Is Removable Wallpaper Really Removable?

I am no stranger to wallpaper. Some of my earliest DIY memories were of hours spent scraping off layers of wallpaper from the walls in our historic home before I had to use two hands to count my age. It was tedious work. Small chunks of paper would come off and it was the slowest process. If you were lucky, you'd have that one huge strip you'd have to stand back to pull and there would be triumphant cheering. That was the exception, not the rule. So many people my age have similar horror stories where we all promised ourselves "never again". So when wallpaper started making a comeback all of the OG DIY'ers did a collective groan. I heard you. And I did the same. Looking back at the blog post I wrote back in 2019 when I shared this post "Is Removable Shiplap Wallpaper the Right DIY Project For My Home?" by the end, you can sense my hesitation to jump on the wallpaper bandwagon. I think my final recommendation was "eh". 

Just last week, as we prepared for a remodel project, I took down the removable wallpaper from our downstairs half bath. I was bracing for the worst and hoping for the best. I'm going to do my best to answer one of the BIGGEST questions I get from this post and I'm going to share the answer to, is removable wallpaper really removable. Brace yourself. You aren't going to believe the answer!


Is Removable Wallpaper Really Removable?


The short answer is yes! 

After spending about 10 hours hanging up the removable wallpaper initially, I don't think I was sold. I think what sold me on using removable wallpaper for the rest of my life forever and always, was how easy it was to actually remove it.

Two Methods for Removing Traditional Wallpaper

Comparing Traditional Wallpaper with Removable Wallpaper

Traditional wallpaper has glue and paste and it's just generally messy and tedious. Removable wallpaper is a lot like using contact paper {which coincidently I have "wallpapered" with before!}. You literally just peel off the paper backing, line it up and stick it to your wall. I make this part seem easy.

Don't miss this:
Hanging removable wallpaper is JUST as tedious as hanging traditional wallpaper.


The Benefits of Removable Wallpaper

It took me about 10 hours to put up and about thirty minutes to take down. Had I used traditional wallpaper, it would have taken me days to remove it. This alone is probably the biggest benefit to using removable wallpaper.

I have removed a lot of wallpaper in my days and I've NEVER removed wallpaper that came off as easily as this wallpaper came off. It mostly came off in huge sheets, but there were some pieces that ripped, leaving small chunks of paper, but you literally just pick the edge with your fingernail and peel it up.

Yes, it's that easy. You don't need any special tools to remove the removable wallpaper. In fact, when you put up your wallpaper, there are very few tools you need then too. I used a box cutter and a plastic smoothing tool. Literally, this $6 kit is all that you will need for installation. You need nothing for removal.

questions about removable wallpaper

Can You Use Removable Wallpaper on Textured Walls?

We have textured walls and the surface recommendations aren't good for using removable wallpaper. However, we never had an issue with it. If you are concerned, get a sample and give it a try. 

One of the issues is that the textured wall could require the paper to bubble. Keep this in mind as you start learning the best technique for your application and that may mean you work in really small areas to help prevent this.

Another issue is that because of the texture, the wallpaper won't stick. I have had this issue when using vinyl on my walls before {remember the live, laugh, love era?} but this wasn't an issue with this room.

Some people aren't concerned that the wallpaper won't stick on a textured wall, but are more concerned that it will show through the paper. If this is your concern, make sure you have thick paper or a strong pattern. We have orange peel textured walls and this wasn't an issue for this particular paper I used.

Does Removable Wallpaper Damage Paint?

Overall, the removable wallpaper was damage-free. There were a few places where the paint pulled off in small {and I mean millimeter small} chunks. If you have touch-up paint, a quick swipe and you'd fix it. 

This wallpaper was up in this space for nearly three years and I didn't notice any residual stickiness or leftover residue on removal.

removable wallpaper damage

Using Removable Wallpaper in a Rental Space

I have young adult children who move often. Everyone wants a personalized space they can call their own. If my daughter asked me my opinion on using removable wallpaper in her rental house at college, I'd tell her yes! For sure. Go do it. The only downside is the time and money you'd be putting into a temporary living space.

But if adding something like removable wallpaper would help you feel more at home and provide more of a safe place to land, then heck yeah, go put that ish up! 

Did you know that Amazon has a TON of peel and stick removable wallpaper options? Just double triple-check before ordering that it is indeed peel and stick removable wallpaper because I found myself falling in love with a pattern the other day and realized my clicking took me to regular traditional wallpaper where you need paste and glue and eww..just eww. I will NEVER go back to traditional wallpaper. Not ever. 

Don't miss this post on a few tips for hanging peel and stick removable wallpaper.

If I didn't convince you, don't miss this post on how to hang traditional wallpaper. 

Pin this for later:

removable wallpaper

Now go! Pick out some wallpaper and start making your spaces awesome! 

disclaimer: this post may have affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing through them, I may receive a small commission. These small purchases help me to continue to keep writing content and creating at Rachel Teodoro. Thank you!

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