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We'll admit, hanging wallpaper can be a big undertaking, both financially and physically. Still, it's a great way to bring fun patterns and prints to your walls and a worthwhile investment if you're working with top-quality wallpaper.
We researched dozens of wallpapers from top home decor brands, evaluating ease of application, durability, and value. Our best overall pick, the Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines Olive Branch Wallpaper, comes in self-adhesive strips, is vinyl-free, and is easy to remove.
Here are the best wallpapers.
Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines Olive Branch Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper
If your home has farmhouse decor, the Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines Olive Branch Wallpaper will likely match your aesthetic. This wallpaper is designed by Joanna Gaines, known for her hit HGTV show Fixer Upper, and it features a botanical motif with an olive branch print.
The wallpaper comes in four colorways to match your decor, and the strips are pre-pasted for easy application—all you have to do is immerse the strips in water to activate the adhesive. Once applied, this wallpaper can be cleaned with mild soap and water, making it easy to care for, and when the time comes, it can be removed in dry strips as long as you prepare your walls properly. Plus, according to reviews, this wallpaper is extremely high-quality and sticks to the wall well, so you don't have to worry about peeling corners a few months from now.
Abyssaly Wood Wallpaper
You can replicate the look of weathered wood in your home with the Abyssaly Wood Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper. This top-rated product features a rustic wood-imitation pattern, complete with knots and nail holes. The paper is 17.7 inches wide and comes in rolls that are 118, 216, 275, 384, or 511 inches long, so you can get the right amount of paper for your project.
This wallpaper is easy to install, thanks to its peel-and-stick backing, and you can apply it so the wood is either running horizontally or vertically. Reviewers say this affordable wallpaper is perfect for farmhouse-style homes, as it gives the aesthetic of barn wood. However, several note that the paper is fairly thin, so it needs to be applied over a plain surface, otherwise you may be able to see the pattern or surface imperfections underneath.
Graham & Brown Regent Wallpaper
If you love the look of vintage wallpaper, you can recreate a more traditional style with the Graham & Brown Regent Wallpaper. This product comes in two colors, grey and neutral, and it features a damask print that’s reminiscent of Renaissance design. The wallpaper has a three-dimensional design with shimmery highlights, and its textured appearance is great for covering minor wall imperfections.
The Regent Wallpaper comes in rolls that cover 56 square feet, as the paper measures 33 feet x 20.5 inches. It requires paste for installation, so it’s not the easiest project for novices, but once it’s up, you can wash it with soapy water to keep it looking fresh. This bold design is a hit with reviewers, who say they get lots of compliments on the pattern, which would fit in well in a home with a lot of vintage elements.
York Wallcoverings Anthropologie Abstract Wallpaper
You can brighten up any space with the colorful Anthropologie Abstract Wallpaper. This beautiful melting pot of color features green, blue, coral, yellow, and red accents, and the pattern was designed by artist Lillian Farag. The vibrant wallpaper would make a stunning accent wall in a contemporary home, but you’ll probably want to limit it to a smaller space so it’s not overwhelming.
This wallpaper comes in a roll that’s 33 feet x 18 inches, and it covers 49.5 square feet of space. It has SureStrip backing for paste-free installation and easy removal, and reviewers say the colors are even brighter and more beautiful in person.
Graham & Brown Innocence Removable Wallpaper
The Graham & Brown Innocence Removable Wallpaper would make an eye-catching accent in a contemporary or modern home. This removable wallpaper comes in six organic-inspired colors—charcoal, blue, gray, mushroom, cream, and white—and it features a whimsical twig design that will stretch across your wall. Plus, the wallpaper’s delicate calico texture will help to disguise minor wall imperfections like bumps and cracks.
The Innocence Wallpaper comes in rolls that are 33 feet x 20.5 inches and cover 56 square feet, and it should be installed using paste that you apply straight onto the wall, rather than onto the wallpaper. Reviewers say that pasting the wall makes application much easier, and many describe the pattern as lovely and sophisticated.
Ophelia & Co. Rheba Wall Mural
You can make a big, bold statement in any room with the Ophelia & Co. Rheba Wall Mural. Unlike other wallpapers that have a repeating pattern, this stunning wall decoration features one oversized design that stretches across your whole wall. When its four panels are assembled, the mural measures 99 inches x 145 inches, so you’ll want to measure ahead of time to ensure it fits in your space—it can be trimmed down, but not sized up.
The Rheba Wall Mural features several blooming flowers in muted pink and green colors. The country-style design is printed on non-pasted paper, so you’ll need to purchase some paste for application. Reviewers can’t say enough good things about this floral wallpaper, writing that it’s a total showstopper that will get you ample compliments from visitors.
Graham & Brown Beadboard Paintable Wallpaper
Want to add texture to your space? The Graham & Brown White Beadboard Paintable Wallpaper creates the three-dimensional look of beadboard on your wall, and as an added bonus, you can actually paint over the paper to create a totally custom look.
The Beadboard Wallpaper comes in a double roll that can cover 56 square feet, the roll itself is 33 feet x 20.5 inches. The paper is pre-pasted for easy installation, and once applied, it’s moisture-resistant and durable—you can even scrub the surface to keep it clean. Reviewers say the wallpaper works perfectly as wainscoting, and many note it can pass for real beadboard.
What to Look for When Buying Wallpaper
Obstacles in the Room
Take stock of how many doors, windows, and oversized art pieces are in the room you’re considering wallpapering. Not only will the space be more difficult to wallpaper, but you’ll lose the impact on the design—there might not be enough wall space for it to make an impact visually. If you can barely see the wallpaper design, is it worth the hassle?
Once you’ve committed to wallpapering a room, you’ll want to consider the scale of the design you choose. Both large-scale and small-scale patterns work in rooms of all sizes, but result in very different vibes. If you’re working with large sections of wall, a large-scale pattern will act like art, while a small-scale pattern adds texture and depth.
Sounds simple enough: the bigger the space you plan to cover, the more expensive your project will be. Not only because you’ll need more rolls—and whatever you do, don’t underestimate how many rolls you’ll need—but, if you’re hiring out applying wallpaper, your labor costs will increase too.
If you’re on a budget, consider saving wallpapering the living room for another time, and covering a hallway or bathroom, where you’ll get more design bang for your buck, instead.
What is the best way to apply wallpaper?
You'll want to consult detailed instructions before applying wallpaper. In the meantime, here's a pared-down list of to-dos.
- First, wipe down your to-be-wallpapered walls with a damp sponge.
- Let the walls dry completely, then sand away bumps and knicks, and fill in uneven areas with drywall compound using a putty knife.
- Allow that to dry for 24 hours, then sand it smooth and wipe away the dust again.
- Apply primer to the walls, either with a brush or a roller. Let that dry for at least two hours before hanging the wallpaper.
- Cut the wallpaper to the height of your ceiling plus an additional four inches to extend past the top edge of the wall.
- Mark a plumb line, then hang the first piece, using a soft-bristle wallpaper brush as you go to smooth the paper. Continue around the room.
- Trim off the excess with a utility knife.
How do you remove wallpaper?
The best way to remove wallpaper is as follows. First, use a putty knife to loosen a corner or seam. If you’re lucky, the wallpaper will pull off in sheets. This means whoever applied that wallpaper primed the walls first, so the glue didn’t penetrate the drywall. If the wallpaper predates the 1990s though, you’ll likely need to use a scoring tool to score, then douse the perforated paper with a hot water solution (one-third vinegar to two-thirds hot water) to reactivate the adhesive to loosen its grip on your wall. After the paper soaks—wait about 15 minutes—you can scrape it off with a putty knife. Another (faster) option is to rent a wallpaper steamer from a home improvement store.
Can you paint over wallpaper?
You can paint over some wallpaper, but most painting experts will encourage you to remove it—and the remaining residue—for the best results. Good news: in general, the wallpapers that are bad to paint over are often easy to remove, and the wallpaper that is difficult to remove is usually a good candidate for painting over. If you’re working with multiple layers of wallpaper, though, it may be best to paint over it. If you do choose to paint over wallpaper, you’ll want to properly prep the walls by washing them with a barely damp cloth, repairing any damage to the wallpaper, priming, and then finally painting.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written and researched by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance writer specializing in decorating and design. She covers home products for The Spruce. Additional research was done by Megan McCarty, a writer for The Spruce and MyDomaine with over 13 years of experience in both print and digital media. She regularly contributes to design-focused outlets such as Architectural Digest, Domino, House & Home, and Hunker.