House / Kitchen & Dining, Rental Remedies

How is it now? Contact Paper as Temporary Wallpaper for Renters

Sometimes I try and share wacky projects that have readers emailing/commenting later on, asking how those wacky projects have held up.   I’d like to share “how is it now” status posts occasionally.   After all, what good is a project I’ve shared if it totally falls apart on me later?

Two years ago, in March 2011, I set about organizing our disastrous coat closet.  Six hours and two home depot trips later I finished. . . having gone a little overboard, wallpapering the closet with contact paper.

Contact Paper How Now1

I chose contact paper because I knew it was made to stick onto drawers and shelves but peel off safely later.  Why not walls?

So, How Is It Now?

I’m happy to report that the contact paper is still stuck on the wall, and peeled off, with no damage to the walls, when I tried peeling up a corner in the back.

Contact Paper How Now3

Where the edges of the contact paper meet the molding on the inside of the closet doorway (see below), there is a small bit of separating from the wall – but occasionally I just press it down to fix it.Contact Paper How Now4

Even the hanging bar, which I wrapped in contact paper because it was so ugly, is holding up well.  After a few years of use, the contact paper is still holding strong.

In short, I’m very happy with how the contact-paper-turned-wallpaper has worked in our closet.  It was the perfect solution. 

However, now that I’ve tried Tempaper, the “official” temporary wallpaper option that’s out there, I’m not sure if I would recommend using contact paper to cover a whole large accent wall in a room.  The contact paper cost $12 for the small closet.  That was fine, because it’s just a closet.  But covering a whole wall with it would probably cost the same as an $80 roll of Tempaper, and the Tempaper designs are prettier and wider than most contact paper I’ve seen.

However, if you’re looking for an economical and rental-safe way to cover the walls of a closet, or to cover a very small wall, contact paper could be the way to go.




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  • Reply Michelle at 4:17 pm

    I love that you take the time to give updates on projects and info on removal. I don’t rent anymore but often cringe at seeing so many tutorials for non-removalable DIY house things out in blog land.

  • Reply Amanda B at 10:33 pm

    awesome idea!

  • Reply Kiri at 8:00 pm

    Jane if you ever find a temporary paper that works on cement, I’d love you forever! (My rented flat is cement walls painted).

    Unfortunately Tempaper doesn’t work on matte and non-porous surfaces.

    • Reply Diane at 4:45 pm

      Try soaking fabric/heavier works better/soaked in liquid starch/apply to walls/what I read/didn’t try he. Or staple fabric to wood strips/apply to top of fabric/bottom/ attach to wall/the strips that is/from article I read.

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