Sunday - Aug 20, 2017

A Renter’s Best Friend: How To Use Temporary Wallpaper


Every renter faces this predicament at some point in time: you want to decorate but you don’t own the home. Whether you want new light fixtures or a fresh coat of paint on the walls, you don’t have the final authority to make those decisions. As a renter, you are at the mercy of the property owner when it comes to décor. However, there are ways to add some personal flair to your rented home without irritating your landlord. The following tips should help you use temporary wallpaper to spice things up, without damaging the walls or aggravating the homeowner.

Finding Temporary Wallpaper

Retailers do not have a common name for temporary wallpaper. Finding the right kind of wallpaper to stick to your walls, and know it will come off, depends upon knowing which types are actually removable. As you search for temporary wallpaper, be prepared to come across terminology such as vinyl wall decal set, removable wallpaper, strippable wallpaper, and rental wallpaper.

Types of Temporary Wallpaper

According to Apartmentguide.com, there are a lot of options for renters when it comes to selecting a temporary wall covering. Among the options highlighted are the following:

  • Peel-and-stick tiles: Add flair to your kitchen backsplash with peel-and-stick tiles that are available in panels and can be easily cut to fit your space. When you move out, they peel off easily and leave no residue.
  • Fabric: You can add unique style to your living room by stretching fabric tightly across the wall and securing it with tacks.
  • Temporary Wallpaper: A final option is to go with temporary wallpaper, which is similar to regular wallpaper. The primary difference is the strength of the adhesive. Generally speaking, temporary wallpaper has adhesive that is about as strong as a Post-It note.

Using Temporary Wallpaper

As you prepare to secure temporary wallpaper to your walls, there are some helpful tips you should follow to make the process easier. The Brick Underground blog offers some helpful guidelines for adhering removable wallpaper to your walls:

  • Prep the walls: Wipe the walls down with a damp cloth to get rid of dirt, dust, bits of tape from posters, and flecks of plaster or paint covering holes from previous nails and screws.
  • Measure Twice, Cut Once: Do not rush through the step of measuring the walls and cutting your wallpaper to proper strips.
  • Stick the paper: Start with a two-inch strip along the top of the wallpaper and secure it to the wall near its meeting point with the ceiling. Peel the backing away and apply in a downward pattern until you reach the floor. Go slow and take time to press down on the wallpaper as you go.
  • Finish: Air bubbles and seams are inevitable no matter how much time you taking when sticking the paper. If the bubbles are big enough, pop them with a safety pin and do your best to smooth them out.

Additional Tips

Even though it’s temporary wallpaper with a weaker adhesive, that doesn’t mean you won’t run into trouble spots. Keep the following tips in mind as you select temporary wallpaper, prepare to hang it, and take it off the walls before moving out:

  • Go with bold patterns: Wild, bold patterns make it easier to hide bubbles and seams
  • Create accent walls: If you want easier cleanup when you move out, use temporary wallpaper on one wall to create an accent wall. You’ll have less work to clean up compared to papering all the walls.
  • Flatten first: Before you apply new temporary wallpaper, take a few days to flatten it under books. Doing so will make it easier to apply the paper without hassles.
  • Keep a bucket handy: Temporary wallpaper should come off with the ease of peeling a Post-It, and do so without leaving a residue. Just in case, keep a bucket of warm, soapy water at hand to wipe down the walls after removal.

With these helpful tips and guidelines, you’ll be able to select the best temporary wallpaper for your rental unit, apply it with ease, and remove it simply when you’re ready to move out.

Joni Whitman, now retired, is a busy grandmother of eight. In her free time, she likes to share ideas and tips online. You can find her articles on various websites and blogs.