Using wallpaper to update your space brings in patterns and textures that plain old paint just can’t match. Especially with numerous peel-and-stick wallpaper options, you have various designs you can choose from without having to fully commit for years.
Peel-and-stick wallpaper allows you to change up any room’s look on a whim and remove it easily when the mood strikes. However, it's common to end up with leftover wallpaper scraps after a project. Instead of throwing them away, try using these pro tips to give them new life.
Meet the Expert
Jennifer Matthews is the co-founder and chief creative officer of Tempaper & Co.
Flip Your Furniture
If you want some of your furniture pieces to coordinate with the walls in a room that you have used the peel-and-stick products on or just want to carry out the look throughout your home, consider up-styling a dresser or vanity with the same pattern.
Instead of replacing a tired headboard, cover it with a new pattern. Jennifer Matthews, co-founder and chief creative officer of Tempaper & Co., explains how any piece of furniture with a smooth surface is fair game for a makeover.
Revamp Stairs or Ceiling
For something a little more unexpected, try adding the paper remnants to a more permanent part of your home.
"Applying peel-and-stick wallpaper to unexpected places, like ceilings or staircases, is another unique way to transform an otherwise mundane area into an eye-catching design detail,” she says.
Matthews says that peel-and-stick wallpaper can instantly inject personality and style into your home, which guests will admire every time they come over.
Serve in Style
You can even use a few pieces to make a plain piece pop by applying the removable wallpaper to everyday household items. Jazz up a serving tray, for instance, just by cutting the wallpaper to fit and applying it to the tray’s surface.
There are many peel-and-stick wallpaper varieties, so you can choose the one that fits your home's style. Make the wallpaper a true art piece by framing a section to adorn a wall in another space.
The beauty of this trendy product is that you can use it as little or as much as you wish. Be bold by covering a large space such as the top and drawer fronts on a piece of furniture, or take a more subtle approach.
Line the inside of the drawers for an unexpected splash of style every time you reach inside. People have even used the wallpaper to make over parts of the house you might never expect to see transformed.
“Homeowners have taken advantage of peel-and-stick wallpaper's versatility by transforming their home appliances, like refrigerators, to include vibrant patterns or elegant designs, turning an ordinary kitchen appliance into a work of art that complements the overall decor,” Matthews says.
Prepare and Apply
Once you unleash your creativity, there is no end to all of the pieces and places you can transform. Matthews and her team have seen peel-and-stick wallpaper used to adorn everything from a piano to pet spaces and closets to campers. It is so easy to use that homeowners have turned the process into child’s play.
Unfortunately, not every surface will sing with the addition of peel and stick. It needs to be smooth in order for the finished product to look its best.
“Applying it to textured or rough surfaces, such as textured plaster walls or heavily textured wood, can result in poor adhesion and a less-than-desirable finish,” says Matthews. Placing it atop flat or matte paint should be avoided if you can. The water-based adhesive used to stick the wallpaper on the wall works best when applied to existing paint that has a satin or semi-gloss finish.
Though the product is fairly easy to use and removes cleanly, there is still some prep work needed before you start the application. Matthews says you need to make sure you have a clean, dry, smooth surface. You want to use a damp cloth to remove any dust or dirt that could keep the wallpaper from sticking properly.
In addition to a wipe down, Matthews says she recommends taking a second step in the cleaning process.
“We also recommend wiping the surface with a 1:1 water and alcohol solution to make sure the surface is clean and adhesion to the surface will work as intended.” If any imperfections remain, she says you should consider taking the time to patch and sand the areas for the most even surface possible.
Once the cleaning is done, you are ready to get started. Clean cuts are key to a polished final look, so Matthews recommends using a straightedge and a sharp craft knife or scissors.
One perk of this type of wallpaper is that you can move and remove it at will.
“If you need to reposition while applying the peel-and-stick wallpaper, gently lift the section and reapply it using a squeegee to smooth it to the surface,” she says. “It also helps to have a friend join the process to assist in guiding the panels into place.”
With a little preparation and some imagination, you can turn those scraps of this wonder wallpaper into amazing accessories. And if you don’t love the results, find a new pattern and start all over again!