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How much does it cost to remove wallpaper?

Are you a homeowner with wallpaper in your home? If so, you’re not alone! But, do you love it? At D’Franco Wallpaper, we love installing wallpaper. However, if you’re not fond of the wallpaper in your home, you may be wondering how much it will cost to have it removed. While the cost of wallpaper removal can vary, this guide will give you an idea of the approximate cost to remove wallpaper in your home.

Should I remove wallpaper or just paint over it?

This is a common question among homeowners. At D’Franco, we typically recommend removing the wallpaper before painting.

wallpaper steamer

Why? Because wallpaper is porous, meaning that moisture from the paint can cause the wallpaper adhesive to re-wet and loosen from the wall. This can result in the wallpaper falling off the wall, leaving you with a wet paint and wet wallpaper mess. Trust us, we’ve seen it happen! To avoid this issue and ensure a professional looking paint job, it’s best to remove the wallpaper before painting.

When can you paint over wallpaper?

At D’Franco, we prioritize  a smooth and seamless finish. Our experienced team offers wallpaper removal services, with an estimate based on square footage and our knowledge of similar wallpapers. However, in cases where the wallpaper is not coming off easily, we may recommend an alternative solution.This may happen if:

  • Wallpaper was installed directly over drywall
  • Incorrect adhesive was used
  • Wallpaper is from the 1980s and has a vinyl film
pump sprayer for wallpaper removal

Our recommended solution in these cases is for us to:

  • Prime the wallpaper using Guardz or Shellac primer (which will cause any loose areas to bubble up)
  • Cut out these bubbled areas
  • Skim coat any seams or cutaway areas
  • Re-prime for a solid surface 
  • Apply your desired paint color for a polished finish

While this may not be the ideal path, we’ve had success with this method in our own homes as well as other customers’ homes. You can trust our team to achieve the look you desire.

What can I expect the cost of removing wallpaper to be?

The cost of wallpaper removal can vary greatly, with prices ranging from $1.00 to $4.00 per square foot. Factors that can affect the cost include 

  • Ease of removing the wallpaper
  • Any necessary repairs to the walls after removal
  • Height of the walls
  • Type and amount of wallpaper being removed
  • Also, if the project generates a lot of trash, a dumpster rental might be necessary adding to the cost.

We understand that every home and project is unique and will provide you with a detailed, personalized estimate based on your specific needs. Our experienced team can efficiently and effectively remove your wallpaper while providing transparent and fair pricing.

What tools are needed to strip wallpaper?

Removing wallpaper can be a daunting task, but with the right tools, the job becomes much simpler. We have years of experience in wallpaper removal and have refined our methods to make the process as efficient and effective as possible. When tackling the project yourself, the following tools are essential:

  1. A spray bottle filled with a diluted wallpaper stripping solution
  2. A bucket of hot water and a sponge
  3. A wallpaper steamer
  4. A drywall scraper (or putty knife)

These tools are all you need to get the job done. First, spray the solution onto the wallpaper and let it sit for a few minutes. Then use the sponge and hot water to remove the top layer of the wallpaper. If needed, use the steamer to soften the remaining adhesive and use the scraper to remove any stubborn pieces. In many cases, you can simply use your fingers to remove the wet wallpaper backing. Once the wallpaper is removed, clean the walls thoroughly with water.

So if you’re looking to strip your wallpaper, these are the tools you’ll want to have on hand.

Ready for your wallpaper to be removed?

We can help! Let us know if you need advice or help with a project. You can call us at (847) 553-1726, text us at (847) 349-4112  or email us by visiting our email form on our contact page. We would love to see how we can help you love the space in your home, with fresh paint, wallpaper, or painted cabinets.

one day accent wallpaper
One Day Wallpaper!

Are you ready for Wallpaper in your home?

Although we have been installing wallpaper for about 12 years now, one statement we read and hear all the time is “wallpaper is back“. I’m not sure it ever really went away, but now with great colors, great design and abundance of variety of custom made wallcoverings, it is easier than ever to have some great wallpaper in your home. And we will help you with our One Day Wallpaper services.

What is One day Wallpaper?

Although an easy question, not an easy answer. We started this program to help you with a quick and easy solution to getting wallpaper installed in your home, business or office. There are some great ways we can install wallpaper in a day:

  • accent walls
accent wallpaper - one day wallpaper installation
grasscloth accent walls
  • small powder rooms
powder room accent wallpaper
Schumacher powder room accent wallpaper
  • smaller rooms (under 12×12)
one day wallpaper - accent wallpaper
mudroom wallpapered
one day commercial wallpaper
commercial graphics for a store front
  • custom graphics

These are some examples of what can be installed in one day.

How does it work?

For the most part, getting wallpaper installed is easy. You do need to have the wallpaper in hand on site the day we are going to install. It is advised that we verify the room size so we can verify how many rolls you will need. There are several factors that affect what we can or cannot install in a day. This is what we will do:

  • prime the walls
  • supply the adhesive, or activators for the wallpaper
  • installation
  • install walls (ceilings almost always take two people which increases the cost to install)
  • average space is under 400 square feet

We have done two accent walls in a day and smaller rooms in a day (anything over 12 x12 is what we consider a large room).

Some things we do not do:

  • skim coat walls
  • remove TV’s from walls
  • move heavy furniture
  • remove toilets, vanities etc.

How can I verify how much wallpaper I need?

This is fairly easy. If you go to our contact us page, you can send in a email request to contact us. Here is what we need:

  • room size
  • the item or pattern number

We will have some follow up questions. Such as:

  • are the towel holders going back on the wall?
  • will you changing out any light fixtures?
  • are you going to be painting trim or ceilings?

We want to make sure that we have all the information we need to provide you with a successful wallpaper installation. We NEVER use the square ft. amount on the label. WHY?

  • The square foot amount says you have a perfect square. We all know our homes are not exactly square.
  • Square footage does not account for a repeat pattern.
  • The manufacturer also does not account for the extra 1-2 inches we need at the top and bottom on each panel to account for the highs and lows of your walls.

What should I do first?

Why you should use hot water to remove wallpaper

Do you have wallpaper in your home or office? Are you ready to remove that wallpaper? Then this blog post is ready for you.

Today, we are talking about wallpaper removal. In the Chicagoland area, there are a lot of homes and business locations that have wallpaper on their walls. If you do a YouTube search, you will find there are many ways people will tell you how to remove wallpaper. When you search for wallpaper removal methods, you will find several ways to remove wallpaper such as:

Wallpaper Removal Tools

  • wallpaper steamer
  • dif wallpaper stripping gel
  • tiger shark wall scoring tool
  • fabric softener
  • other chemicals
  • hot water

From our experience, we have found that the best way to remove wallpaper is with hot water. The paint and home improvement stores have many wallpaper removal solutions and chemical options to remove wallpaper, but today I will go into why you should use hot water to remove wallpaper.

How do you know if it’s time to remove wallpaper?

Here is a quick video showing wallpaper peeling– a little on the extreme side, but I think you get the point. (this site has been like this for over 5 years)

living room wallpaper removal

wallpaper being removed in a living room

Why hot water to remove wallpaper?

Although this may seem simple, it gets lost somehow- hot water cleans better than cold water. When you use the hottest water possible on walls with wallpaper it will cause almost a steam affect to the paper. The paper will “wilt”- get soft, allow the water and moisture to get in the wallpaper, then work in to the wallpaper adhesive which will force the paper to be peeled away from the wall.

Why you should use hot water to remove wallpaper

After the wallpaper has been soaking in hot water for a while, it will just come off the wall

To go a step further you can use some environmentally safe solutions that will actually make water wetter- allowing for the water to actually permeate better! We are a huge fan of Safe and Simple, but since covid it has not been available.

safe and simple wallpaper removal solution

safe and simple wallpaper removal solution

What are the steps to removing wallpaper with water?

Our process of removing wallpaper is pretty straight forward.

  • get a clean bucket, have access to hot water, have access to a toilet to flush down dirt water, have a good sponge that you can get walls wet and clean with
  • make sure that you have a work light in darker rooms
  • be careful when working around traditional light bulbs- water to hot light bulb may cause the bulbs to shatter
  • use a putty knife or a 5 in 1 tool, try to scrape or peel away as much wallpaper as you can- with no water. Wallpaper is typically made in layers. Most residential wallpapers have two layers, the top one will more times than not peel away from the wall. The wallpaper backing, which has the adhesive portion, is what we need to get wet. Commercial wallpaper will usually peel off completely, meaning you can just wash the adhesive from the wall.
  • Anyway- back to the water…place the hottest water you can stand in the bucket.

 bucket of hot water with safe and simple - wallpaper removal tools

our bucket of hot water with safe and simple

Using hot water to remove wallpaper…

If you have sea sponges- they work the best, if not use the ones you see by the ceramic tile supplies, they are the next best option. Clean the sponge, some sponges have dye in them, some still stink from the ocean, others have been in storage and just get dirty.

Once you have your sponge and hot water ready, allow the sponge to soak into the water in order to really get the sponge wet. Then, ring it out so it is damp, not dripping wet.

hot water is critical to wallpaper removal

hot water is critical to wallpaper removal

Apply the water to the wall. Allow to sit for 5- 10 minutes, repeat it twice! After 20-30 minutes the wallpaper should be at a point that it should peel away from the wall with little effort. An easy way to remove wallpaper!

peel wallpaper off after it starts to bubble

after the paper is wet- it will start to bubble, it is ready to peel it off

wallpaper beginning to peel from wall

here is the wallpaper as it is beginning to peel from the wall

Removing wallpaper glue from the walls

Once the wallpaper is removed you will need to wash the glue from the walls. It is very important to remove all the glue; otherwise you will have issues with your paint sticking to the wall and the paint will crackle!!

You will see the walls nice and clean- shiny when wet- no glue!

clean wall after wallpaper removal - remove wallpaper glue

here is a wall that is clean- not residue

Check out this video we did on removing wallpaper glue:

clean walls after wallpaper is removed - removing wallpaper

the wall are nice and clean after wallpaper is removed and cleaned

Removing wallpaper is job that most people hate. If the wallpaper was installed correctly, the wallpaper will be relatively easy to remove. Look at it this way- if you have wallpaper on your walls- do you really want it to just come right off? Wallpaper provides not just a great look and feel, but is also a very effective product to keep walls in good appearance for many years, compared to some annual locations that have to provide annual painting applications.

You can watch a quick video on this we shot for this blog post:

Let us know if this helps with your wallpaper removal project! If you have questions we would love to hear them so we can better help you love the space you’re in!

How much does it cost to wallpaper a ceiling?

If you are looking for a great look to accent your home- then adding ceiling wallpaper is your ticket! But how much does it cost to wallpaper a ceiling?

Great question, and overall not too complicated of a question either. So let’s get into what we need to know from you and what you can expect from us during this wallpaper installation process.

What kind of wallpaper can be installed on a ceiling

The hardest part of a wallpaper ceiling install is selecting the wallpaper. Almost any type of wallpaper can be installed on a ceiling. I say almost because I most likely would not use a peel and stick, self stick type wallpaper on any ceiling. You also want to find something that won’t attract dust such as grasscloth wallpaper.

Best wallpaper for ceilings

Most other wallcoverings will work well because we can prepare the ceiling with specialized primers and adhesives to get the best performance and long lasting performance. Wallpapers that we have installed vary such as:

ceiling wallpaper - wallpaper installation near me

How to prepare a ceiling for wallpaper

Once you have selected a wallpaper for your ceiling, then the fun begins! We will have to measure the space that you are looking to have wallpaper installed on. We need to figure out:

  • which direction the paper should go
  • if the paper is long enough to span the space- otherwise you have seams in the ceiling
  • do you have enough paper?
  • what type of primer we need
  • what type of adhesive we need
  • can we paste the surface or do we need to paste the paper?
  • will this need 1 or 2 people?

In order to get the ceiling ready for wallpaper, the basic wallpaper tool is pole sand the surface area to get rid of any burrs, or times that may have gotten in the paint from the previous paint job. Once we have that done, we are going to apply a primer. The primer will seal the surface for wallpaper making it adhere to the primer vs the drywall, and protect the drywall from any damage that may happen.

After we allow the primer to dry, we will apply a coat of adhesive to the surface and allow that to dry overnight. When we come back the next day and apply the wallpaper to the previously primed ceiling with adhesive, it will stick like Velcro!

So what is the cost to install wallpaper on the ceiling?

I have set the table to show you the prep needed, now it is a matter of how much time it will take. No matter what, most ceilings are a 8 hour event. With that you can expect to pay about $589, it may get higher as long as materials keep increasing in price.

residential wallpaper - ceiling wallpaper

If we have to have 2 people installing you will be looking at $1,210 for the two men to come and install, as we most likely will need rolling scaffold, support braces etc. to get the paper on the larger area.

That is about it.. the prep we use, the issues we face and some basic ceiling wallpaper installation costs. We hope that helps.. if you have other questions about wallpaper installation in general please let us know how we can help so you can love the space you’re in!

How Much Does It Cost to Install Wallpaper in the Chicago Area?

As we were working last week doing a wallpaper installation, we received a call asking for a price to install wallpaper in a bathroom. The customer asked us several questions about our pricing. We in turn had to ask the customer a few questions such as:

  • What are the dimensions of the bathroom?
  • Is the room painted or does it have wallpaper needing to be removed?
  • Have you selected a wallpaper for the room yet?
  • What type of wallpaper has been selected? (Grasscloth, self stick, commercial)
wallpaper installation cost - wallcovering installers
Wallpapered Dining Room
wallpaper installation near me - bathroom wallpaper
art deco wallpaper

The answer we received for 3 of these questions was “we are not sure”. Do the size of the room and the wallpaper being installed really matter to give an estimated cost to install wallpaper? Yes, it does.

  • Wallpapers all require some prep work.
  • Some call for specialized primers to be used prior to installation. 
  • Self Stick wallpapers have issues with paint that are low VOC
  • There are different requirements for the type of adhesive or glue to be used.
  • Depending on the wallpaper it will take longer to install as various wallpapers require them to be wet (pasted with glue) to allow the glue to set up time prior to installation.
  • The cost of wallpaper in the Chicago area can vary also depending on the location, i.e. downtown will be more due to travel, parking building restrictions etc.

So…what is the cost to install wallpaper in the Chicago area?

There are some wallpaper installations that are fairly simple to estimate. And without getting into too many details which may just really bore you, expect to pay about $580 to do an installation. There are always fixed costs such as:

  • transportation
  • tools used
  • primers used
  • materials to apply primers and adhesives
  • workman’s comp
  • standard insurance policy
  • and of course taxes.

This may not answer all of your questions regarding cost to install wallpaper for your home or business, but it is a start as to what we need to know what is the minimum cost for an installation in the Chicago area.

Give us a call to schedule an estimate or send us a text to 847-553-1726. We will be glad to help!

wallpaper accent wall - statement wallpaper
Wallpaper Accent Walls!

Wallpaper Accent Walls are the best value to transform your home into something amazing! A question we hear a lot from our customers is “I am looking for just one wall of wallpaper- can you do that?” Yes, we can!! We are asked this daily, and the hottest trend in home decorating is using wallpaper as a feature wall in your home.

Other Names for Accent Wallpaper

We are playing with a few terms that we are called about which are all the same just depends on your perspective and where we put the emphasis.

  • wallpaper accent wall
  • one wall wallpaper
  • feature wall wallpaper
  • statement wallpaper
wallpaper accent wall - wallpaper feature wall
small desk wallpaper accent

Where to Install Accent Wallpaper

Since wallpaper has so many styles it is only natural that where it can be installed varies from house to house or person to person. Wallpaper accent walls can be achieved by installing them on:

  • ceilings
  • single walls in any rooms
  • headboard walls in your bedroom
  • foyer wallpaper accent
  • hallway feature walls

Wallpaper Accent Ideas

Wallpaper Feature Walls

As you can see by the photos above, wallpaper comes in many styles and the installation can vary as well. Prep work is usually the biggest obstacle in the installation of wallpaper accent walls. However, the type of wallpaper can make a difference as well.

Thinking about using peel and stick accent wallpaper?

Some of the peel and stick wallpapers available online are very thin and not very tacky because they are meant to be removed. That being said, low tack repositionable self stick wallpapers should be avoided when installing them in high traffic areas or ceilings. Here is a blog we did on peel and stick wallpaper.

Installing Accent Wallpaper For You

Regardless of the location you want to install wallpaper, and for the most part regardless of the type of wallpaper you want installed, we can help! We install wallpaper in both residential and commercial settings.

We try to make it easy, text or email us pics and the wallpaper you want to be installed and we can get an estimate started for you!

commercial wallpaper - office wallpaper
What Is Commercial Wallpaper?

Is wallpaper back? We hear or are asked this question daily. Trick question.. because from our perspective it never went away! We are Commercial Wallpaper and residential wallpaper installers. This represents about 30% of our business.

What are commercial wallcoverings?

Defining commercial wallpaper, also known as commercial wallcoverings, can be tricky. 10 years ago commercial wallpaper was made on specific machines, with specific products that were of specific standards. That is no longer true. When we are defining wallpaper to our new hires or people in our training classes, we define wallpaper as a printed material, similar to fabrics, that can be applied to walls, that is usually over 45 inches wide

Really?? That is it? For us, yes. The wallpaper industry is always evolving, just like everyone else:

  • The type of wallpaper used may be different from month to month.
  • Materials used to make commercial wallpaper if it is vinyl, may be chemically changed due to various petroleum availability and costs.
  • The thickness of the base printed materials are changing. Like how double stuff Oreos used to be stupid thick and now they are the same thickness as regular Oreos used to be!! Or is it just me??
  • The ink that is used to print changes as supplies are available.
  • The print machines are always being improved .
pulling commercial wallpaper in a paste machine

Where to use Commercial Wallpaper

We are pretty much using it everywhere that traditional wallpaper is used such as in offices, and businesses.

commercial wallpaper
commercial wallpaper in a office

We are seeing more wallpaper being used in offices as accents instead of whole areas, which also is being done in homes too.

Accent Wallpaper

commercial wallpaper - wallpaper installers
commercial wallpaper accent wall
custom wallpaper mural - commercial wallcovering
custom commercial wallpaper
accent wallpaper - commercial wallcovering
accent commercial wallpaper

Wallpaper Murals

Custom wallpaper is really fun! The above is one example but we have installed other custom made wallpapers in banks, homes, retail locations, as well as traditional work space offices. The custom installs are typically considered digital graphics, digital murals, or custom murals.

Here are more blogs we’ve done on wallpaper murals:

The Benefits of Commercial Wallpaper

Ok… there will be people that will argue these points, but these points I reference here are from our 15 plus years as a business.

  • The lifespan of the wallpaper is 10-20 years. The average span of paint is about 3-5, depending on wear and tear. With that comparison the wallpaper is almost half the price
  • The cost to print wallpaper is always changing and so is the cost of paint. Granted, a gallon of paint is $40 dollars and covers 300 square feet . A roll of wallpaper can be $60-90 and it covers from 30-80 square feet plus it has to be installed, and the walls primed.
  • For an average size room we are painting walls and ceilings for about $520. We are installing that same room for $640 (with prep and primer), add your wallpaper and I would guess your at $1,000.00
  • Another perk is that paint is one color. Wallpaper has so many designs, prints, colors, themes, or custom designs. You can really change the look and feel of a room in a day.

What do you think?

Ready to tackle a commercial project or a project using commercial grade wallpaper? Then we will help! Give us a call or email, let us see how we can help you love the space you’re in!

(847) 553-1726


wallpaper a corner
My wallpaper pattern doesn’t match in a corner

Well, I hope you’re having a great day- but if you’re here because your wallpaper pattern doesn’t match in a corner then you are probably a bit frustrated right now.

Sometimes there is an easy fix, but as you will see in this post- today it is not.

Why your wallpaper doesn’t match on inside corners

Of course this is a loaded statement. So let’s go over a few reasons your wallpaper isn’t lining up in the corner:

  • the inside corner is concaved
  • your wall is not square
  • there could be a issue where the wall is not plumb/level
  • wall repairs may have been made where the wall is bowed out

Each of these issues will cause the wallpaper to react and lay down differently on the inside corners, which if you have a pattern will cause the pattern to not match. You can see the wallpaper installation issue we are having with this install because of the wall not being level or plumb.

wallpaper pattern doesn't match in a corner - wallpaper installation elgin il
Here you can see where the paper is level but the wall is not
wallpaper not lining up in the corner
here is another view of the corner not being plumb

Ways you can try to get a wallpaper pattern to match on an inside corner

With inside corners not being level, it makes it tricky to get a wallpaper pattern to match. There are a few different ways to go about this.

  • If you have extra wallpaper, you may be able to cut an extra strip so you can add another piece to extend the pattern on one wall so the unevenness is not so noticeable.
  • Some wallpaper will stretch – you can try- but if you start stretching, it may not go back to the original size.
  • You maybe able to overlap the pattern in excess so it does not match on the top but matches on the bottom- then do a double cut to get the pattern to match, then you have to restart the next panel to match the pattern you just cut. It’s very hard to explain but sometimes it will work.
  • Just tell the customers you have crooked walls, and the inside corners are not going to line up. Similar to a cabinet install- there may be a gap and you cannot do much with it with out drawing more attention to the fact it is crooked.

Does that help a little?

We hope so!! When a wallpaper pattern doesn’t match in a corner it is not a fun day. No one likes to see it, but we don’t like to do it either. This was not a huge article it is just a little something to answer questions we are receiving.

Have a wallpaper question for us? Let us know!! maybe we can help and make a video for you that answers that question. Have a great day and God bless!!

Want to learn more about wallpaper installations? Check out our blog or watch this video training that is great. When you want the hands on learning give us call!

How to Paint over Wallpaper

How do you paint over wallpaper? Can you paint over wallpaper? Yes, you can.

Why would you paint over wallpaper? The biggest reason is that the existing wallpaper will not come off.

Removing wallpaper is easy IF the previous wallpaper installation was done correctly. When the wallpaper will not come off the wall, then your options are limited. You can get new drywall or go over the existing wallpaper, which is what we have done here.

Painting over wallpaper - dfranco painting wallpaper

It won’t come off!

We tried removing the wallpaper from this small space. As you can see we were not very successful. This one wall took over 2.5 hours! So we stopped.

There are other ways to paint over wallpaper, however, this is the method that has worked best for us.

You will need the following materials before you start:

  1. 220 grit sandpaper
  2. Gardz wall primer
  3. Paint brush
  4. Paint tray
  5. Drop cloths
  6. Drywall repair supplies (to fix holes or dings in the wall)
  7. Paint rollers
  8. Paint

The first thing we do is give a quick sanding to walls. This will remove anything and makes sure it is a smooth surface.

Next, apply one coat of Gardz primer to the walls. Please, keep a window open since it does smell. One thing about putting a primer like Gardz over wallpaper is that is will reveal any problems such as loose paper- you will see bubbles, and it will adhere better than glue! Make sure you let the primer dry 2 hours, then you can fix any nicks, holes, dings etc.

Take a look at these two pictures of the primer applied and fixing some spots that look bad. After you make the repairs, you need to sand the wall again and apply one more coat of primer.

wallpaper installation - wallpaper installers

dfranco painting - wallpaper installation - how to paint over wallpaper

When that the primer is dry and the repairs were made, we used a tinted primer to hide the wallpaper color and pattern that was printed.

Tinted primer on the wall starting to dry.

wallpaper installers - wallpaper installation cost - painting over wallpaper

wallpaper removal elgin il - painting over wallpaper

Once the primer is dry, then start painting over wallpaper. Here, we used two coats of matte finish paint. (Sherwin Williams Cashmere Low Luster.)

Here are the walls painted!
wallcovering installers - wallpaper installation - how to paint over wallpaper

You can see the start of the process via video. Here is another video where we installed wallpaper over wallpaper.

Finally one more video on what not to do... This house has several rooms that we did in fact remove wallpaper, but this powder room was a mess!! Someone started to remove the wallpaper, then stopped, then just painted over everything. You see old paper, the walls are rough from old paper and glue being rolled into the paint, so we have our work cut out for us to get it looking right.  

Do you have questions about removing wallpaper, how to fix a wallpaper removal gone bad or how to just paint over the wallpaper because it wont come off? Feel free to give us a call!

Installing Peel and Stick Wallpaper

Does peel and stick wallpaper really work? Actually, it does.

Hello everyone, David Cook from D’franco Painting & Wallpaper, coming at you! One of the more popular things to do in homes lately is installing peel and stick wallpaper. But with these installations, we get a question that we have to answer… Does peel and stick wallpaper really work? As with our other posts, we will give you some basic information as we know it from a wallpaper installer’s perspective.

My goal today is to give some basics: What peel and stick wallpaper is, will it ruin your walls, and what tools you will need to start a peel and stick wallpaper job.

What is peel and stick wallpaper?

Traditionally, wallpaper has always needed adhesive to be applied to the wallpaper or wall before installing.  There have been improvements to the wallpaper that allow for the wallpaper adhesive to be applied directly to the wall then just putting the wallpaper direct to the wall and no pre-pasting! The latest wallpaper innovation, I say that with a wince- as this wallpaper is similar to materials used from sign companies and made into wallpaper. (don’t quote me on that as that is a very generalized statement- but gives you a better context of what we are using)

peel and stick wallpaper
peel and stick wallpaper separated from its backing paper

Peel and stick wallpaper is a printed paper, or vinyl product that has had adhesive applied to the back side of the wallpaper. It also has a backing which is a layer of a covering or lining that lays on the adhesive to protect the adhesive until it is time to use it. The backing in most cases, is like wax paper in that it sticks to the wallpaper adhesive kind of like a post it note would stick to your desk, but leaves no residue and does not affect the adhesive itself.

Will peel and stick wallpaper damage or ruin walls?

This is a loaded question. Why? Because there are several factors that play a role into the answer of this question:

  • What condition are your walls in?
    • How old are they?
    • Are they brand new?
    • Do your walls have a lot of repairs to them?
    • When was the last time they were painted?
  • What type of peel and stick wallpaper do you have?
    • There are different levels of “tac” or how sticky the adhesive is. The more tacky the adhesive the more likely the damage can happen when trying to remove the stick and peel wallpaper.
  • Where was the peel and stick wallpaper purchased from?
    • Did you buy the cheapest one you could find? Then beware, because this is a case of you get what you pay for.
    • Was it purchased from China? Some of the products from there are just down right awful with no quality control.
    • Does the company you bought from install the products? They will have experience in how it works, installation tricks, advice etc. Here is a related article on buying murals (very similar to what to look for)

As with preparing walls for traditional wallpaper, this type of wallpaper needs to have their walls prepared properly also.

One new updated issue that peel and stick wallpaper has is sticking to NO VOC paint. This is also an issue with sign/automotive type graphics as well. I do not know why. I just know that if you read the instructions, many of them will have a clause about VOC paint. We avoid it by just re-priming the walls with Guardz wall sealer. This also allows us to pole sand the wall smooth for a better wallpaper surface.

What tools will you need?

These are some basic tools. The peel and stick wallpaper you choose may have their own list of tools you will need.

peel and stick wallpaper tools - wallpaper installation chicago
Basic peel and stick wallpaper tools
  1. Tape Measure
  2. Level or laser level
  3. Smoothing tool with a soft edge cover
  4. Razor blade or snap off razor blade knife
  5. Scissors
  6. Trim cutting guide

How does this kind of wallpaper really work?

As you have seen above, you peel the backing away from the paper and stick it to your wall. It is that simple in theory. But you can have some issues that will get you in trouble:

  • If your walls have drywall repairs, the self stick will show every single mark your wall has had or has.
  • As long as you are installing on one wall, you will not have to worry about how crooked your inside or outside edges are, which make wrapping wallpaper around a corner a nightmare.
  • Work slow. You will be fine! Like I tell our guys, “Slow is steady and steady is fast.”
  • As you apply the peel and stick, IF you have to move it, be slow and careful. If you pull too hard, you can stretch the wallpaper, making it very hard to get back to the wall properly.
  • If you imagine working with thick saran wrap with glue on it, you will have an idea of what you need to get mentally prepared for… it sticks to damn near everything except where you want it to. (Not really 100% true but I thought that it was a funny way to describe it!)

Not ready to tackle this yourself?

I don’t blame you. These can be nice but they can also be a nightmare. Stay tuned for other articles on peel and stick wallpaper. I write these once a week when I am not doing estimates, training, installing or some of the other tasks as a business owner. If you need some help, let us know!

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