$10 Removable Wall Art




With this method you can add any painted design to your wall and remove it if necessary.

This is a great way of decorating an apartment or other space where painting is not allowed. This is also a great way of decorating a baby/kid's bedroom since you can create everything from cartoon characters to pretty landscapes on the wall.

* This project is not for the impatient or the easily annoyed. You will be painting, handling small pieces of sticky paper, and probably dangling on chairs or ladders to apply the design, and it will take a bit of time to get it done.

** Keep in mind that contact paper may peel the wall when removed. Avoid super sticky contact paper for this project. The brand I used for this project didn't affect my wall.

EDIT: I just saw a very similar project here on instructables called DIY Vinyl Wall Art (https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Vinyl-Wall-Art/?ALLSTEPS). I came up with this idea on my own but I think I should mention the other instructable in order to comply with the BY-NC-SA licensing terms since the two projects are so similar.

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Step 1: Supplies:

1. Transparent contact paper that isn't super sticky. I used the Clear Transparent Con-Tact brand ($4 at Walmart). You can also use white contact paper for this project. I use transparent because I feel it looks better since it's thinner than white or pattern paper.

2. Acrylic paints. I don't recommend using watercolors.

3. Pencil, scissors, tape, and paintbrushes.

4. Design idea printed or drawn on a sheet of paper.

Step 2: Plan & Prep

Plan out the dimensions, color, and angles (if any) of your design.

Lay the contact paper on a large flat surface (a floor is good) and tape it down. If it's a large design, you can fold the paper into equal sections to create grid lines before you tape it down. (Don't forget to unfold it!)

Make sure the paper is right side up/clear side up! Place newspaper or other protection under the contact paper if your design extends all the way to the edges- you will be painting on this sheet and you don't want to paint the floor.

Repeat this step for each part of the design.

Step 3: Sketch, Paint & Cut

Use your design idea sheet and a pencil to sketch your design on the sheet of contact paper. If necessary, draw grid lines on the paper to make it easier to draw to scale.

Once you're happy with your design, paint it. The paper is transparent so it takes at least 2 coats of paint to cover the design evenly.

Let the sheet of contact dry for at least an hour before you handle it. If it's a humid day, you will need to put a fan on the sheet to speed things up. You want to make sure the paint is completely dry so you won't get any on the wall.

Don't throw away or ruin the scrap pieces of contact paper! You can use them to add stuff to your design or you can use them for another design.

Step 4: Layout & Apply

It helps to layout the design on a table or on the floor so you won't get confused. Once the pieces are cut, they can look similar enough to drive you crazy.

Use your design idea sheet to guide you in the placement of each piece or if you want to get specific, measure and mark where the pieces should go.

When applying your design, start at the center or main focal point of the design and work out from there. This keeps everything balanced and straight.

As you place each piece, smooth it out with your hand to make sure there are no air bubbles or pieces that are sticking up.

Every few pieces, stand back and check the design for proper position. Reposition the pieces as needed.

Step 5: Changing Colors

If you don't like the color of the design as it appears on the wall, you can do one of three things:

1. Paint over it. You will need to paint really close to the edge. (You may get paint on the wall)

2. Remove each piece, paint it, and reapply it individually. (You won't get paint on the wall but it will take longer)


3. Start over in a new color.

In my case, the black against the green wall was too harsh for my taste, so I softened it with some brown paint. I also added white and blue elements by painting scrap pieces of contact paper, cutting the elements out, and applying them to the design.



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    16 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I love this idea, but I'm having a problem with the acrylic paint peeling off the contact paper...?


    9 years ago on Step 5

    Inspiring! Great idea for instant -- and unique -- interior design. Do you have an idea how long the contact paper will stay stay flat and true on the wall?

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    It has been a year since I put my variation of this up and it is still holding strong. I pulled a couple of small pieces off a month ago and the paint held, however there was a trace of adhesive on the wall.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    No, I don't really know how long it will last but it's been two weeks and the design is intact so far...I chose a type of contact paper that wasn't too sticky.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I'm so happy with this idea I could just hug you! I live in an apartment and can't do anything permanent to the walls. This will help it feel more like a home!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Great job I love your design choice! I have been using this same technique for a few years now. It is great for kids rooms and their ever changing likes and dislikes. It sure beats the $15 and up for sticky wall art that only includes a few designs. When I first started doing this I used white self stick wallpaper scraps I got from my uncles shop, but I found the contact paper is a better choice because it stays put for over a year (I know for sure ) and is easy to remove. The wall paper scraps tend to take the paint with it. One brand of contact paper I got at the dollar store did stick and start to pull off the paint so I just got a hair dryer and eased it off while applying the heat.

    This would be great for holiday decorations, too. I would love to see creepy silhouettes for Halloween or a tree and stockings for Christmas!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    that is REALLY cool ! nice thinking outside the box !


    9 years ago on Introduction

     Wish I saw this earlier....
    Right now I'm painting my room with designs...