WALLPAPER. permanent vs. peel-n-stick.

I thought it would be appropriate to share about my experience with wallpaper since it’s becoming quite the trend. And I must say I LOVE it. It can completely transform a space, and I weirdly think it’s fun to apply. In fact, last summer, Cory took our boys camping so Lyndi (our bambino) and I had the weekend to ourselves – Score! Girls weekend! So, guess what was the one thing I dreamed of doing with my free time?? WALLPAPER, of course! Wouldn’t everyone?! 😉 I summoned my parents to come over and help which was a LIFESAVER (thank you Ma & Pa!)


(before we moved in)


What do you think? I LOVE how it turned out. I used this wallpaper and would highly recommend it. It’s thick and durable and was easy to match the pattern when applying. 

I also wallpapered a half bath in our first house with my mother-in-law (shout out!). This was my first stab at it, which totally got me hooked. I looooved this paper. And I loved this bathroom because Cory did all the trim and wainscoting – he’s amazing! ❤

Anyhoo – both of these projects used “permanent wallpaper,” rather than the peel-and-stick or “removable” kind, so they should last a long long time. Fingers crossed.

Speaking of peel-and-stick >>insert groans and eye rolls<<, I had a terrible experience with it. Or maybe I got a bad batch or something? If you’re not familiar with “peel-and-stick wallpaper,” it’s literally that – you peel it off paper, like a sticker, and stick it to the wall. It has no paste on the back, like regular wallpaper, that you have to get wet before applying. Since it’s more like a sticker, the benefit is that it’s much easier to remove from the wall when you get sick of it. I did peel-and-stick paper in our baby girl’s nursery and it was the cutest, loveliest, most perfect pattern. Just look!

I was all heart-eyes for this wallpaper and it welcomed home our baby girl, Lyndi Sue, in all of it’s pink and flowery glory.

Then, one day I walked into her room and a whole sheet was ON the floor. The floor! *Gasp!* I stuck it back on the wall and pretended it was a bad dream, but little by little, the paper started to peel off. *Cue the sobs.*

Since then, I’ve been adding double-sided tape to “bandaid” the problem, and even bought permanent wallpaper paste to use in some areas. 

So, let me address a few questions you may be having. Eh-hem..

  1. Was it something you did wrong? Why yes, I think that may have been part of the problem. The instructions recommended to wipe down the walls before applying the wallpaper. Did we do that? No way. Who has time for that? Lol. So MAYBE that was part of the problem?
  2. Would you do peel-and-stick again? Call me crazy, but I think I would. I don’t mean to scare anyone away from doing this, especially if you want to “get your feet wet” and experiment with wallpaper. I think it would be great for a play space, small accent wall, even a closet! Anywhere that you don’t want to totally commit to a pattern long-term. I would probably stay away from a large bathroom, kitchen, or anywhere that would get moist from steam as that would probably contribute to peeling faster. 
  3. What should I keep in mind if I try peel-and-stick? I would say do what I didn’t do. Ha! Wipe down your walls first and make sure they have plenty of time to dry. If you have no texture on your walls, you could even try sanding the surface to give it some extra grip. 

In conclusion, here are my recommendations, since I’m a pro and all. 😉 

Permanent Wallpaper (the “get wet and apply” kind):

  • Use on big statement areas, like an accent wall in a living room or anywhere that you couldn’t reach easily if it started to peel up top.
  • Use in large bathrooms or kitchen areas that may get moist – it will hold much better.

Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper (the “peel and stick”, kind) hahaha:

  • Use if you’re feeling brave and trying a bold pattern that you may not want a few years down the road. You’ll be glad you don’t have to get a steamer and chisels out when you want to remove it. ha.
  • Use in small areas that may not require such a permanent solution to spice up a space. (I’m thinking of an area like a shoe cubby in a closet or an accent wall in the basement). I may or may not have these projects in mind. 🙂 
  • Use anywhere that you’re okay with some “up-keep” like potentially applying some double-sided tape or adding Elmers glue in some areas to keep from peeling. When it comes time to take the wallpaper down, it will still require much less time than it does to remove the permanent kind.

Again, I’m not trying to scare anyone away from the peel-and-stick removable kind, but I wanted to share my experience with it. I would LOVE to hear from you guys though – has anyone out there wallpapered? Which kind? Has it stayed up?? Tell me everything!

I hope this helps a bit for anyone who may be wanting to wallpaper but hasn’t known which kind is best for them. Maybe some time I can do a tutorial on applying wallpaper, if that would be helpful? I’m sure there will be other places I’ll use it in our house. 🙂 

Happy wallpapering! Thanks for reading! XO!

~ Kara

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