How to Prepare your walls for wallpapers

Preparing your room for wallpaper can be a simple or more complicated process depending on the current condition and surface type of the walls. Painted drywall is fairly easy to prepare with a quick wash and a coating of primer/sealer. Older walls, or walls that have wood paneling or other types of alternative surfaces, may take a little more work. Follow the right steps, however, and just about any wall can be effectively prepared for your new wallpaper.

Preparing the wall surface:

Smooth, clean, dry and structurally sound surfaces are essential for applying wallcovering. If your wall has been recently plastered, it must not retain excessive lime or alkali. Residual moisture content in your wall cannot be higher than 5-7% and this should be determined using a moisture meter. This prerequisite sorted out, you are ready to source interesting wallpaper for walls online.

What kind of primer to use:

After you buy wallpaper online, to promote adhesion of the wallcovering, your wall should receive a coat of appropriate primer first and foremost. Most primers are intended for use as a barrier against vapours. If such primers are used on wallcovering, they may greatly reduce the overall permeability of the installation. Only a breathable primer formulated for wallcovering should be used. Oil-based primers result in a non-porous surface and combined with vinyl-based wallcovering, have a habit of trapping moisture, prolong the time for drying and cause adhesion problems.

To ensure the wall is sound:

Existing walls may present varied conditions. Soundness of your wall can be ensured as below after you get wallpaper for walls online.

All glossy surfaces should be sanded and all irregularities should be repaired. For sanding, use a medium to rough grit sandpaper to open pores and enhance permeability in the existing wall finishes.

Next, using a razor blade cut a shallow ‘X’ on the painted surface, wrap a strip of masking tape around your finger (sticky side out), and press the tape against the ‘X’. If the paint film separates from the wall surface, the wall is not sound to receive wallcovering.

Also, hold a wet sponge against the painted wall surface for 15-20 seconds. If any pigment or colour transfers from the wall surface to the sponge, the wall is not sound. If the painted surface is found to be ‘unsound’ by either of the above tests, the paint must be removed ASAP. So check these things before you buy wallpaper online.

If your wall has any older wallcovering, remove it completely before sticking the new one on. NEVER DOUBLE HANG. After buying wallpaper for walls online and removing older wallcovering, take care to remove any remaining adhesive with a good quality adhesive remover. If the old wallcovering is peelable, you need to remove both top and bottom layers of the wallcovering. Finally, rinse the wall and let it dry.

Surfaces other than drywall or plaster may require specialized application techniques and procedures. Get in touch with us for suggestions on how to start when you buy wallpaper online.