Where to Install Peel and Stick Wallpaper

Koko Art Shop wallpapers are designed to be installed over smooth, clean and painted walls. No need of further preparation when installing any of our materials unless your walls are painted with low VOC paints. Sizing, liners and wallpaper glue are not compatible nor recommend with Peel and Stick materials. For our Traditional Pre-pasted paper sizing, liners and wallpaper glue are optional but not necessary, this material has dry glue in the back to be water activated and pasted to a painted wall.

Textured walls

Removable peel and stick wallpapers are NOT SAFE when installed on textured walls. Problems range between difficulties sticking to the wall to abrupt falls after an apparent successful install. 

The removable peel and stick adhesive has a good structural resistance but a low grade of adhesion. While this feature allows you to remove with no structural damage and replace freely, it also needs a full contact surface to stay put. Also consider each panel of wallpaper can weigh up to 2 pounds, for a soft adhesive trying to hold two pounds vertically without a good grip will eventually fail . 

When a wallpaper is not attached properly it won’t fall right away. It can take days or even weeks before the wallpaper starts coming off, and this is a dangerous situation with kids and babies around.

If you wish to still use a removable peel and stick wallpaper but your wall is textured you need to smooth the wall with joint compound first, let it dry, apply a layer of paint (no low VOC) and also let it dry prior wallpapering. 

If you want to keep your textured but also install a peel and stick our Long Term Peel and Stick will allow a secure installation over walls with irregular finishes and mild texture, but unfortunately we cannot guarantee adhesion over a heavily textured wall.

Examples of textured walls you need to avoid:

A textured wall is any wall that is not perfectly and totally smooth and without imperfections, decorative wall finishes with surface irregularity is also called texture.

Some textures are very easy to determine but others not, for example: a Sanded wall may look like a smooth wall but a sand like finish with pointy tips, unfortunately that is the worst surface to install self adhesive wallpapers. Do not install removable wallpapers on any of the surfaces listed below:

Case study with a removable wallpaper:

It was super cute and then…. it is not….

An idea of how little texture is necessary to ruin 8 hours of work and hundreds of dollars in supplies.

The wall looks like smooth from a distance but when you zoom there is soft orange peel texture. 

Profesional installers and textured walls:

When a Professional Wallpaper Installer finds a textured wall works on smoothen the surface with Joint Compound prior wallpapering, them prime, let dry and only after proceeds with the wallpaper installation. This process gives an idea of how important is to have a smooth surface when working with wallpapers.

Peel and Stick FOR Textured Walls: 

We have an amazing product with the right amount of everything to hold on some degree of texture. Our Long Term Peel and Stick has a strong adhesive that allow to hold better in a smaller contact area, as it is flexible enough to adapt to the surface and achieve an even better grip.

This does not means it will hold over everything, Sanded Walls are still out of consideration. We cannot assure it will work 100% of times and due trials need to be made with Samples first, but is the one we recommend for slightly textured walls to avoid extra steps with the Joint Compound.


Your wall needs to be painted for a successful install.

The type of paint is also important, in general Peel and Stick wallpapers have trouble sticking over Stain Blocking and Low VOC paints.

We recommend using paint finishes like sateen or gloss. Matte and flat finishes are more rough so peel and stick materials tend to stick stronger to non shiny surfaces. Matte and flat paints also trend to lift off the wall when the wallpaper is removed. 

You can install a removable wallpaper over a matte wall and it won't be the end of the world, but please consider the quality and nature of the paint underneath can have an important impact in the removal process.

Recently Painted Walls: 

Recently painted walls should be let dry for 4 weeks before applying any peel and stick wallpaper (any brand) on that wall. Even low VOC paints keep emitting low grade fumes for weeks after, paint looks dry but it’s not! If you install wallpaper those fumes have nowhere to go, will generate massive bubbles on your wallpaper, the fumes also damage permanently the adhesive on your wallpaper. 

Low or Zero VOC paints: 

Low VOC paints are amazing but unfortunately they are becoming a challenge for wallpaper installations as they cause in many cases the wallpaper to fall off. The exact reason we don’t know since low VOCs formulations are protected by trade secrets. The best way to make sure the wallpaper will stick is to get a sample and test it. A simple solution for the problem is to clean the wall (recommended 2-3 times) with a mixture of 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% water, let dry completely, test the adhesion with a sample and afterwards proceed with the wallpaper installation. Some brands that offer low or no VOC (volatile organic compounds) are: Behr, Benjamin Moore, Rust-Oleum, Valspar, Safe Ecoart, Ecopaints. 

Stain Blocking Paints or Primers: 

Stain blocking paints are formulated to block anything trying to get bonded to it. There is no way you can know for sure if a wall previously painted by a former owner or tenant is stain blocking. But if you have a stain blocking paint you won’t be able to install the wallpaper, it just won’t stick. We had a customer going through this, the wallpaper pasted on other walls but not the single one intended for the install. As a general guide oil based paints are more prone to be stain blocking, this doesn't means they all are, but if you suspect your paint is oil based testing will be a great idea. Getting a sample and trying it on the wall is the only way to test if you have a stain blocking paint.

Cracked Paint and Damaged Walls:

Wallpapers are intended to protect the wall not to repair it. Wall needs to be in good condition prior to applying wallpapers.

Humidity Exposure

Fiber based materials as our Traditional Pre-pasted need a sealer after the installation is completed in order to stay on the wall when there is humidity. 

Removable wallpapers are very sensitive to humidity too, changes in the room can affect the performance of the wallpaper. 

Our Long Term Peel and Stick has a stronger glue and that allows it to stay put in an environment with humidity fluctuations. 

Never install a wallpaper on a wall with humidity spots.

Drastic temperature changes

Interior decoration removable wallpapers are susceptible to drastic temperature changes. After some time a wallpaper will become more resistant to those changes but a newly installed wallpaper will for sure suffer. Do not install your wallpaper in areas without temperature regulation or behind a heater. 

Covering elements on the wall 

Do not use a wallpaper to cover other wallpaper previously installed, our wallpapers are only suitable for painted walls not to repair or cover elements, fabrics or wallpapers previously on the wall. They can either fall off or stick so strong you won’t be able to remove it, the outcome can be really unpredictable. 

Attaching elements to the wallpaper

All elements you want to hang over a wall with a wallpaper need to be attached to the wall not the wallpaper. Do not paste a frame, baby sign, any type of decor or shelving with double sided tape to a wallpaper. The wallpaper will fall off along with all heavy elements attached.