Peel & Stick Wallpaper

We Put the Best Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper Brands to the Test—Here's What We Found Out

“Easy” is harder than it looks.
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Peel-and-stick wallpaper has risen in popularity due to its ease of application and promise of a no-mess removal. With strong adhesive backing and an easy-to-clean surface, peel-and-stick wallpaper offers fun patterns and designs that can give your space a bold statement without the commitment that traditional wallpaper requires. But is removable wallpaper actually as simple to apply as it promises? Seven editors put popular peel-and-stick wallpaper brands to the test. 

Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper:

How We Tested

Each of our testers selected a peel-and-stick wallpaper design they loved, measured the wall, and calculated how many rolls would be needed to complete the project. Following the instructions provided, our testers prepped their walls, measured and cut the wallpaper, and applied it, making notes about the experience during each step. 

We rated each wallpaper brand based on the range of colors and patterns available,  how easy it was to calculate the number of rolls needed to cover a wall (and have enough left over to make a perfect pattern match or replace a panel in case of mistakes or tears), the application process, and the final look.

Our Heiday x Chasing Paper Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper in Magnolias, Taupe

BUY IT: FROM $40; chasingpaper.com

Peel & Stick Wallpaper
Credit: Courtesy of Chasing Paper

What you'll love: Excellent customer service, seamless pattern line-up, available in different sizes
What you should know: Panels are made to order, so the patterns and colors may not be an exact match if you need to buy more. 
What our tester bought: Six 2-by-8-foot panels for $480

Chasing Paper is beloved by design-obsessed DIY enthusiasts, and its collaborative print with Our Heiday does not disappoint. The poly-woven fabric offers a matte finish that is resistant to fading and stains and comes in three different roll sizes (2 by 4 feet, 2 by 8 feet, and 2 by 12 feet). The brand's website features a footage calculator and an instant chat option to help you correctly calculate how much paper you'll need. Our tester wasn't confident in her measurements, but after chatting with a customer service rep, she was able to order the right amount.

Before and After Peel and Stick Wallpaper
Credit: Courtesy of Taylor Lane

Tester tip: Create a plumb line to ensure that the first panel hangs straight and the pattern lines up seamlessly.

Before and After Peel and Stick Wallpaper
Credit: Courtesy of Taylor Lane

What our tester said: "When I worked too quickly, I would get bubbles under the wallpaper. Slow and steady wins the race here. Peel the paper from the backing in small sections so that you can easily lift it up if you see bubbles or wrinkles. I used a tool to smooth it out, but I found that my fingers and hands made it more seamless." —Taylor Lane, Ecommerce Writer

NuWallpaper Shiplap Off-white Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper

BUY IT: $28.05; amazon.com

Peel & Stick Wallpaper
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

What you'll love: The large selection of non-traditional patterns, the price
What you should know: Horizontal patterns are difficult to line up.
What our tester bought: Four 20.5 inch-by-18-foot rolls for $112.20

NuWallpaper offers a variety of patterns and styles on Amazon. At just over $28 per roll, the price point makes it easy to change the look of your walls often. Its vinyl peel-and-stick designs go beyond traditional wallpaper patterns, like the shiplap design that our tester chose, but it can be tricky (and time-consuming) to hang the pattern seamlessly. 

Our tester and her husband had a difficult time lining up the horizontal wood pattern, which comes in vertical strips. Their accent wall took about six hours to complete, and they found it difficult to work around the window in the middle of their wall.

Tester tip: Think twice before ordering a horizontal pattern. 

Before and After Peel and Stick Wallpaper
Credit: Courtesy of Carly Kulzer

What our tester said: "I'm obsessed with the end result! It opens up the room a lot and gives it a more cozy and inviting feel. I didn't realize how dark and small the paint made our room seem until we put up this wallpaper." —Carly Kulzer, Ecommerce Writer

NuWallpaper Nomad Damask Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper

BUY IT: $25.80 (orig. $49.99); amazon.com

Peel & Stick Wallpaper
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

What you'll love: Vintage patterns, large selection, the price
What you should know: Double-check your calculations.
What our tester bought: One 20.5 inch-by-18-foot roll for $25.80

NuWallpaper offers a large selection of peel-and-stick wallpaper to suit any style, like the Nomad Damask pattern our tester chose. Unfortunately, our tester wasn't able to complete her project due to a miscalculation. In fact, several of our testers across all brands faced similar issues when calculating their roll order. 

Tester tip: When in doubt, reach out to customer service to confirm how much paper you'll need to complete your project.

What our tester said: "I definitely read the product measurements incorrectly, and I thought that one roll would cover my accent wall. And I didn't realize my mistake until I ran out of wallpaper nearly halfway through my project! Looking back, I would've figured out the size of the roll in square inches, converted my wall area to square inches, and calculated from there." —Laura Gurfein, Senior Editor

Rifle Paper Co. Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper in Black Menagerie

BUY IT: $65; riflepaperco.com

Peel & Stick Wallpaper
Credit: Courtesy of Rifle Paper Co

What you'll love: Bold designs, large rolls
What you should know: There's a limited selection, and rolls don't come with enough application instructions.
What our tester bought: Three 27 inch-by-20-foot rolls for $195

Rifle Paper Co. is known for its beautiful botanical designs on everything from planners to umbrellas, so it was a delightful surprise to discover that the brand also carries peel-and-stick wallpaper. This non-woven premium removable wallpaper comes in large 20-foot rolls, but while there are several different color palettes for each pattern, the design selection is limited.

Our tester over-ordered the correct amount of wallpaper but was glad she did, since she ended up having to throw out an entire panel after making a mistake when cutting around her window. While the wallpaper easily stuck to the wall, the application instructions did not offer details on how to cut around obstacles such as outlets or windows, so our tester did her own research. The bold pattern is stunning from afar, but if you look closely, you can see small imperfections and tears.

Before and After Peel and Stick Wallpaper
Credit: Courtesy of Bronwyn Barnes

Tester tip: If you're working with a unique wall shape or obstacle, over-order to account for potential mistakes. If the included instructions aren't in-depth enough, search for YouTube videos that can guide you through the process. 

Before and After Peel and Stick Wallpaper
Credit: Courtesy of Bronwyn Barnes

What our tester said: "It inspired me to rethink how I use that area of my home and I can't wait to decorate around it. I really wish the brand would add more information to their instructions (a video would be amazing!), but I'm happy with the result. If I were going to do this again, I'd probably hire someone through TaskRabbit to hang it for me." —Bronwyn Barnes, Senior Product Reviews Editor

RoomMates Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper in Marble Metallic Gold 

BUY IT: $29.74; amazon.com

Peel & Stick Wallpaper
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

What you'll love: Large selection, price point
What you should know: You need two people to apply this wallpaper.
What our tester bought: Four 20.5 inch-by-16.5-foot rolls for $118.96

RoomMates offers a variety of peel-and-stick wallpaper patterns, including geometric patterns, floral designs, and a good assortment of options for kids. Its 20.5-inch-by-16.5-foot roll comes at an accessible price point, and with Amazon's free returns, if you over-order, you can send your unopened rolls back.

Tester tip: Our tester used the RoomMates smoother kit, but she suggests getting someone else to help you so that one person can roll the wallpaper down the wall while the other smooths out the bubbles along the way.

Before and After Peel and Stick Wallpaper
Credit: Courtesy of Bridget Degnan

What our tester said: "Overall, I'm thrilled with the results. When I moved into this house in May, I knew I wanted to cover up the striped accent wall, and this was the perfect solution. I love the gold and white marble pattern and plan to paint the surrounding walls a dark green color." —Bridget Degnan, Performance Content Writer

RoomMates Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper in Blue and Red Dandelion 

BUY IT: $29.59 (orig. $34.99); amazon.com

Peel & Stick Wallpaper
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

What you'll love: Large selection, price point
What you should know: Double-check your pattern before application.
What our tester bought: Eight 20.5 inch-by-16.5-foot rolls for $236.72

This wallpaper pattern from RoomMates comes in large rolls (20.5 inches by 16.5 feet) and a variety of colors. The abstract pattern gives a little flexibility during application, since you don't have to line it up exactly, which is great news for beginners. Our tester over-ordered by 3 rolls but she was glad she did, since she ended up with two slightly different patterns. Since she was on a testing deadline, she got creative and made it work with the wallpaper rolls that matched.

Our tester had two other people help her with the application process and reported that the wallpaper was easy to cut with a razor blade and the bubbles were also easy to smooth out, even though her older walls provided a bit of a challenge.

Tester tip: Check that your patterns and colors match before application.

Before and After Peel and Stick Wallpaper
Credit: Courtesy of Lily Gray

What our tester said: "I'm very proud of how this wallpaper turned out, considering the additional challenges. I have a brick accent wall on the opposite side of my room, so having a blue wildflower accent wall is so inviting and adds a lot of dimension to the space." —Lily Gray, Home Ecommerce Writer

Spoonflower Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper in Utart's Antique Rococo Chinoiserie Flower Peony Trees With Birds

BUY IT: $96; spoonflower.com

Peel & Stick Wallpaper
Credit: Courtesy of Spoonflower

What you'll love: Extensive selection, rolls that come in different sizes, the included smoothing tool
What you should know: Patterns are difficult to line up.
What our tester bought: Eight 2-by-12-foot rolls for $768

Spoonflower's eco-friendly peel-and-stick wallpaper comes in a variety of designs, prints, and styles. The wallpaper is made-to-order and comes in different size rolls— 2 by 3 feet, 2 by 9 feet, and 2 by 12 feet—so you can choose which size best fits your home.

Our tester said that she was surprised at how easy this was to apply but that the pattern didn't line up, even though she followed the brand's instructions. Overall, she says she is "obsessed" with the final result and has already received many compliments from family and friends.

Tester tip: If you're someone who is going to fret about the pattern lining up, choose a simple design.

Before and After Peel and Stick Wallpaper
Credit: Courtesy of Jennifer Chan

What our tester said: "I would say it was easier than I thought it would be! They made it pretty seamless and the smoothing tool was crucial… I still see bubbles now and then (they keep popping up out of nowhere), but the smoothing tool helps a lot." —Jennifer Chan, Ecommerce Editor/Writer

FAQs

"It's peel-and-stick for a reason, and it's meant to be changed eventually, so don't be afraid to try out a new pattern or color," says DIY expert Meg Baker of Baker Blooms.

Want to try peel-and-stick wallpaper in your space? Read on for Baker's tips.

How do you select peel-and-stick wallpaper that's right for you?

Start with a pattern and color that you love.

Baker says she has used everything from contact paper to high quality peel-and-stick wallpaper and has had good experiences with them all, as long as she picks a pattern that fits her overall aesthetic. Most peel-and-stick wallpaper is made from vinyl, but you can still choose your finish.

"You'll want to decide if you want a textured wallpaper or a smooth flat wallpaper. Some are fabric-based and some are paper-based," she adds. The application process is the same, it's just a matter of visual preference. Another thing that sets brands apart is the quality and thickness of the wallpaper, as well as special features such as custom color-matching. 

Some removable wallpaper can give off a smell, but that's usually due to the adhesion, and the odor goes away after application. If you have allergies or sensitivities, research the materials used to construct the paper and the ink of your wallpaper. Spoonflower and Chasing Paper are both transparent about their non-toxic materials.

Where should you avoid hanging peel-and-stick wallpaper?

Peel-and-stick wallpaper is not a good choice for bathrooms or areas with high humidity because the moisture in the air will likely cause the wallpaper to peel.  

Peel-and-stick wallpaper is not recommended for walls with texture, nonstick paint, or those with lots of imperfections. To set yourself up for success, apply to clean, smooth walls. And as our testers learned, if you're a beginner, consider sticking to a simple, windowless wall and enlisting a second person to help you.

How do you calculate how much wallpaper to order?

This was an intimidating obstacle for our testers, but Baker has a simple way to calculate the amount of rolls needed for a wallpaper accent wall.

Take the width of the wall (in inches) and divide it by the width of the roll of wallpaper. 

If your wall is 10 feet wide, that's 120 inches. If the wallpaper you're ordering is 20 inches wide, then you'll take 120 inches and divide it by 20 inches, which is six. So you'll order six rolls of wallpaper.

Most brands recommend ordering 15 percent in overage to account for mistakes or touch-ups in the future, and as our testers learned, over-ordering is the way to go. Baker agrees.

"It's better to order too much than too little," she says. "Reordering can be tricky because what you get the second time around may come from a different batch and be harder to match up."

How do you hang peel-and-stick wallpaper?

You'll need a level, a straight edge, a smoothing tool, and a sharp utility knife.

Clean your walls and allow them to dry. Remove all outlet and switch covers.

"It's important to hang your first piece super straight, but not all walls and ceilings are built straight," sayd Baker. "So you'll want to draw a level straight line from the ceiling to the baseboard to make sure that you get a perfectly straight first section." This is known as a plumb line.

After you've drawn your straight line, remove the backing from your wallpaper to reveal about 8-12 inches, then line up your wallpaper against your straight line. Slowly peel the backing off of the wallpaper as you use your flat smoothing tool to smooth out the wallpaper on the way down (this is why having two people is helpful). 

"If you run into a bubble that won't smooth out, just peel the paper back and try again," says Baker. She also notes to avoid stretching the paper as you apply.

"Once the entire piece is applied, use your straight edge and utility knife to trim off the excess at the baseboard and the ceiling. Grab your next piece, line the pattern up, and repeat the process of backing removal and smoothing."

How do you cut around outlets, windows, and other obstacles? 

"I smooth the wallpaper all the way over to the outlet or window and then use a straight edge, like a level or ruler, and my sharp utility knife to slowly cut around the edge of the outlet or window," says Baker.

She advises to go very slowly and use a very sharp blade, as you don't want to risk pulling the paper and ripping part of the roll.

If you're working around a specific obstacle, YouTube offers a plethora of tutorials on how to successfully cut around specific areas, so do your research before making any difficult cuts.

How do you clean peel-and-stick wallpaper?

Most peel-and-stick wallpaper can be cleaned with a slightly damp sponge, but you should refer to your specific brand's instructions for cleaning.

Stay tuned

Our testers discovered what challenges came along with the "easy" application of peel-and-stick wallpaper, and in six months, we'll test the ease of the removal process. We applied swatches of each brand to a testing wall and will remove the peel-and-stick wallpaper in six months to see if any damage occurs.

Until then, here are a few more removable wallpaper brands we plan to test in the future:

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