Removable wallpaper helps you makeover your kitchen on a budget | DIY Wallpaper Backsplash | Spoonflower Blog
Featured designs: Wallpaper in Blue Tile Leaves – Large by alexispdesigns; tea towel in Featherland White/Gray by leanne_hatch

Whether you’re a renter wanting a new look or saving up for your dream kitchen renovation, a removable wallpaper backsplash is an easy and affordable way to update your space. Additionally, Spoonflower’s Prepasted Removable Smooth Wallpaper is made from 10% post-consumer waste and PVC free. 

It took us just 3 hours to cover a long gallery wall in my kitchen: approximately 2 hours to hang the paper and 1 hour of me driving my husband Dan crazy by repositioning each wallpaper panel for the best repeat. Follow along to see our process!



Pro tip: I highly recommend ordering a sample swatch of the wallpaper design you love first to make sure the scale is to your taste. If you find a design you love but the scale doesn’t suit you, Spoonflower allows you to message the designer to ask if they’ll create another scale for you. Many of them will be happy to do so!

Before you get started, I also recommend reviewing our installation articles for both Prepasted Removable Smooth Wallpaper and Peel and Stick Wallpaper.

Step 1. Measure your backsplash at its greatest height.

Next, round up to the next foot if need be. This will be the custom length you’ll need to order for every roll, regardless of whether your wall varies in height. (For example, if your backsplash is 26” at its greatest height but 18” at its shortest, you’ll still need to order all 3′ high rolls.) This is to ensure that the pattern will repeat perfectly. I know this because I tried to get away with some 2′ rolls and the pattern did not repeat perfectly—lesson learned. Don’t forget: The wallpaper you don’t use can be used elsewhere! You could even use the leftovers to line a few drawers in the kitchen.

Measure the length of the wall, round up to the nearest foot and divide that number by 2 ft. Round up to the nearest whole number if needed to find out the number of rolls you’ll need to order. 

Pro tip: If math isn’t your strong suit, use our handy Wallpaper Calculator to help determine your wallpaper needs.

Step 2. Prep your space.

We found that unrolling the wallpaper and using light books to weigh the paper flat for a day makes it easier to maneuver. It might go without saying, but first remove all of your outlet covers and take a sponge to your wall to clean up any dust/dirt. Since you’ll be working with water to apply the wallpaper, it’s a good idea to turn off the power running to the outlets on your specific wall.

Step 3. Wet the back of the paper. 

Wet the back of one sheet of your wallpaper with a paint roller dipped in water until it’s damp, but not soaked. Fold the top and bottom edges into the middle to “book” the paper for 3-5 minutes, which activates the adhesive.

Activating the wallpaper | DIY Wallpaper Backsplash | Spoonflower Blog
Action shot of “booking” the wallpaper to activate the adhesive. I cut some of the extra wallpaper to help get around awkward changes in height under the oven vent hood.

Step 4. Begin hanging the wallpaper from the edge of one wall.

Repeat step 3 to activate another roll. Make sure to overlap the paper 3/4″ to connect the repeat properly.

Hanging the wallpaper | DIY Wallpaper Backsplash | Spoonflower Blog

Tip: For areas that change in height (like under an oven hood), we tried to make the installation easier by hanging up a dry sheet of wallpaper first and marking the paper in pencil where it would be folded up against the inside/underside of the cabinet. We then used scissors to cut out a rectangle in the dry paper with the approximate shape of the cabinet that would be overlapped.

BE GENEROUS and overestimate your markings/cuts if you try this method, you can always use a utility knife to remove any extra paper away later, but you can’t add it back.

Step 5. After you hang a roll, lightly dampen a clean sponge and smooth any bubbles or crinkles.

You can also lift the paper to reposition it as long as it’s still dampit’s very forgiving.

Wallpaper hanging in process | DIY Wallpaper Backsplash | Spoonflower Blog

Step 6. Let the wallpaper dry for at least 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, go back with a utility knife to trim the edges. My husband thinks it’s easier to do this when the paper is still a bit damp, so he can use the sponge to smooth down any edges that might have curled up, but some people prefer to wait to trim until the wall is dry. Once the wallpaper is completely dry after several hours, rehang any outlet covers or pictures.

DIY Wallpaper Backsplash | Spoonflower Blog

That’s it! You’ve added some personality to your kitchen on a budget. This project is also a fun way to try out a style you love, like subway tiles, Portuguese tiles or maybe a cute checkerboard design? When you’re done, don’t forget to tag #spoonflower with your backsplash so we can see how you’ve updated your space!

Happy renovating,

Learn how to make a faux tile backsplash with removable wallpaper | Spoonflower Blog