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Wallpaper: What is the difference between 'Peel and Stick' vs 'Paste the Wall'?

Updated: Feb 15

In wallpaper terminology, there's a few terms you might have come across. Below is a quick guide to helping you understand them.

Wallpaper Mural of Brisbane

{i left my heart} in Brisbane wallpaper mural, 2018

1. 'Paste the Wall' Wallpaper

You, or your wallpaper installer, apply glue to the wall and press the wallpaper against it. Dry wallpaper weighs less, which means there's less chance of it tearing. Dry wallpaper is also (in my opinion) better for the environment generally - many papers are sourced from sustainable forests and printed with environmentally friendly inks (ours are!).

I recommend hiring a professional wallpaper installer - it's quite an art form to get it right. The glue is important - commercially available, high quality glue makes a huge difference. Using a professional installer will get you the most professional outcome, and it's worth every penny.

2. 'Paste the Paper' Wallpaper

With 'Paste the Paper' method, the paste is applied to the back of the wallpaper before hanging. It requires a big flat table or surface to apply the paste to the wallpaper. Many wallpaper hangers will use this technique instead of paste-the-wall, and when I asked them why... they claim to get an even coating and better adhesion to the wall.

3. 'Peel and Stick' Wallpaper

This is the perfect solution for the DIY'ers among us!

Unlike traditional wallpaper, there’s no need for glue (or paste) to install it.

This wallpaper is perfect for easy installation and will transform your room in an instant.

'Peel and stick' wallpaper is essentially a giant sticker. It has a backing sheet that you can peel off slowly, as you press the wallpaper to the wall, smoothing and peeling as you go. Each panel is self-adhesive and repositionable so if you don't get the alignment right on the first go, don't panic! Just try again until you get it right. It sure takes the pressure off. I recommend getting a second pair of hands to help. While it can be installed solo, it will be easier and faster with two people.

The downside? Peel and stick wallpapers don't adhere to everything. In fact, they don't apply well to walls with some paints (especially 'Wash and Wear' paints that are popular here in Australia), because these paints can have surfactants in them that will prevent the wallpaper sticking to the paint. So steer clear of using peel and stick wallpapers over any painted walls that may have teflon in them.

If you're not sure what paint type is currently on your wall, prep your wall with gloss or semi-gloss acrylic paint. You'll need to allow your paint to dry for a minimum of 10 days before applying the peel and stick wallpaper.

Good luck with installing your next wallpaper.

If you can't find a design you absolutely LOVE, consider hiring me to create a custom wallpaper or wallpaper mural for you!

Custom Wallpaper Design


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