The Difference Between Removable and Peel and Stick Wallpaper


Many customers may question, “which is better regular wallpaper or peel and stick wallpaper?” We are sharing the differences between removable wallpaper, also known as peel and stick wallpaper, vs pre pasted or traditional wallpaper. 

Peel and stick wallpaper is often referred to as removable wallpaper. With its self-adhesive backing, it is a simple alternative to traditional wallpaper. Unlike pre pasted or traditional paper, peel and stick wallpaper is applied without any messy pastes or glues and removes cleanly in minutes.

Peel and Stick Wallpaper
Sold by the roll or a precut panel, peel and stick wallpaper applies like a sticker. You can easily install it by peeling off the backing and sticking onto any smooth surface.

Peel and stick wallpaper is a popular choice for any room in your home from dining rooms to bathrooms. It allows decorators the freedom to embrace bold colors, cover a half wall, transform ceilings, and more.

Removable Wallpaper
Like peel and stick wallpaper, removable wallpaper is self-adhesive and removable. When it’s time for a change, you can easily remove the paper off your surface without damaging your paint or walls.

Traditional Wallpaper
Traditional wallpaper can also be referred to as non-woven wallpaper. This type of wallpaper is not self-adhesive, so a paste or glue is required for application. It does not remove easily and is applied as a long-term solution.

Pre-pasted Wallpaper
Pre-pasted wallpaper is an alternative to traditional wallpaper. While it does require paste or water to be applied, some can be removed.

Our peel and stick wallpaper designs at Tempaper have many pros for renters. Peel and stick wallpaper won’t ruin your walls and it can be applied by yourself, making it a wise choice over traditional or pre-pasted wallpaper.

Installing traditional wallpaper to your walls requires glue and a variety of tools. An installer is also recommended, as it can be tricky trying to install traditional wallpaper by yourself.

If you like the appearance of traditional wallpaper but you are looking for something easier to apply, peel and stick wallpaper is a great choice.

How long does peel and stick wallpaper last? 

Peel and stick wallpaper can be a long-term solution. To keep peel and stick wallpaper from falling off your intended surface and to ensure that it will last in your space, we recommend prepping your walls before beginning your project.

Tempaper peel and stick wallpaper is recommended for smooth surfaces that are in good condition and have been primed and painted with a satin or semi-gloss finish. To ensure that your paper will stay up, start by wiping your surface with a damp cloth and allow it to fully dry before application.

Wallpaper can peel off or fall if you do not properly prep the surface before application. To ensure that your wallpaper will stay up, we recommend wiping your intended surface with an isopropyl alcohol + water solution (1:1 ratio) and allow it to dry before installation. 

If you are wondering if removable wallpaper actually comes off, it does! Learn more about peel and stick wallpaper in our previous blog post titled, Is Removable Wallpaper Really Removable?


Which is better regular wallpaper or peel and stick wallpaper?

If you are wondering if you should use peel and stick or regular wallpaper, both are great choices. It depends on what you are looking for. For renters, peel and stick wallpaper is better than traditional paste wallpaper in many ways.

Peel and stick wallpaper is less expensive than regular, pasted wallpaper. In addition, it is easier to install than wallpaper that requires a paste. We are sharing the pros of peel and stick wallpaper and regular wallpaper below.

The pros of removable/peel and stick wallpaper:

  • Great for temporary solutions like a dorm, rental, or event space.
  • DIY-friendly. No installer needed.
  • No messy pastes or glues are required, which means you can take your time during installation.
  • Non-committal. You can leave it up for a week or indefinitely.
  • Cost-effective
  • Only a few household tools are required.
  • Removes cleanly in minutes.

The pros of regular/traditional wallpaper:

  • A long-term solution.
  • High-quality, durable material.
  • Works on more surfaces than peel and stick wallpaper.

All in all, you should choose the print you love at the price point you are okay with. 


Removable wallpaper can be applied to your walls in 3 simple steps. Simply peel off the self-adhesive backing, stick onto your intended surface, and smooth out any air bubbles with a squeegee. When it’s time for a change, the paper will easily remove off your walls without damaging your paint or surface.

Spray and stick wallpaper, also known as water activated wallpaper, requires water before it is applied to your walls. Using a spray bottle, you wet the back of the liner with water and apply to your surface. 

Spray and stick wallpaper is different than removable wallpaper. While removable wallpaper can be applied to your walls at your own pace, spray and stick wallpaper must be applied quickly before it dries. However, like removable wallpaper, spray and stick wallpaper can be removed.

Comparing non-pasted vs. pre-pasted wallpaper

There are many pros and cons when comparing modern non pasted vs pre pasted wallpaper. In most cases, it comes down to preference. If you are looking for an easy way to decorate your home, prepasted wallpaper is a popular choice for many homeowners and renters.

Non-Pasted Wallpaper
Non-pasted wallpaper does not have a self-adhesive backing. This means that a paste or glue is required for installation. While it is a long-term solution, the application can be messy and time consuming.

Pre-Pasted Wallpaper
Pre-pasted wallpaper comes with a self-adhesive backing. This means there are no messy pastes or glues required. Instead, the backing contains a layer of non-activated dry glue for a quicker and easier installation.

The biggest difference between peel and stick, removable, and traditional wallpaper is the back liner. While some pre-pasted prints can remove as easily as removable wallpaper, peel and stick wallpaper is the only one with a self-adhesive backing with no other activation required.

For more information, visit our What is Removable Wallpaper blog post.