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How to Apply REAL Wallpaper … in a Rental!



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This is probably the most exciting post I’ve written in a long time. You all know how much I LOVE to hack the system when it comes to renting 😉 . Removable and peel & stick wallpaper has been a trend for some time now, which is something I will always be obsessed with. However, there are just some prints that only come in a non-pasted wallpaper form. This is what most would call, “real wallpaper.” Today, I am partnering with Wayfair and am showing you how you can EASILY apply REAL wallpaper to a rental wall with NO damage AND that’s easily removable!  (PS. I transformed this bedroom within a day AND under $250!)

All you need are five items:

1. The wallpaper of your choice (make sure its NON-PASTED)

2. A paint roller

3. A paint tray

4. Liquid starch

5. Utility knife

First, CLEAN YOUR WALL! I used a wet rag and wipes down the entire wall until dry. Your wall has to be clean for this to work!

Next, pour the liquid starch into your paint tray. The liquid starch is going to act as a glue for your wallpaper.


Unroll your wallpaper on the ground and match the pattern before applying on your wall. You will get SO frustrated if you try and hang up one piece at a time and try to match what’s already applied on the wall. Do this beforehand and you will save yourself time and sanity 🙂

With the paint roller, apply the liquid starch to the entire wall. Try not to miss any spots! (liquid starch dries fast so you can re-apply for areas that dry too fast OR you can apply one area at a time. It’s up to you!)

Next, start applying the wallpaper from the top of your ceiling. Press firmly on the wallpaper as you slowing roll it down to the point where you want it to stop. When you hit the point you want the roll to stop, simply use your utility knife to cut where needed.

Repeat the application of wallpaper until your entire wall is covered. Make sure to use the utility knife to cut around areas like an outlet.

I added a chic headboard to complete the eclectic look (also from Wayfair!).

Once you are ready to move out or change-up your space again, simply peel the wallpaper down! It’s that easy! There might be residue left behind, but that’s very easy to clean with a little bit of soap and water.

Links to the products I used for this tutorial are down below. Will you be trying this out in your rental? Let me know!


Want to know how to easily hang and install non pasted wallpaper? You can hang pre pasted wallpaper with NO damage in your home or rental apartment using liquid starch! No damage and it’s super easy to install. You can even remove it upon moving out! #vintagewallpaper #removablewallpaper #tropicalwallpaper #blushtropical #prepastedwallpaper


Read the Comments +

  1. Dani Lanza says:

    Hi Chelsey –

    I have hesitation to purchase temporary or even real wallpaper and applying via your method here after reading multiple sites that say the surface should be smooth. My walls aren’t slick smooth and have the natural texture from drywall/paint. Will this method still adhere and be somewhat long-lasting?


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Hi, I'm Chelsey

I’m an interior decorator, author, and “heirloom hunter”, discovering and returning lost family artifacts along my search for home accents. I'm also a dog mom, and very well aware there are some people who just follow me for him.

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