Is Peel & Stick Wallpaper As Good As Regular Wallpaper?

May 7, 2024

Traditional Vs. Peel & Stick Wallpaper – How Are They Different?

When it comes to adding a bit of color and texture to your walls, wallpaper is a classic choice. It adds texture, pattern, and personality to a room in a way that paint simply can’t. However, choosing the right type of wallpaper for your space can be a daunting task. Two popular wallpaper options on the market today are traditional wallpaper and peel & stick wallpaper. While they both serve the same purpose, they differ in their application, texture, finish, removal process, and overall pros and cons. In this blog post, we’ll break down the differences between traditional and peel-and-stick wallpaper and help you make the best choice when decorating your home.

Wall Application

One of the key determining factors in deciding which style of wallpaper to choose is the ease of wall application. Peel and stick may seem like the obvious winner in this category, but you may be surprised how much easier traditional applications can be. 

Traditional Wallpaper: Requires a bit more effort to install compared to peel-and-stick wallpaper. It typically involves applying wallpaper paste to the back of the wallpaper and then carefully hanging it on the wall. This process can be time-consuming and may require the help of a professional for larger or more intricate patterns. 

Peel And Stick Wallpaper: This is a popular choice for DIYers who want to update their walls quickly and easily. It comes with an adhesive on the back side that allows for easier wall application. While it may be a quick fix, peel-and-stick wallpaper can often be trickier and more frustrating to install than expected, as it can be tricky to position and align patterns.

Texture And Finish

Many people overlook this very important factor when considering which wallpaper method is right for their home. Ultimately, traditional will usually offer a preferable aesthetic. However, there is a time and place for both applications. 

Traditional Wallpaper: Traditional style wallpaper comes in a large variety of textures and finishes, ranging from smooth and glossy to textured and matte. Traditional-style wallpaper also usually appears smoother, whereas peelable wallpaper will often have bubbles and show the underlying paint texture when applied. 

Peel & Stick Wallpaper: Peel and stick paper tends to have a smoother texture compared to traditional wallpaper and usually has a vinyl texture that can be unappealing. While it may not offer the same variety of textures and finishes, it still provides a sleek and modern look that can enhance a room.


Ease of removal is where removable wallpaper can sometimes win out. On the other hand, if you’re a homeowner looking for a more elevated look and a long-term solution, opting for the traditional method may be preferred.

Traditional Wallpaper: Removing traditional-style wallpaper can sometimes be challenging if it is very old. However, traditional style wallpaper is now designed to be easier to remove, and there are now tools and products that make the process much simpler. It’s also worth noting that wallpaper that’s been well applied and maintained can be wallpapered over again.

Peel & Stick Wallpaper: One of the major advantages of peel & stick wallpaper is its ease of removal. Since it is designed to be removable, you can peel it off the wall without causing much, if any, damage. Removable wallpaper may be a good option for renters or anyone looking for a temporary design solution.

The Pros And Cons Of Peel & Stick 

The Pros

Affordable DIY Option: temporary wallpaper is designed to be user-friendly, making it a good option for those on a budget looking to take the task on themselves. You also do not need to purchase any paste or glue and need minimal tools to get started.

Removable without damaging the wall: One of the biggest advantages of using a temporary wallpaper is its removability. If you decide to change your decor or move to a new space, you can simply remove the wallpaper without causing major damage to the wall.

Change It Up Often: If you’re someone who likes to change up the look of your space regularly, using a temporary wallpaper can be a good solution that gives you the option to make changes more often and have more flexibility. 

Ideal for renters or temporary decorating: Because temporary wallpaper is removable and won’t damage the wall, it’s an ideal choice for renters, college students, or anyone looking for a temporary decorating solution. You can easily update your space without making a permanent commitment.

The Cons

May not adhere well to certain surfaces: While removable style wallpaper is designed to adhere to a variety of surfaces, it may not stick as well to certain textures or finishes. This can result in the wallpaper peeling or bubbling, especially in high-humidity areas like bathrooms.

Prone to bubbling and wrinkling if not applied correctly: Proper application is key when it comes to removable-style wallpaper. If not applied correctly, the wallpaper can develop bubbles or wrinkles, detracting from the overall look of the room.

Less durable and long-lasting compared to regular wallpaper: Removable style wallpaper is generally less durable than regular wallpaper, as it is not as resistant to wear and tear. It may need to be replaced more frequently, especially in high-traffic areas.

Limited longevity may need to be replaced more frequently: Due to its less durable nature, removable style wallpaper may need to be replaced more frequently than regular wallpaper. This can be a consideration for those looking for a long-term decorating solution.

The Pros & Cons Of Traditional Wallpaper

The Pros

Offers a more permanent design solution: Traditional wallpaper is designed to be a more permanent decorating solution compared to removable style wallpaper. Once properly installed, it can last for many years, providing a timeless look for your space.

Provides a seamless and professional finish: Regular wallpaper offers a seamless, beautiful, and professional-looking finish that can elevate the look of any room. The patterns and designs are typically more intricate and detailed, creating a luxurious and sophisticated atmosphere.

Durable and long-lasting: Regular wallpaper is generally more durable than removable style wallpaper, as it is made from thicker materials and is more resistant to wear and tear as well as dirt and dust. It can withstand the test of time and maintain its appearance for years to come.

Wide range of textures and finishes available: Regular wallpaper comes in a wide selection of decorative textures, finishes, and patterns, creating endless design possibilities. Whether you prefer a classic damask print or a modern, geometric design, there’s a wallpaper option to suit your style.

The Cons

Requires professional installation for best results: Installing standard wallpaper can be a complex and time-consuming process, It can be beneficial to hire the skills and expertise of a professional installer for the best results. Improper installation can result in unsightly seams, air bubbles, or misaligned patterns.

More effort required for removal: Unlike non-permanent wallpaper, regular wallpaper can be more challenging to remove, especially if it has been in place for a long time or is from a long time ago. Removing regular wallpaper may require the use of a wallpaper steamer or stripping solution.

Preparation Needed: While non-permanent wallpaper can be applied over the existing paint on your walls, regular wallpaper often requires a bit of prep work, including priming and smoothing surfaces. However, if you are hiring a professional to install it, this may not be a factor to consider.

Higher upfront cost compared to peelable wallpaper: Regular wallpaper is generally more expensive than non-permanent wallpaper, both in terms of the cost of the wallpaper itself and the cost of professional installation. This can be a consideration for those working within a budget.

Why Traditionally Applied Wallpaper Reigns Supreme

While non-permanent wallpaper has its advantages, traditional style wallpaper remains the superior choice for those seeking a long-term, high-quality wall covering. Traditional wallpapering offers a level of durability and longevity that removable-style wallpaper simply cannot match. Additionally, regular wallpaper provides a seamless and professional finish that can elevate the look of any room. While it may require a bit more effort to install and remove, the end result is well worth it for those looking for a timeless and elegant design solution.

Hire A Professional To Install Your Wallpaper

For those considering traditional wallpaper, hiring a professional installer is highly recommended. Professional wallpaper installers have the kind of experience and expertise needed to make sure that your wallpaper is installed correctly for beautiful results. This can help prevent issues such as bubbling, wrinkling, or improper alignment, ensuring that your wallpaper looks its best for years to come.

In conclusion, both traditional and peel-and-stick wallpaper have their own sets of pros and cons. The most important factor is choosing the option that will ultimately best suit your needs and the overall aesthetic of your home. Whether you opt for the timeless elegance of regular wallpaper or the convenience of peel-and-stick wallpaper, both options can help you achieve the look you desire for your walls.