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How To Paint Interior Projects


Hanging Wallpaper

Answers to wallpaper frequently asked questions

1. What tools do I need?

  • Tape Measure
  • Primer Sealer
  • Water Bucket
  • Water Tray
  • Sponge
  • Level
  • Razor Knife and Blades
  • 6" Putty Knife
  • Wallpaper smoother
  • Work Table

2. What should I be thinking about before I order wallpaper?

How good are the walls? If the walls are perfect, a flat finish wallpaper will be alright, or a silk/shimmer effect. If the walls are less than perfect, then look for paper with an embossed or expanded surface texture. For areas that have a lot of use (e.g. hallways), a very plain finish will show marks. A textured or patterned surface is a little more forgiving.

3. Can I hang wallpaper over old paneling,brick, textured walls, etc.?

Absolutely. Start with good preparation: remove all nails or other protruding objects. For textured surfaces, "knock down" any high points. For paneling, now is the time to ensure that the paneling is secure by adding additional nails if needed. For slick surfaces/paneling, wash with a grease cutting cleaner.


Now, you can hang bridging material. This is a thick, blank wallpaper designed for irregular surfaces. Once hung, this will "bridge" the grooves in paneling or other unusual surface allowing for the ultimate application of wallpaper or it can even be painted.

Alternate/additional advice: The application of joint compound to the grooves of paneling is an additional precaution when using bridging material. Some wallpaper installers use the "joint compound, then primer" technique instead of bridging material.

4. Is it best to overlap the seams when hanging wallpaper?

Seams should be "butted" tightly together an smoothed with a wallpaper smoother. Properly "booked" wallpaper does not shrink on the wall.

5. Why is my wallpaper difficult to remove?

The adhesive on the back of most wallpaper is formulated to release when wet. Many people do not get the backing of the wallpaper adequatly wet when removing. Using hot water and allowing enough time for the water to loosed the paste makes removal much easier and quicker. If this does not work, there are wallpaper and paste removers on the market.

6. Should I use additional paste on the back of wallpaper?

When wallpaper is properly applied, using a wallpaper primer and the proper hanging techniques, additional paste is not needed. By properly preparing the walls and following the proper hanging instructions, wallpaper will stick to any wall.

7. Don't I need to rent a steamer to remove old wallpaper?

Now that we have removal solutions, steamers are rarely necessary. Follow the manufacturer's directions, be patient and a good removal solution should do the job. Using a good acrylic wallpepr primer will also ensure strippability when it is time for a change.

8. Why does the old wallpaper have to be removed?

The tension exerted by the new layer on the old can cause the original bond to fail and the paper could come off the wall or bubble dramatically.

9. The paper facing on my drywall tore when I removed the old wallpaper. What can I do?

A sealer specially formulated to repair torn drywall is your best option. Follow the directions provided by the manufacturer and you will be able to reinstall new wallpaper.

For more information about wallpaper other painting or decorating tips & techniques, our paint & coatings products, or general DIY paint and coatings questions, please contact us online or by calling or visiting your local Cloverdale Paint store or Dealer.