Rental Remedies

A Thorough Review & Tips on Decorating With Tempaper

Yesterday, I got an awesome comment from Meghan, letting me know that Nate Berkus featured “my” Tempaper on his show.  Not only did her comment crack me up, it reminded me that I owed you guys an official review of this temporary wallpaper that I applied to my guest room wall.

Tempaper is a temporary, removable wallpaper that is made in the USA – yeehaw!  It’s potentially a great temporary wallcover option for renters, or people who just don’t want to go to the effort of stenciling a wall (or two) for dramatic effect.

Tempaper Rental Friendly Wallpaper Frosted Teal

When I opened the roll, I was pleased by the rich color and sheen of the design. 

However, either I received a defective roll, or the Tempaper material scratches easily, because shortly after rolling the first part out flat to cut, I noticed this long white scratch on it.  That was disappointing, because it damaged about 3 feet of the paper.

Tempaper Wallpaper Durability Question

As for installing or applying the wallpaper all by myself – I found the process to be much easier than I expected – and the paper peeled back off the wall when I needed it to.   The only tricky part was getting each strip installed in a perfectly straight vertical line, but that would have been made easier if I had a helper. It’s not Tempaper’s fault.

One month after installation, the wallpaper is still willing to peel easily and cleanly off the wall.  I

If you want to create an accent wall but can only spring for one roll,  choose your pattern carefully.   I loved the Marrakesh pattern below, but the bold geometric design meant that I’d have to line my seams up perfectly – meaning I’d waste a few inches here and there in the process of lining each piece up with the last.

However, at $85 bucks a roll, Tempaper doesn’t come cheap.  My initial impression was that it smelled, felt, and adhered just like the much cheaper shelf contact paper I got at Home Depot and used on the walls of my coat closet.   But most contact paper in the stores is neither modern nor attractive, unlike the many awesome geometrics and florals Tempaper comes in. Additionally, contact paper comes in rather skinny widths, meaning more seams when you apply it to a wall.

Curious to know just what makes Tempaper so pricey, I read that Tempaper printing process  “incorporates the traditional technique of gravure or intaglio copper plate engraving with state of the art materials to bring a classic look and feel.”  That could explain the difference in price between Tempaper and standard contact paper.

Even with the rather hefty price tag, if you’re a renter who is stuck in a dingy apartment with bad walls or ugly kitchen cabinets, I think this solution could be totally worth splurging on.

And now, a pros & cons lists for those of us who love lists:

Why Tempaper Rocks:

  • Easy to apply, much easier and cleaner than traditional wallpaper.
  • Easy to remove.
  • Made in the USA
  • Can be used in bathrooms
  • Comes in a ton of modern, colorful designs
  • Can be hung by one person

Tempaper’s potential areas of improvement:

  • Cost, especially for more than one wall
  • Colorful surface seems to scratch easily
  • A little tricky to line up in a perfect vertical if you’re working solo
  • If you want to line up the patterns perfectly you may have to “waste” parts of the paper

I don’t think I’ve left anything out, but if you have questions – please ask!

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  • Reply Jenn @ Peas and Crayons at 3:19 pm

    Thanks Janey-poo! haha this is GOOD TO KNOW!!!!!!! I could never take the leap for wallpaper so this seems to be a fabulous solution — though i would have to find the perfect pattern and color in order to avoid sticker shock 😉 love ya!

  • Reply Tempaper at 9:25 am

    Jane, thanks for the feedback! The room looks fabulous, I think that Edie really brings that richness and unique look that you were going for!

    Edie Frosted Teal is a very saturated color which is why it scratched, we apologize! In terms of cost, we feel that our product offers a high-end solution for DIY wallpaper. The costs for paste/glue, that you need with traditional wallpaper, is eliminated, as well as, the need to hire wallpaper contractors/outside help. Most importantly, which I think you can attest to, you don’t have to spend $$ refinishing your walls when you apply/remove Tempaper, also unlike traditional wallpaper.

    Please feel free to email us any other suggestions at Thanks again and looking forward to following the rest of your design endeavors!

  • Reply Lifeinrehab at 7:20 am

    This is majorly cool and perfect for the commitment shy- like yours truly. I’ll have to follow your lead and dabble.

    • Reply Jane @ The Borrowed Abode at 4:11 pm

      I really am glad I tried it. I was frustrated that I wasn’t able to completely cover the wall with one roll, but I would definitely buy it again. it’s such a fun and easy way to try an accent wall. And it’s DEFINITELY way better (and easier) than trying to do a stenciled, painted design. At least for a klutz like me. 🙂

  • Reply lukas at 3:26 pm

    A great review. I ended purchasing several roles a few weeks ago to decorate a nursery.
    I hate to say it, but my experience was very much the same as you describe: Tempaper smells, and basically looks like dot-matrix printed, shiny vinyl. I don’t think that a comparison to wallpaper is justified, simply because it really is more glossy and plastic-feeling than any wallpaper.

    I spent several frustrating hours trying to get the alignment right (the elephants I had for the nursery required me to waste about a foot each time to ensure proper alignment). In the end, I really can’t say I am happy with the results. While I appreciate that this could be useful for renters, I would suggest that unless you like gloss and the smell of vinyl, you’re better off just painting or getting permission to use genuine wallpaper.

    The best part of this product is that is comes off. But then, after doing my entire room, waiting a few days and still being so disappointed by the look and the small air bubbles, and the glossy, plastic texture, I spent an afternoon ripping it all off and throwing it out, I was a bit frustrated that it cost as much as it did especially since I ended up throwing it all out…

    • Reply Jane at 10:49 am

      Hi Lukas – oh gosh, it sounds like you had a horrible experience with it! In my guest room the smell did go away, I think in about a week or two. Your situation getting the elephants aligned just right sounds incredibly frustrating. As a renter I’m still happy this product exists, but I agree it’s not yet perfect… Did you share your frustrations with Tempaper? Maybe they could help you out.

  • Reply Liz at 7:22 pm

    I’ve read from some reviews that Tempaper’s “metallic silver” is more white. I’m wondering if you have any experience with that? I ask because the space I’m looking to cover has deep teal walls, and I don’t want that color to show through the Tempaper. Help-

    • Reply Jane at 10:37 am

      Hm, I don’t know anything about that because I’ve only ordered that one pattern, the dark teal with white flowers. Are you allowed to return it (unopened or used, of course) if you order it and it doesn’t match? I am not sure so I just tweeted at them, also asked if they offer swatches for color matching prior to purchase. It would be helpful if they did!
      Also, maybe email them to see what they recommend for papering over dark paint. Not sure how much it would cover, though I think it could cover pretty well.

  • Reply Heather at 7:19 pm

    Ugh! So frustrated with this product! First, it is very expensive. Second, it is basically glorified shelf paper- cheap, glossy feel and cheaply printed. I got the damask pattern and it is almost blurry looking, not sharp at all. Finally got my husband to try to hang it, and it bubbles like crazy and sticks so firmly (just like contact paper!) that you can’t easily re-position like you can with regular wallpaper. The worst part? When we finally decided that it just wasn’t going to work for us and went to get regular wallpaper, we went to pull it off the wall and it ripped off a chunk of paint from the wall about 1 foot-square all the way down to the fiberboard!!! Now we are out $70 and have a damaged wall- exactly what we, as renters, were looking to avoid.

  • Reply Guest Room “Reveal”The Borrowed Abode | The Borrowed Abode at 1:13 pm

    […] I was very happy with my blue and white Tempaper accent wall, and you can find details on the installation here, and my (unbiased & uncompensated) review here. […]

  • Reply Peter at 7:21 pm

    The installation of this product was an absolute nightmare. Bubbles and wrinkles in the paper – we gave up after 2 hours of trying to put up TWO pieces on the wall behind out bed. This product should be taken off the market!!

  • Reply Erin at 2:05 am

    Lousy product. Paid a fortune to have four rolls shipped to meet a deadline. Got halfway through the frustrating process of hanging this non-repositionable stinky plastic “wallpaper” and discovered one of our rolls was damaged. Because we had a timeline, we had to use the damaged roll. Then spent the next two days popping tiny bubbles. Tempapers follow up service was somewhere between rotten and tepid. It has been up for 1.5 years and I am worried sick about what it will do to the wall when I take to down. I am hoping if I use a blow dryer it will peel off easily.
    Just a way over-rated product. The worst. Send your money on art….

  • Reply Rachelle Switzer at 5:23 pm

    Ordered the grey Chevron, was happy with the color, texture and general appearance of product. However, Putting it up was an absolute NIGHTMARE! The lines dont match up, so at the top the design is 1/4 inch off, in the middle it matches perfectly, then 1/4 inch off inthe other direction at the bottom. Wasted 3 hours and $$$ just to rip in down and throw it out. Very frustrating.
    Still waiting to hear back from customer service :S

    • Reply Jane at 4:01 pm

      Oh gosh, I’m s sorry to hear that. I know they’re on Twitter, maybe reaching out to them that way will help.

  • Reply Linda Corwin-Graber at 12:14 pm

    This wallpaper, while beautiful and practical with its removability potential, it is way too difficult to apply. My husband is experienced at hanging wallpaper, and he simply had to give up. Three hours and continuous bubbles! Not worth the frustration! Our local professional even say no to hanging this type of paper so we are stuck with some expensive drawer liners!

    • Reply Jane at 1:37 pm

      I’m so sorry to hear it was a bad experience for you! It was definitely tricky, but I was happy with the results I got. I hope your drawer liners work out well.

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