How to install a removable wallpaper mural

A few weeks ago, I revealed the transformation of my home office, which featured a Chinoiserie-style wallpaper mural from Tempaper Designs. Since then, I’ve received two questions countless times: (1) wait, that’s removable wallpaper?? and (2) how did you install it without hiring a professional?

Yes, the wallpaper is removable and it also looks incredible. Today I’m going to detail how we hung the temporary Tempaper wallpaper. I was anxious leading up to installing the paper, where I was convinced that we would somehow ruin this gorgeous wallpaper mural, but I had absolutely nothing to worry about. We remarked after the hour and half we spent installing the paper that we wished every DIY project we tackled was this straightforward, simple, and high-impact.

1. Prepare the walls

To prepare the walls, we picked up the most inexpensive semi-gloss white paint we could find at Home Depot, and painted it on the wall that would be getting the wallpaper. Tempaper recommends using an eggshell or semi-gloss paint in order to allow you to re-position the wallpaper more easily as you install it.  I would recommend painting the wall several days in advance of the wallpaper install to ensure it’s fully cured.

2. Gather your supplies

Once the wallpaper arrived, we assembled our supplies: a new razor blade, a taping knife (used as a straight edge), a wallpaper smoothing tool, a laser level, a pencil, and a long 6-foot level.

3. Determine the placement of the first panel

We started in the top left corner of the wall by setting up the laser level the exact width of the panel away from the edge of the wall, minus a quarter inch. Then we measured the width from the edge to the laser line at various points along the vertical edge of the wall to make sure we had full coverage with the first panel. We used the edge of the laser level to guide the install of the first panel.

Tempaper provides a panel installation guide that shows you which panel to start with, and each panel is numbered, which corresponds to the guide, so you have a blueprint for exactly where to begin.

3. Hang the panels

Then, we followed the instructions and pulled down 3-4 feet of backing off the top of the first wallpaper panel, and spent a lot of time getting the positioning correct, then pushed the paper down gently and smoothed the paper from the center outwards using the wallpaper smoother. We kept pulling off more backing as we needed it until we finished the first panel. Then we did the same for the subsequent panels. When you hang these panels, they overlap 0.25″ on the right edge.

4. Trim the edges

At the end, we used the fresh razor blade and the taping knife to trim the excess paper around the edges. The taping knife serves as your straight edge to guide your razor blade. Make sure you razor blade is brand new so it leaves a clean edge. All in all, it took us about an hour and a half to hang the paper and it was quite a bit less intimidating than we expected. We couldn’t be more thrilled with how awesome the wallpaper mural looks in the space.

And that’s it! Have you ever hung removable wallpaper before?

2 thoughts on “How to install a removable wallpaper mural

  1. Totally digging this! Thanks for the step by step directions with photos and a video. Feeling inspired and less fearful!

  2. Hi! We love your posts on IG! My husband started following you first & now we are getting so much inspiration for our new home from you! So, thank you for that!

    We are hoping to do wallpaper in our bathroom, do you have any suggestions on where to find good options at an affordable price? Thank you so much!

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