DIY Removable Wallpaper Install

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When I last left you, I rounded up different removable wallpaper options that we were considering for an accent wall in our living room. I planned to use temporary wallpaper on the wall behind our desk to define this space and inspire creativity. I wanted something that would be graphic (but not too graphic) and noticeable (but not too noticeable). As always, I am the goldilocks of interior design.

I wanted an abstract print that would work well with various art choices, because I always knew I wanted to layer art casually on top of it. I’m going for a fancy, grown-up version of dorm room chic over here. Cute, right?

Image: Sweet Home

We live in a one bedroom apartment so there’s not much space for an office, but it was important to me that this space inspire creativity without overwhelming the room. Ultimately, I chose this wallpaper design by Kate Zaremba and away we went!

Unfortunately, reading comprehension has never been my my strong suit. So when I decided to install some temporary wallpaper in our house, I kind of glossed over the whole "instructions" section. Okay, maybe it’s not so much reading comprehension that’s my issue but more impulsive shopping. When the Kate Zarema wallpaper arrived it was not the big sticker I had imagined, it was a big stamp. Huh. The wallpapers are advertised as removable, and they are - but when I read "removable" I was really thinking "temporary" which is a whole different ball game.

I am no DIY expert. I’m more of a HireATaskRabbit expert. So when I realized that the wallpaper installation was a little more intense than I had expected (I felt pretty confident in my capabilities of peeling the back off a sticker) I got a wee bit anxious. Nevertheless, I decided to forge ahead- my impulsive shopping finger got us into this mess and I was determined to get us out.

To install the Kate Zambera wallpaper, you fully submerge it in water and then the adhesive activates. Like a stamp. Except now I just remembered that lots of stamps are stickers these days, so imagine an old timey stamp. It’s like that, EXCEPT HUGE. Terrifying, right?

If the thought of pasting a huge 2x8 foot stamp on the wall causes you to convulse, I’m here to tell you it will be okay. We installed two panels and I’m not going to lie, panel two went up a lot smoother than panel one. But, now I’m an expert and I can add "wallpaper installer" to my resume of special skills. So there’s that.

My big tips would be to make sure the panel is thoroughly wet and to have your tools (sponge, ladder, towels) ready at hand. We did our best to smooth out the paper and get rid of the air bubbles and then we crossed our fingers that the wallpaper would still be on the wall the following morning.

Spoiler Alert: It stayed up and looked a whole lot smoother the following day! My next step was to exacto the wallpaper around the trim. For those of you that love pulling up painters tape and seeing that crisp line, I can assure you that this processes was similarly gratifying.

Et voila! I loved the subtle contrast it provided and its quirky vibe. I tend to hoard "inspirational content" and I was so glad to have somewhere to showcase my current favorites. I love that I can change the art up easily (using washi tape) to whatever tickles my fancy.

One large scale piece would make the wall more formal while an organic collage would create a more laid back artistic vibe. Something for everyone. For now, I went with a little of each - I’ll call it a structured collage, which I’m pretty sure is also known as a gallery wall minus the frames. Regardless, it helped make this space a little less work and a little more fun and to me that’s an upgrade that I don’t want to be temporary.


For more DIY articles: Bedroom Pendant Install | Dip Dyed Napkins

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Tiina Treasure is a home decor enthusiast and a self proclaimed cheapskate. She's renovating her Brooklyn apartment and chronicling the journey on Instagram and her blog, Layers and Layers of Paint. Her apartment has been featured on Design*Sponge and is a hodgepodge of IKEA, vintage, and curbed finds. When she's not obsessing over the latest design trend she a doting cat-mom and an indifferent wife. Her husband approved this bio.