How to Add Beadboard to A Rental Wall {A Lesson in Trial and Error}

*UPDATE! I found an even better solution for this wall. Read about it over here!

The beadboard wall is officially up for good! Well, I guess I should say that it's temporarily up for good since we live in a rental :). Last week, I showed off the progress in this post, but with the caveat that it was held up with painter's tape for the time being until I figured out a better solution. In my mind, the ideal, non-permanent solution was double stick tape, but I worried about the adhesive residue that might leave behind. Plus, I wanted something a little heftier so I wouldn't have to use a bajillion pieces of it. After googling around, it turns out the stuff of my dreams the ideal tape exists! It's called ZipWall tape and it's a double sided tape that has painter's tape-like adhesive on one side (i.e. won't damage your walls) and sticker adhesive on the other.

Mind. blown.

So that's what was on its way to my house when we last talked about this beadboard wall. Once it arrived, I got to work, praying it would be the magic bullet to sticking this beadboard wallpaper to the giant wall o' tile in smooth, straight sheets.

And it worked! Sorta...Let me show you how I used the tape, and then I'll elaborate on why it didn't end up being the perfect solution.

I started on the far left end of the wall and removed one sheet of beadboard at a time from my previous installation attempt.

You can see above that one sheet is gone, and the one next to it is still hangin' on with a little bit of painter's tape. I removed one at a time so I could keep the sheets straight vertically by matching up the edges since I had already done that part in my last installation attempt.

Then I added four pieces of the ZipWall tape that were a little wider than the beadboard wallpaper so that I could seal the edges of adjacent pieces together. The red paper covers the stickier side when it's on the roll and I removed it to reveal the tape when I was ready to put up the piece of wallpaper.

I placed the wallpaper sheet on top of the tape once I lined up the top edge with the bottom edge of the molding. See the pieces of tape sticking out on the ends? The edge of the next piece of wallpaper goes right on top of those to help seal up the gap that you inevitably have with wallpaper.

In order to get the wallpaper as smooth and taut as possible, I started by smoothing the top edge down and then pulled the bottom taut with one hand while smoothing it down from top to bottom with my other hand. If I didn't get it right the first time and there was a bubble or something, that was ok - I just pulled it back off the tape and re-smoothed it down. The tape is pretty forgiving and didn't damage the wallpaper at all when I pulled it back off.

P.S. Take a good look at those vertical blinds. Aren't they nice? Just kidding...see why I want to find a way to hide them too?

I then worked my way across the wall putting the wallpaper back up using the new ZipWall tape and it was looking so so good!

After placing a few pretty things on the mantle to fall-ify it (I'll talk about those next week), I snapped a few photos. I was really happy with how it turned out! The tape made it look really smooth and almost like it was installed for real. :)

Then, the next morning, I came downstairs and...

Two pieces had fallen off the wall.

Dum dum dum.

I was so disappointed! Turns out the texture of the back of the wallpaper and ZipWall tape weren't totally meant to be. Never one to give up without a fight, I brainstormed for a bit and settled on trying to remedy the problem by adding a few short strips of regular ole clear double stick tape right on top of the ZipWall tape just at the very top of each piece. And you know what? It worked like a charm. Nothing has fallen down or come loose in the four days it's been since I added the clear double stick tape. Mission accomplished. See why it took a little bit of trial and error? Thankfully, the persistence paid off and I now have a beautiful beadboard wall!

Let's get to the fun part now - the photos!

(The lighting in that last photo is totally weird - hello bright sunshine from the big glass doors!)

It's looking pretty good on that wall now - I'm so glad to have that little project done! It just goes to show that a little creativity in a rental can go a long way into making it a place that feels more like YOU. Even if you can't knock down walls or make any major changes, sometimes all you need is a few bucks and a fun idea and then you're off!

Thanks for following along with me on this project, y'all. I'll be back tomorrow with some fun links to kickstart your weekend!

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  1. It looks so great! Glad you found a solution that worked.

    Annabode.com--Design for the Thrifty & Uninitiated

  2. This is AMAZING! What a great find! Plus I'm always excited to find a fellow blogger who rents! Great job!

  3. That tape is a great find and your beadboard looks awesome! Found you on the Remodelaholic's link up! Kyla @ http://houseofhipsters.com/

  4. I love it! I'm a renter so I'm always looking for temporary ideas. Where did you find that tape?

  5. Looks great! I am curious--a few months later, how has it held up?

    1. The beadboard ended up not being the perfect fit for that wall and the pieces started falling down in strips due, I think, to temperature fluctuations. Since it's an exterior wall, the adhesive I used expanded and contracted as the outside temperatures changed. I ended up finding an even better solution recently. You can read about it in this post if you're curious!


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