Week 3 of the One Room Challenge! This week we’re taking on a DIY removable wallpaper project in my study / studio / studdio.
Does anyone else rent their home? I know that we’re not ready to settle in and buy our own place yet (not even close!). And I appreciate that when we have an issue, the rental company is just a phone call away. But it’s still a drag knowing that you’re limited in what you can do to your home!
While there are some really gorgeous removable wallpapers out there, they’re all more or less crazy expensive. Ever since I came across Erin Spain’s post on making wallpaper removable, my gears have been turning! For this week’s project, I really wanted to experiment with a removable, affordable way for renters to achieve colorful walls without picking up a paintbrush.
DIY Removable Wallpaper Process
1. Gather materials. I used a tape measure, a box cutter, this painter’s tape, this double-sided tape, and this roll of 48″ black craft paper. I measured the height of the wall and cut my strips of paper to match it.
2. Using your painter’s tape, outline the parameters of your accent wall. The painter’s tape is used to provide a wall-safe barrier between the paint on the wall and the sticky, permanent double-sided tape.
Then fill that in with a grid pattern. Remove the plates from any wall outlets.
3. Next take your double-sided tape and run a line of double-sided tape directly over each line of painter’s tape. Be careful not to let it adhere to the wall! A credit card or squeegee can help you press the tape onto the wall without getting your fingers stuck.
4. Now’s the “fun” part. Ha. Aligning the paper onto the wall can be a really frustrating experience. My advice here is to go slow, try to align one edge first, and enlist the help of a friend who can hold the paper’s weight while you align it.
Remember, the perfect is the enemy of the good!
5. Keep working until your wall is covered, cutting carefully around wall outlets and windows with the box cutter. Carefully remove excess from edges.
6. Finally, fill in cracks along the edges by cutting small strips of paper and securing them so they cover the slivers of wall that are peeking out. Try to tuck the strips behind the paper that’s already up. Reinstall outlet plates.
7. (Optional) Now you can add more character to your DIY removable wallpaper! You could try adding trim, drawing on the paper with pastels, or adding more texture to your wall. I ground down a stick of chalk into dust, then poofed it onto the wall with a microfiber cloth to provide variations in texture.
Biggest lessons from my DIY removable wallpaper project:
- Use narrower strips of paper, or maybe cut it into tiles. The 48″ paper was just too big and awkward to manoeuver easily, and it led to alignment issues over the width of the wall.
- Use thicker paper when possible. Because I was using craft paper, which was a little thinner than construction paper, the paper was prone to buckling and wrinkling. Luckily, the wrinkling was pretty consistent throughout the expanse of paper, so it gives the wall an interesting texture. But if you’re looking for a smooth final product, a thicker paper will help.
- Last but not least, as with any experimental project you’ll have more fun if you can be flexible and get crafty. If you approach setbacks like each one is a creative challenge, you might end up with something you like even more than your original plan.
So here’s what the corner looks like now. Later I went back and did the adjacent wall under the window too. Also, HELLO BEAUTIFUL CHAIR AND OTTOMAN.
The photos (taken at night, oops) really don’t do the wallpaper justice! I’ll probably keep blending the chalk and experimenting with the texture.
Have a good week and be sure to check out the other One Room Challenge participants here!
See the rest of the study / studio / studdio project!
- Study? Studio? Studdio Design (before photos) – ORC Week 1
- Editing: The Unglamorous Side of Design – ORC Week 2
- DIY Removable Wallpaper in the Studdio – ORC Week 3
- Hanging String Lights Without Damage – ORC Week 4
- Fast Desk Organization – ORC Week 5