Wallpaper – Prepping The Wall

Prepping a wall is important to ensure that your wallpaper adheres to the wall proper. It can also help to ensure an easier process when removing them in future should you decide to change the wallpaper. Prep the wall with a vinyl-acrylic sizing which is applied like paint but dries quickly and somewhat tacky. This coat of vinyl-acrylic assures adhesion and can allow for easier removal of the paper years later.

Make sure that the walls are clean and free of any dust or debris. Take note that if the wall is painted with oil-based paint you will need to treat it with TSP or a de-glosser for better adhesion. For an untreated new wall or a latex paint-coated wall, you will need to apply an oil-based primer before papering. You should prime the wall too. Any repaired areas that have fresh wallboard or spackling compound on them should be spot-primed as well.

While wallpaper can be hung directly over old wallpaper, papers will fall off if you put a heavy wet sheet on top of them. Removal is recommended so that your wallpaper will adhere well.

Below lists some Do’s and Don’ts when prepping for paperhanging:

The Do\’s

  • Always follow manufacturer\’s instructions before beginning any wallpaper project.
  • Choose the appropriate primer/sealer. A primer/sealer is an oil- or acrylic-based coating designed for use under wallcovering to seal porous surfaces prior to hanging.
  • Repair the wall surface and make sure all holes, cracks and joints are properly repaired. Remove any peeling paint with a scraper, and apply patching compound to repair cracks or holes. Also wash greasy or dirty areas and apply a primer/sealer to any newly patched areas. Any glossy or semi-glossy surfaces should be sanded to allow better adhesion.
  • Any surface that needs to be painted (like the ceiling, trim, doors) should be painted first before you paste your wallpaper, as it is easier to remove wall-covering adhesive from a painted surface than to remove splattered paint from wallpaper.

The Don\’ts

  1. 1. Don\’t hurry. Take your time preparing the wall and don’t take short cuts as it may lead to a shoddy result.
  1. 2. Don\’t skimp on tools or materials.
  1. 3. Don’t hang over existing wallpaper. In circumstances removing the old wallpaper will damage the wall, still try to remove any paper that is not tight to the wall.