Today I’m going to answer some questions about peel & stick removable wallpaper and how to apply a wallpaper backsplash.
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I’m sure that different brands vary in quality. While I cannot speak for all brands, I’m sharing my experience with this particular wallpaper.
Some questions I plan to cover are:
- Is it easy to install?
- Is it a quality paper?
- Does it stick well?
- Do you overlap it?
- How do you clean a wallpaper backsplash?
- Is it really removable?
You can find the wallpaper pattern I used on Amazon. It’s also available at Wallpops. This is not the peel & stick tiles. It’s actually an 18 inch by 9 foot roll of peel and stick wallpaper. The scale of the pattern and the height of the roll were designed to work perfectly as a backsplash.
ORIGINAL DESIGN & PLAN
Two years ago, I designed and installed Ikea kitchen cabinets and counter-tops in my home office. You can read all about that process here. I love the design, storage and function of this space. But, I was worn out with the build and came up short with the decor.
While I did make a small effort to decorate my office at the time, I wasn’t satisfied with the outcome. This month I plan to use my DIY skills and material I already have, to decorate it. I want to save my budget for other projects, so I don’t plan to spend much on this.
When I first installed the cabinets, I made a fabric pin board in this space. As time passed, I realized that I wasn’t using the cork board and the color and pattern didn’t really match the rest of my home. I also have plans to use the cork board in a different way. This is where I’m starting.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Let’s cover a few important things up front. If your wall is freshly painted, hold off on applying the wallpaper. I would advise waiting for 4 weeks to let the paint fully cure. The wall surface needs to be clean and smooth. Do not attempt to apply wallpaper to textured walls, unpainted drywall or non-stick paint. If you are hanging it around outlets or switches, turn off the power, remove the covers and vacuum out any dust. You don’t want to get dust or debris on the adhesive backing of the wallpaper. I also don’t advise applying the wallpaper over caulk.
HOW TO APPLY A WALLPAPER BACKSPLASH
First I’m going to explain what the instructions said to do. Then I’m going to explain what I actually did and why.
Start with a smaller piece of wallpaper. Lay your roll of wallpaper on the counter and peel back about 12 inches of the backing.
Working from left to right, apply the wallpaper, starting at an edge or corner. Use your counter-top as a guide for level. Once it is positioned properly, smooth out and press it firmly with your plastic spreader. Again working from left to right.
Measure and cut out any outlets or switch covers with your cutting mat and utility knife.
Take care not to stretch the paper. HGTV has a quick and simple video for the process, if you need to see it.
HOW I ACTUALLY INSTALLED THE WALLPAPER BACKSPLASH
I had a few obstacles that prevented the above method from working. First, I have a piece of molding on the front of my upper cabinets to hide the cabinet lighting. The molding and lighting ended up being a big problem.
While I started out using the recommended method, the edges of my wallpaper were getting damaged. The wallpaper also began heading in a downward motion, because I had to unroll it on a slight angle. Thankfully, this paper was removable. So I peeled it off and came up with a new plan.
I laid the paper face down on my counter-top and peeled off the entire backing.
Then I asked two of my kids to hold the paper up, while I positioned it and used my plastic spreader to smooth it out. Be sure to explain the process to your helpers first. I asked them to be careful, not to let the adhesive stick to itself before they lifted the paper.
Even though this process sounds awkward, I have to say it, it was much easier. I had the paper up very quickly, it wasn’t damaged and it was level. I didn’t have to work around outlets, so I only had one seam. If you are measuring and cutting outlets, work with smaller pieces of wallpaper. I’ll explain how I hid the seams further down.
IS IT EASY TO INSTALL?
Many people hear peel & stick and think this is a simple project. Like any DIY project, patience will serve you well. There are always obstacles to work around and it’s never as strait forward as you originally think.
With that said, I would put this project in the easy category. Give yourself enough margin, so you are not rushing through it.
IS IT A QUALITY PAPER?
The paper I used was very good quality. It was on the thicker side and didn’t tear when I had to remove it from the wall. It has a matte vinyl feel. The two rolls were consistent in color and pattern. The edge of a new roll is designed to line up with the end of the previous roll. Although, I found mine to be slightly off. I’ll explain how I lined up the seams further down.
DOES IT STICK WELL?
If you have a clean, smooth surface, it does stick well. I was very impressed with the adhesive on this wallpaper. It stuck firmly to the wall and was easy to smooth out during application. There are no bubbles or wrinkles and it is firmly stuck to the wall.
DO YOU OVERLAP IT?
The instruction say to line up the ends of the wall paper, matching the pattern up. I tried to do it this way and found that the seam showed and the pattern was slightly off. Keep in mind, I’m a very detail oriented person.
My fix? I overlapped the pattern. I want to be honest here. In all of my research, no one recommended to do this. I’m also not sure if this will be a problem over time. But, I have to say that the seam is invisible. I called my kids in and asked them to find the seam without touching the wallpaper. They couldn’t find it, even with careful attention. The black arrows below are pointing to the seam.
I cut the wallpaper so the seam didn’t run through any of the dark gray solid lines. The adhesive stuck really well to the front of the previous piece of paper. If I were wallpapering an entire wall, I’m not sure I would have the patience to do this.
HOW DO YOU CLEAN A WALLPAPER BACKSPLASH?
The directions say to wipe it down with a slightly damp cloth. It has a vinyl type finish on it, so I think it will wipe up well. However, I’m not sure spaghetti sauce would wipe off of it. Certain foods or smoke from cooking, might stain the white finish. I’m using it in an office environment, so I won’t be able to test it for you.
To be fair, it is a very inexpensive product and is designed for temporary use. That’s why it’s removable. It’s also pretty simple to install. I feel certain, that if I tire of it after a few years, I can install a new paper without breaking the bank or wasting too much time.
IS IT REALLY REMOVABLE?
I did stick down about 3 feet of this paper and then removed it. It stuck really well to the wall. When I pulled it off, the paper didn’t tear and all of the adhesive came up with the paper. There was no damage to the paint or wall.
Since I haven’t tested removing it after it’s been up for a few years, I cannot speak to that. I do know from working with removable vinyl in my crafts, the adhesive becomes more permanent over time. Especially if it is in direct sunlight or if it comes into contact with heat. I’m not sure if this wallpaper is the same as removable vinyl. But I thought you would find this information helpful.
DO YOU NEED TO TRIM IT OUT WITH MOLDING?
After installing the wallpaper, I found that it looked O.K. without molding around it. There was no need to install trim. Here is a picture before the molding.
I like the way it looks with molding. There is a gap between the back of my counter-top and the wall. Most kitchens have caulk in this gap. Since my counter-tops are in an office (dry environment) I didn’t caulk the gap. If you are in a kitchen, you will need stop the wallpaper before the caulk line. I’m not sure how this will look. You may want to remove the caulk, install the wallpaper and then re-caulk it.
Another option would be to stop the wallpaper before the caulk and apply a piece of cove molding over it. Since the molding is light and just decorative, I used double stick tape and a thin line of caulk to hold the molding in place. This held up well and I didn’t put a bunch of holes in the wall and molding with a brad nailer.
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I hope these tips to apply a wallpaper backsplash were helpful to you. I’m really happy with the way this project turned out.