Why You Should Think Twice Before Putting Up Wallpaper

So you're thinking about installing wallpaper. And like most big home projects, it feels a bit daunting, right? Hate to break it to you but, that's probably because it is. Especially if you're a wallpaper beginner, you definitely don't want to press "Add to Cart" on anything right away. First, you should understand the task ahead and know the basics of choosing, installing, and removing wallpaper panels. You may be thinking, "But those DIY bloggers make it look so easy!" Sorry, but that's Instagram's magic fooling you once again.

To be honest, wallpaper might be one of the most controversial topics in home décor. Its supporters love the way it transforms a room by adding unmatched dimension, texture, and character — especially when it's a real funky print. Meanwhile, its naysayers can't stand it, either because it's too loud, feels dated, and most annoying of all, can be a pain to remove. Even if you want to buy peel-and-stick (the best invention to ever surface in Wallpaper World), that doesn't mean application will be a breeze, either — there are still quite a few roadblocks you could run into. Here's why you should think twice before putting up wallpaper.

What to consider before trying wallpaper

First, you need to understand the types of wallpaper. Not all of them are pasted on and steam-removed like the kind hanging in Grandma's house. Vinyl, also known as peel-and-stick, is the most popular kind, per HomeAdvisor, because it's easy to clean and take down. There's also pre-pasted, which comes with a pre-applied adhesive that requires being saturated with water before application. Then there's the more traditional, fabric-like textiles that need to be applied with a separate glue-like product.

Another thing to consider when it comes to wallpaper is pattern. Because wallpaper typically comes in panels, if the one you choose features a repeated design, you'll have to line each section up perfectly to achieve a seamless look. That on its own can be meticulous. Then there's wall texture — not all wall types are treated equal, and the wallpaper you want to use may not adhere to your popcorn or paneled walls, so that's something to think about. To avoid ordering sheets of the wrong type, Apartment Therapy recommends always ordering a sample first.

Lastly, measuring correctly is key — one panel of wallpaper may seem affordable at $20 to $40, but that cost adds up fast, especially if you have a large space to cover. Not only that, but you'll want to order extra because you will make mistakes. Calculating the square footage for the amount of panels needed can be tricky, but thankfully, there are plenty of calculators on the internet to help. In the end, if you do decide to go down the wallpaper road, be sure you're ready for all that it'll entail.