Our new rental apartment needed personality, and temporary wallpaper did exactly that.

Let’s back-up for a second here: yes, we’re only part time #vanlifers these days. We still have our trusty orange Westfalia and plenty of adventures in the works, but we’ve officially put down roots in Vancouver, and signed a year-long lease in an adorable one-bedroom apartment in an old walk-up building that we’re furnishing for free thanks to the kind folks of Craigslist.

Our new place offers stability, something we were missing on the road.

We have our very own toilet and running water and heat and a routine–one that doesn’t involve moving all of our shit (cooler, bags, cat accessories, toolbox–how did this tool box even get here!?) from the trunk up into the driver/passenger seats, maneuvering the bench seat into a bed, then pulling a fitted sheet over the mattress, all before we can even think about sleep.

The new digs are awesome, but since it’s a rental, that means I can’t just up paint cabinet or alter things on a whim like I did with the van.

Lucky for me, I discovered Tempaper, a self-adhesive, removable wallpaper that is easily repositionable, and instantly brightens any space, whether that be a rental apartment with restrictions, or just a room in a house that you’re feeling indecisive about decorating. Tempaper is impressive; it’s free of harmful toxins like lead and phthalate, and instead uses water-based adhesives and inks. It’s durable, too.

I chose this delightful flamingo print for an accent wall in our bedroom, and I am in love! Tempaper was kind enough to send me two complementary rolls for my project. I smile every time I look at the bright pink birds, and it’s such a welcomed change from the original blah beige paint. Plus, when our lease is up and it’s time to move onto the next adventure, each panel will peel right off and the wall will be left undamaged.

It’s easy to install, too. Having never done this before, it took me about two hours to measure and apply each panel for my accent wall, which was about 12 feet long.

In addition to the rolls of Tempaper and smoothing tool you’ll also need:

  • box cutter/utility knife
  • measuring tape
  • long ruler (or something to  slide the knife along for a perfect cut)
  • cardboard (or something to place under the wallpaper when you make each cut)

STEP ONE: WIPE WALLS CLEAN

Dust, cat hair, human hair, cobwebs, whatever — anything that might show once the temporary wallpaper is applied should be wiped away.

STEP TWO: MEASURE

Measure the height of your walls, so you know how long of a panel to cut. Then measure again, just to be safe.

STEP THREE: PLACE TOP OF FIRST PANEL

Peel off backing, line up top corner of wallpaper to top of the wall, and stick the top part of the Tempaper to the wall. You’ll probably have to reposition it a few times, especially if you’re in an older building like we are and the walls are a bit warped.

STEP FOUR: PEEL AND POSITION

This takes some patience at first, so don’t get discouraged! I found that the more quickly I peeled off the backing and let the paper naturally stick to the walls, the more perfect it went on. At first, I was taking it too slow, and that seemed to create bubbles. I also don’t think you’re supposed to do this, but because our walls are old and a bit warped, I overlapped the paper by less than ⅛ of an inch to ensure I didn’t have a gap where the original wall could show through. It worked perfectly.

STEP FIVE: SMOOTH OUT BUBBLES/ IMPERFECTIONS

Tempaper smartly sends a little tool that helps to smooth the paper and press out any air bubble that might develop. It’s super efficient and won’t ruin the paper.

STEP SIX: REPEAT

Do the above over and over until walls are covered in happy new wallpaper. Simple! Tempaper comes in rolls (this flamingo one was 20.5 inches wide with a half drop match, which meant there was a bit of leftover paper in order to line up each panel).

The finished project looks amazing and Coleman says it looks like Pinterest, which I take as a compliment.

I’ve had a few people ask if I’ve tried this wallpaper in the van. The answer is no (though I have installed a cheap-o contact paper to our shelves), but I’d like to. Keep in mind that this product works best on gloss or semi-gloss surfaces.

What’d you think of our new flamingo walls? I’m obsessed and want to cover every wall in every room in this stuff.

 

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