraping the previous owner’s wallpaper. On the other hand, home stagers often use peel and stick wallpaper to make a statement in listed properties, since it’s easy to remove and won’t damage walls. In both cases, peel and stick provides a commitment-free solution for stylish walls. Even renters can work with peel and stick, since it wears well, but can be easily removed before a move, with no damage.
3. Wall Texture and Condition
Are your walls smooth or textured? Newly painted? Plaster? Almost all wallpaper works best on smooth surfaces. With peel and stick, and any non-textured wallpapers, wall surface imperfections are likely to show through. Orange peel walls can create small air pockets that may weaken the overall adhesion. Peel and stick works best on painted drywall – and importantly, new paint should be allowed to cure for at least two weeks before installing the peel and stick.
4. Steam and Heat
Wallpaper is often used to enliven small spaces like powder rooms, bathrooms and laundry rooms. How do these utilitarian spaces affect peel and stick wallpaper? In general, peel and stick is the perfect choice for a powder room, where a bold print creates a chic statement. As a guest-friendly room, it’s a fun spot to show your creativity. Laundry rooms and baths can also benefit from the ease of peel and stick application, which, in general, can withstand a bit of occasional steam. When applying peel and stick directly next to a shower that sees daily use, consider adding a drop or two of glue to the edges nearest the shower for added confidence. Peel and stick should NOT be applied above baseboard heating elements, or behind functioning radiators, as the heat will dry out the adhesive.
5. Color, Pattern and Scale
Are you a committed mix master, a bold color lover or just adding a little splash to a more neutral space? Larger patterns look great in small spaces where you spend less time. Again, think laundry rooms, mudrooms, pantries, powder rooms, etc. For some, a super bold pattern might feel overpowering on every wall in a day-to-day living space. (Others may feel right at home!) In dining rooms, consider a bold pattern above a chair rail to ground the look. In bedrooms, use a bold pattern on a feature wall behind your headboard, and paint your walls in coordinating colors.
6. Budget Considerations
Quality wallpaper is definitely an investment and the oohs and ahhs of your completed project will make it all worthwhile. Looking for ways to stretch your dollar? Our top tips for getting maximal drama on a budget were touched on in point five, above. You’ll use fewer rolls of wallpaper if you install a chair rail, and install wallpaper above it, rather than covering the entire wall. Feature walls in bedrooms, living rooms and other spaces help you get the look for less, too. Want to create drama with just one roll of peel and stick? Line the back of a bookcase or hutch.
7. Unpasted or Peel-and-Stick?
For ease of installation – and removal – and the wide choice of up-to-the-minute colors and patterns, we recommend peel and stick, all the way! There’s no better feeling than creating a whole new look in a weekend, while knowing you won’t have to deal with messy removal and wall damage, later.
Want to try your favorite pattern on your wall? Purchase a wallpaper sample.