Does Wallpaper Need To Acclimate?

Does wallpaper need to acclimate to the environment where it's going to be hung? And if so, how long does this take? We've researched to find out what the general consensus is on this issue and have the answers for you here.

Wallpaper, particularly self-adhesive wallpaper, should be allowed to acclimate and come to the same room temperature as the room where you will hang it. It's recommended that you roll it out flat, then give it at least two hours at a minimum; overnight is better.

We'll look at this in more detail. We'll also cover how to apply self-adhesive wallpaper, how to clean your walls before peeling and sticking wallpaper, if you can put wallpaper directly onto drywall, if removable wallpaper damages paint, and just how long peel and stick wallpaper lasts. So please, keep reading for all the details.

Pink armchair and blue settee with blanket in bright living room with stool and white table against leaves wallpaper, Does Wallpaper Need To Acclimate?

Does Wallpaper Need To Acclimate To The Room Before It's Hung?

Wallpaper is more popular than ever, and the choices are abundant. From traditional wallpaper to peel and stick to removable types, not to mention the entire range of patterns and colors, there's a choice for you. Is there anything special you need to know before hanging it, though?

First, know that your walls need to be completely dry before you think of hanging wallpaper. Any moisture or humidity can cause buckling to the paper not to stick. The second thing, giving your wallpaper a few hours to acclimate to the room's temperature where you will hang it, is a great idea.

If your wallpaper is the same room temperature as your walls, you're going to experience smooth sailing in getting a gorgeous, perfectly adhered finish. Experts advise giving it a couple of hours to reach this matching temperature and roll the sheets out rather than leaving them in a tight roll. 

How To Apply Self-Adhesive Wallpaper

A roll of gray wallpaper in the hands of a Caucasian woman. Attaches wallpaper to the wall.

Though traditional wallpaper is hung with wallpaper glue, modern technology has brought us self-adhesive wallpaper. This handy development allows for DIYers of all backgrounds to change up their home's interior much more easily. Here's how to hang it up.

Preparing the Surface - How to Clean the Walls Before Peeling & Sticking Wallpaper

This type of wallpaper is going to work best on a painted surface. It likes a smooth finish and does best if there's a bit of a sheen, like an eggshell or semi-gloss finish. See if your wall fits the bill, and if not, maybe give it a quick coat of eggshell primer. 

Once any fresh paint is dry, or if your surface is already perfect, then you'll need to clean those walls. Use a damp sponge or cloth, a non-abrasive cleaning product, and wipe away any dust, dirt, or fingerprints. Be sure and allow your walls to totally dry before applying wallpaper; this may take overnight.

Measure For Your First Piece

Most peel and stick wallpapers come in rolls. Whatever the width of your roll, find an uninterrupted section of wall the same size. In other words, no windows, no outlets, no light switches. Measure along the ceiling line the width of your paper to line up your first piece of paper.

Take 10" or 12" of the paper protecting the adhesive off, then carefully line up the section of paper between your marks.  Then stick on, starting at the top along the ceiling line, and slowly press down. Peel the backing paper off as you go until the whole thing is affixed.

This first piece is now the guide you can use to continue to the right and to the left on the wall.

This plastic smoothing tool and cutter are great to have for this application. Click here for this on Amazon.

Overlap A Little And Match Patterns

When you're ready for the next piece, remember to still go from top to bottom. Overlap a little bit so any wall color doesn't show through. Be sure and match up your patterns so the design is seamless.

One thing that will help is to have removed your light switch plates and electrical outlet covers (be sure to turn off the power to the room to avoid a shock). When you reach one of those areas, let the wallpaper fall over it, then cut away and affix. Because you'll re-cover it with the plate, it's okay if your seams are a little ragged here.

What To Do About Air Bubbles

If you've ended up with a tiny air bubble somewhere during the application, don't fret. Take the tip of your utility knife or other pin and create a tiny hole. Then gently press in and towards it, allowing the air to escape out from between the paper as you press it flat against the wall.

Can You Put Wallpaper Directly On To Drywall?

A gorgeous living room with a gray couch and gray throw pillows with a patterned wallpaper background, A gorgeous living room with a gray couch and gray throw pillows with a patterned wallpaper background

It's not a super idea to put wallpaper directly onto drywall. Because drywall is essentially a plasterboard material covered in paper, affixing paper to paper is like making your wallpaper part of the drywall. Though this may sound great, it makes it super difficult if you ever want to change it out.

For that reason, we don't recommend this application of wallpaper.

Does Removable Wallpaper Damage Paint

Most removable wallpaper uses the fact it won't damage your walls as a selling point. But is it true? In most cases, it is; removable wallpaper is not going to damage your walls. There are a few instances where this might not be the case.

  • If you apply your removable wallpaper to a matte surface paint. It does much better when affixed to either an eggshell surface or a glossy surface. If your wall is matte, it might be worthwhile to dress it up with a coat of eggshell primer.

Get this neutral-colored eggshell finish latex paint and primer all-in-one on Amazon.

  • The second problem you might run into is if your paint surface is not totally dried and cured. If you affix removable wallpaper over paint that is not totally cured, there's the risk it might take some paint with it when you pull it off.
  • The final issue is if you place your paper over a textured surface. In this case, it might not remove paint, but the uneven surface won't give it good contact. You may risk it bubbling off the wall.

One of the major selling points of peel and stick wallpaper is that it's removable. Which makes it fun and versatile for office spaces like this one. For this stripe wallpaper chevron pattern, click here on Amazon.

How Long Will Peel And Stick Wallpaper Last On The Wall?

Most of this wallpaper is made of PVC that doesn't fade and doesn't wear. So from a surface value point of view, it should stay looking fresh until it's no longer stylish.

As for the application, that depends on if it was done properly and the amount of moisture in your walls. If you have a good steady temperature indoors, and your paper was applied correctly over a properly prepared surface, it can last for years. Probably well beyond the life of the wallpaper's pattern.

Adhesive Wallpaper Is Super For The DIY Home Decorator

Pink armchair and blue settee with blanket in bright living room with stool and white table against leaves wallpaper, Does Wallpaper Need To Acclimate?

If you love changing up your home's look and feel, then this type of wallpaper is a great choice for you. The average level handy homeowner can do it with minimal tools. And with so many patterns and styles available, you can have your room looking on-trend in a matter of hours.

If you enjoyed this post here at, please check out a few of our others below:

27 Awesome Bedroom Wallpaper Ideas

5 Questions To Ask Yourself When Choosing Wallpaper For The Living Room

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