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How To

How to Wallpaper Over Wallpaper

Read on to find out the best ways of redecorating your home

Ahh, the age-old question, asked by all thrifty interior decorators: can you wallpaper over wallpaper?

The short answer, for the most part, is yes. But if you’re hoping for a little more detail - specifically on how exactly you wallpaper over wallpaper - we’ve got you covered.

Whether you fancy a new look for your home or you’ve simply seen a wallpaper you can’t live without, here’s everything you need to know about wallpapering over wallpaper.

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE WALLPAPERING OVER WALLPAPER

Unfortunately, even when you’ve found the wallpaper of your dreams, you probably can’t start applying it straight away. First, you’ll need to consider the following things, and figure out whether wallpapering over wallpaper is definitely the best decision for your room.

The condition of your old wallpaper

If the reason for your redecorating is that your old wallpaper is extremely damaged, you might want to strip the walls rather than wallpapering over them. This is because a wall that is excessively ripped or cracked provides a poor base for a new layer of paper, and will cause it to start peeling faster. A few cracks, loose seams or holes are fine, but watch out for any severe wear and tear that could ruin your new wallpaper.

What your old wallpaper is made of

It is important to check whether your wallpaper is non-coated or vinyl before you start re-wallpapering. This is because vinyl wallpaper is non-porous, meaning that new wallpaper is unable to properly adhere to it. For this reason, we recommend only wallpapering over non-coated wallpaper. Vinyl paper, sadly, will need to be stripped.

We also suggest stripping the walls if they are textured or embossed, as this can show up as bumps and lumps in your new paper.

The colour of your old wallpaper

If your old wallpaper is very dark or bold, there’s a chance it will show through your new paper - especially if you’re moving to a lighter colour. You can test this before you start by buying a sample of the new paper and holding it against the wall. If it shows through, you can either strip the wall or choose a darker wallpaper.

The number of old wallpaper layers

Although wallpapering over wallpaper can save an amount of time and effort, we don’t recommend doing it to the same wall more than once. This is because it can cause the paper to peel faster, and it becomes more difficult to avoid warping and unwanted textures in the paper. 

To break it down, your old wallpaper should not be:

  • Severely damaged
  • Textured
  • Coated/vinyl
  • Very dark or bold in colour

If, after considering these factors, you would prefer to strip your walls, just take a look at our blog on how to remove your wallpaper. And don’t forget that Graham & Brown only create paste the wall wallpapers, making them incredibly easy to strip away from your walls in full strips. We think this makes Graham & Brown wallpapers the best choice for anyone who likes to chop and change when it comes to interior designs, and you won’t have to worry about wallpapering over wallpaper again!

HOW TO WALLPAPER OVER WALLPAPER

Once you’ve decided to go ahead and wallpaper over your wallpaper, follow the steps below.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

1. CHECK YOUR OLD WALLPAPER FOR PROBLEM AREAS

Before doing anything else, inspect your current wallpaper for any lumps, rips, peeling and holes. Take out any nails and double-check that there is only one layer of wallpaper on the wall so far. Once you’ve found all the problem areas, follow steps 2 and 3 to get them fixed.

2. SEAL THE SEAMS IN YOUR OLD WALLPAPER

If there are any loose seams in your old wallpaper, apply seam sealer and use a seam roller to smooth them back into place. If you don’t have a seam roller, you can use a paint roller instead.

3. APPLY FILLER TO YOUR OLD WALLPAPER

Apply filler to any holes in your wall and wait for it to dry. Then, sand the area down until it’s as flat as possible.

4. CLEAN THE WALLS

Use a wallpaper brush to dust away any debris from sanding down the wall. Then, apply your sugar soap solution to a sponge and clean the walls. Wait for the walls to dry before moving to step 5. 

5. APPLY YOUR NEW WALLPAPER

If you have any obvious stains or marks on your wall, first use a damp sponge to try and remove them. If this doesn’t work, you can create a mix of water and baking soda. Use this to dab at the stain. Once the stain is removed, you can wipe away any residue with a clean cloth. 

6. IF NEEDED, TOUCH UP YOUR PAINTED WALLS

From here, you can apply your wallpaper as you would onto any wall. To do this, follow the advice on how to hang wallpaper. If you're still in the deciding phase of your redecoration plans, why not take a look at some popular wallpaper trends or find out how to create a cosy home with wallpaper?