5 Creative Ways to Use Peel and Stick Wallpaper

Peel and stick wallpaper (which is also referred to as removable wallpaper) has completely changed the way we decorate our homes—especially for renters like myself.

It gives us the ability to add pattern and color to bland walls while remaining damage-free. Unlike traditional wallpaper (that requires the messy job of pasting), it’s much simpler to install and removal is as easy as peeling. I can definitely say that the choices of peel and stick wallpaper out there on the market have drastically improved over the years, and you can now find colors and designs for just about any style on platforms like Etsy, Spoonflower, etc. Monochrome pattern wallpapers in particular are my favorite at the moment. I’ve listed a few that I like here.

Despite its name, peel and stick wallpaper isn’t just for walls—there are, in fact, many ways you can use this paper to spruce up your home. All you need is a little out-of-the-box creativity. Maybe you want to update an old eBay find without taking out your paint brushes? Or maybe your staircase is in desperate need of a non-permanent pop of color and pattern? Peel and stick wallpaper is the solution for it all. The sky is the limit.

Today, I’m sharing five different ways I’ve used peel and stick wallpaper around my home.

1. As a Feature (Accent) Wall

This is perfect for adding a fun element to a bare room. Creating an accent wall is a much more cost effective than wallpapering an entire room. And as long as you choose the right kind of style, a wallpapered accent wall can pack quite the punch!

Photo credit: Kasia Fiszer Photography  

I applied this print to the wall in my entryway. I had initially planned to wallpaper the whole wall, but some unexpected things happened which resulted in just the lower half of the wall being papered. Despite all the last minute adjustments, it turned out quite nice and is a lovely backdrop to the IVAR cabinet.

2. As Temporary Flooring

This one is a little controversial and not as widely utilized, but it does work! The idea is that you apply peel and stick wallpaper to surfaces like laminate, tiles, concrete, linoleum and seal with several coats of polyurethane—here is a tutorial more in depth. It’s a really quick and easy way to change up hard flooring that you aren’t a fan of, and if done correctly can last for quite a few years.

Photo credit: Kasai Fiszer Photography

I wallpapered the laminate flooring in my porch with a tile effect wallpaper. It lasted about two years (it probably would have lasted longer if I had remembered to apply soft furniture pads to the feet of the bench) and really helped to brighten up a small space that had once looked dark and gloomy.

3. Lining Kitchen Cabinets

Transform the insides of your kitchen cabinets from bland to beautiful with peel and stick wallpaper.

Unfortunately for renters, there isn’t always a lot you can do with regards to changing up the more permanent features in a kitchen; i.e. removing wall cabinets, installing new countertops, or retiling, for example. I mean, unless you have a really amazing landlord, but they are often few and far between. But don’t let that get you down—there are lots of superficial ways to add a little personality to your kitchen. Try removing your kitchen cabinet doors for a start (making sure to store them somewhere safe) to get an open plan shelving-type feel.

I added a funky wallpaper to the backing of my “open plan” cabinets to create a visually appealing backdrop for all my dishware and crockery. I can honestly say my kitchen looks so much better for it!

4. On the Ceiling

We often forget about the fifth wall (the ceiling) when it comes to decorating and that’s something I feel really needs to change!

Wallpapering the ceiling can add so much character, appear to improve an awkward room’s proportions, or bring extra pattern into a scheme that is in need of a little more oomph!. Granted, wallpapering a ceiling is a lot more trickier (neck cramp alert) than wallpapering a vertical wall, but the end result is well worth the extra effort.

I wallpapered the ceiling in my husband’s tiny office with peel and stick wallpaper. The room is very dark and moody, so this wallpaper adds a nice touch of brightness to the space. Because the wallpaper I chose was quite a busy pattern, I doubt it would have worked so well on a vertical wall.

5. Decorating Furniture

Not sure if you want to commit to paint a special piece of furniture? Or maybe you are just looking for a quick and easy DIY project that involves no mess? Using peel and stick wallpaper is a great option for updating furniture. The paper can be removed without damage should you change your mind down the road. You can apply peel and stick wallpaper to the front, sides, top of furniture, or even to the insides of a drawer, for example.

I wallpapered these standard ALEX drawers using leftover paper from a previous project! The difference was instant and it took me less than 30 minutes to complete! 

What do you think of these peel and stick wallpaper ideas? Have you tried any of them before in your home? Let me know in the comments below. You can also check out my blog or Instagram for more easy rental decorating ideas! xo, Medina

    • I don’t see why not. I just covered the file cabinet in my (now) home office space. It is a 30 year old IKEA piece and the melamine was yellowing and getting dingy looking. I chose a nice floral wallpaper, swapped out the hardware on the drawers and it looks great. It was surprisingly easy – the secret is good quality peel & stick paper – spend the few extra dollars. The thinner, less expensive stuff is harder to work with. I covered a few shelves in a marble look paper and that was a lot harder due to the fact the vinyl was very thin and easily stuck to itself.

  • Medina – I love your style! I’m always drawn to dark walls, pops of color, and strong graphic prints and your home is so beautiful and full of them. I think my favorite is the Keith Haring print on the ceiling. Thanks for sharing!

  • Medina – What a wonderful post! I love every photo and want a lot more detail about your apartment. I will definitely be spending some time at your blog. I have found many wallpapers that I like, but they are way too expensive (for me anyway) to cover a wall. Thank you for some great ideas. And thank you to A Beautiful Mess for showcasing your work.

  • Love this post! More from Medina please! I think my day will likely be spent scouring her blog for more amazing ideas!

  • What an inspirational post, thank you! I have an out-dated hutch that fits our space and drinkware well, but I’m getting so tired of the heavy wood look. You’ve motivated me to try updating it with removable wallpaper.

  • Welcome Medina! Excited for more of your content 🙂 This is super inspiring!

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