How To Apply Wallpaper To Textured Walls

How To Apply Wallpaper To Textured Walls

How To Apply Wallpaper To Textured Walls

Introduction to Wall Textures and Wallpaper Options

Wall coverings provide an opportunity to induce style and personality into any room. However, not all walls are created equal and this presents different challenges and requires different approaches when applying wallpaper. Walls with various textures need particular attention as the uneven surface can affect the end result.

Understanding Wall Textures

Textured walls are designed to add depth and visual interest to interiors. These walls have a finish that is not smooth and can range from subtle brush strokes to pronounced geometric patterns or even rough "popcorn" texture. While these finishes can be visually appealing, they can also pose difficulties when it comes to applying wallpaper.

Different Types of Wall Textures

There are several types of wall textures that can present challenges when hanging wallpaper. Some of the most common include popcorn, knockdown, orange peel, and skip trowel. Each type requires a different approach to ensure the wallpaper adheres correctly and results in a polished finish.

Popcorn Walls

This type of texture is distinguished by raised bumps that resemble popcorn or cottage cheese. Applying wallpaper directly on this type of wall results in an uneven and rather unsightly finish.

Knockdown Walls

Knockdown texture is similar to skip trowel but tends to have a more smoothed-out appearance. This type of wall can be challenging because the texture can show through thin wallpapers.

Orange Peel Walls

Orange peel walls have a texture that resembles the skin of an orange. This texture can potentially show through certain types of wallpaper, making it a challenging surface for wallpaper installation.

Wallpaper Options for Textured Walls

There are various wallpaper options to consider when dealing with textured walls. These options depend on the wallpaper material and pattern, among other factors.

Thick Vinyl Wallpapers

Vinyl wallpapers are particularly suited for covering textured walls due to their thickness. The added bulk of these wallpapers helps to smooth out the wall's unevenness, providing a more polished finish. Vinyl-based wallpapers are also available in a range of patterns and styles, and are typically very durable and easy to clean.

Textured Wallpapers

Another option is to use wallpapers that have their own texture. The textures on these wallpapers can help camouflage the underlying wall texture. These wallpapers add a layer of depth and visual interest, working with rather than against the wall's character.

Preparing Textured Walls for Wallpaper

The best option, regardless of the wallpaper chosen, is to prepare the wall properly before application. This may involve sanding the wall to smooth out the texture or applying a lining paper to create a smoother surface. Proper preparation is the key to achieving a beautiful and lasting result.

Understanding the Importance of Wall Preparation

Before the wallpaper application process begins, preparing your textured wall is a critical step that deserves adequate time and attention. The state of the wall significantly impacts how effectively the wallpaper will adhere and how well the finished product will appear.

Surface Smoothness

Textured walls often have irregular surfaces that can make the application of wallpaper challenging. These textures may cause air bubbles or wrinkles in the wallpaper, detracting from its final appearance. To avoid such issues, the wall must be adequately treated to achieve a surface as smooth as possible. This process typically involves sanding and sealing the wall, or applying a lining paper if the texture is particularly deep or coarse.


Wallpaper adheres best to surfaces that are clean, dry, and imperfection-free. If the wall is dusty, damp, or covered in old paint and paste residues, the wallpaper adhesive might not stick properly. These factors can lead to peeling or curling edges, reducing the longevity of your newly applied wallpaper. As such, cleaning and priming the wall before application are essential steps in the wallpapering process.

Consistency of Color

If the wall underneath your wallpaper is unevenly colored or patterned, it might show through your wallpaper, especially if it's a lighter color or thin material. By preparing the wall with a consistent coat of primer, you can ensure that the color of the underneath wall does not interfere with the look of your wallpaper.

Longevity of the Wallpaper

Well-prepared walls not only ensure a seamless application but also increase the lifespan of the wallpaper. When walls are not prepared correctly, wallpaper may peel or become damaged over time due to moisture, temperature changes, or other factors. In contrast, adequately prepared walls help to secure the wallpaper better, reducing the likelihood of such issues and ensuring that your wallpaper remains vibrant and intact for longer.

Mitigating Potential Issues

Preparing your wall thoroughly also means assessing and treating potential issues such as dampness, mold, or structural damage. Such problems are not only detrimental to your wallpaper but can also affect the overall health of your home. By addressing these issues during the preparation stage, you can prevent more significant problems further down the line.

Enhancing Aesthetic Appeal

A well-prepared wall significantly improves the aesthetic appeal of applied wallpaper. It results in smoother applications, consistent coloring, and fewer imperfections. All these factors contribute to a more professional and visually appealing finished product.

Saving Time and Money

Though it might seem like a time-consuming process, proper wall preparation can save you time and money in the long run. Investing the effort upfront prevents you from redoing your wall applications due to poor adhesion, early wear and tear, or other avoidable issues. Consequently, you preserve your wallpaper, reduce maintenance costs, and enjoy a beautiful home for a longer duration.

Steps to Prepare Your Textured Wall for Wallpaper

Applying wallpaper to a textured wall requires special preparation steps to achieve a flawless, professional look. Given the challenges posed by the irregular surface, we have compiled a step-by-step guide below to aid you in the process.

Assess The Wall's Current Condition

First, inspect the wall carefully to ascertain its condition. Identify any areas of severe damage or undulation. Small cracks, bumps and dents can be treated, but extensive damage may necessitate professional repairs.

Repair Minor Defects

Minor cracks and holes can be treated with a premixed patching compound. Using a putty knife, apply this compound smoothly over the defects and allow to dry before sanding down for a smooth finish. Remember to clean the wall after the sanding process to remove dust or debris.

Prep the Wall

Before proceeding, make sure the wall is clean and dry. Remove any old wallpaper or flaking paint. This is essential to ensure the new wallpaper adheres properly to your textured wall. Using a damp sponge or cloth, wipe the wall down to remove any dirt or dust.

Apply Wall Liner

To smoothen the wall texture and prevent the textured surface from showing through the new wallpaper, a wall liner is recommended. Apply the wall liner vertically, starting from one corner of the wall and moving on to the next. Make sure to smooth out any bubbles or creases.

Prime the Wall

This step is crucial for textured walls. Apply primer to the wall to create a smooth, clean slate for your wallpaper. The primer also provides a barrier that can prevent any stains or colors on your wall from bleeding through the new wallpaper.

Allow Wall to Dry

Be sure to let the entire wall dry thoroughly before proceeding with the application of the new wallpaper. This might take around 24 to 48 hours, depending on the room's humidity levels and the type of primer used.

Measure and Cut the Wallpaper

Finally, measure the height and width of your wall to determine how much wallpaper is needed. Cut your wallpaper with some allowance at both the top and bottom for trimming after application. It's always better to have a little bit extra than not enough.

With the above steps meticulously carried out, your textured wall should now be optimally prepared for the application of new wallpaper. The resultant finish would be neat, visually appealing, and enduring.

Choosing the Right Wallpaper for Textured Walls

Applying wallpaper on textured walls can be an amazing way to imbue a room with personality and style. However, the key to success in this process lies in choosing the right wallpaper suitable for textured walls. Here are some vital tips and considerations to guide you through your selection.

Understanding the Wall's Texture

Before selecting your wallpaper, it's crucial to understand the kind of texture your wall has. The texture could range from aggressive to minute surfaces. Aggressive textures include heavily applied knockdown, popcorn, and orange peel textures, while minute consist of light brocade and slapbrush. Depending on the extent of the texture, some wallpapers may not adhere properly or the texture could show through the wallpaper.

Selecting the Right Material

When it comes to textured walls, thicker and embossed wallpapers tend to work the best. These types of wallpapers can easily hide minor imperfections and provide a smooth look despite the underlying texture. Vinyl wallpapers, in particular, are a great choice as they are durable, easy to clean, and can adequately mask the wall's texture.

Role of Pattern and Color

Choosing the right color and pattern can significantly influence how well the wallpaper will camouflage the wall's texture. Generally, dark colors and complex patterns are better at concealing wall texture than lighter, solid colors.

Opt for Lining Paper

Use of lining paper beneath the wallpaper can be a game-changer. A lining paper serves as an additional layer that helps soften the textured wall surface, promoting better adhesion and providing a smoother finish.

The Wallpaper Finish

Lastly, consider the wallpaper finish. Matte wallpapers may not work well with textured walls as they tend to highlight imperfections. On the other hand, a wallpaper with a bit of sheen can reflect light, which helps hide the texture. Choosing the right finish can make all the difference.

Professional Consultation

When in doubt, seek advice from a wallpaper professional or interior designer. Leveraging their expertise can help you select the perfect wallpaper for your textured walls, ensuring a seamless application process and top-notch results.

Doing a Test Run

Once you have chosen your wallpaper, consider applying a small bit to your textured wall as a test run. This will allow you to see how well the wallpaper handles the texture and if it provides the aesthetic you’re aiming for.

Required Tools and Materials for Wallpaper Application

Whether you're a seasoned DIY decorator or a professional, you'll need a set of tools to effortlessly add beautiful wallpaper designs to your textured or smooth walls. Here's a comprehensive list of the must-have tools and materials for wallpaper application:


Whenever decorating with wallpaper, a reliable adhesive is essential. This adhesive, often known as wallpaper paste, is used to securely attach the wallpaper to the wall's surface. Depending on the variety, some wallpapers might already be pre-pasted, meaning they have a dry adhesive on the back that needs to be activated with water. For hanging traditional wallpapers, you might need to purchase a suitable adhesive separately.

Smoothing Brush or Smoother

Once you've applied the wallpaper onto the walls, you'll need a smoothing brush or wallpaper smoother. This handy tool helps smooth out the wallpaper, removing any air bubbles and ensuring a perfect, bubble-free installation. This is especially crucial when dealing with textured walls, as the uneven surface can cause multiple bubbles to form.

Trimming Tools

A sharp utility knife or a wallpaper trimming edge can be used to cut excess wallpaper along ceilings, baseboards, and corners. They provide a clean, neat cut, making sure your wallpaper looks professionally installed. Besides, make sure to have spare blades on hand as wallpaper can quickly dull the blade edge, leading to uneven cuts.

Wallpaper Scissors

These are essential for cutting the wallpaper to the correct size before applying it to the wall. A good pair of wallpaper scissors should have long, robust blades for making clean, straight cuts.

Bucket and Sponge

These are needed when using traditional or pre-pasted wallpaper. The bucket is used to hold water to activate the adhesive on pre-pasted wallpapers, while the sponge helps to clean any excess adhesive off the wallpaper and surrounding surfaces during application.

Seam Roller

A small, handheld tool, the seam roller is used to seal the seams of the wallpaper, ensuring they correctly connect and appear seamless on your wall.

Plumb Bob or Level

This tool is used to ensure that the wallpaper is applied straight. A plumb bob or level helps install the first strip of wallpaper vertically accurate, which sets the precedent for the rest of the strips.

Measure and Pencil

Before applying wallpaper, you should measure the wall and mark the exact areas where the wallpaper will go. A tape measure and pencil is vital for this task.

Each of these tools and materials can either be bought individually or found in a complete wallpaper hanging kit at most home improvement stores. It is vital to have all these tools and materials on hand before beginning the wallpapering process to ensure a successful and frustration-free wallpaper installation experience.

Step by Step Process of Applying Wallpaper to a Textured Wall

Applying wallpaper to a textured wall can be a bit challenging, but with the correct approach and tools, it's certainly possible. Here, we’ll break down the step by step process to guide you through the procedure.

Step 1: Prep the Wall

Before you get started with applying the wallpaper, you need to prep the wall. This involves cleaning it, repairing any damages and, if necessary, sanding down any overly rough parts. This is key to creating an even and clean base for your wallpaper.

Step 2: Prime the Wall

Once the wall is cleaned and prepared, you’ll need to apply a layer of primer. The primer gives the wallpaper adhesive something to stick to and makes your job a lot easier. Simply roll it on like paint and let it dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Measure and Cut Wallpaper

Measure your wall carefully and cut your wallpaper accordingly. It's often recommended to leave a few extra inches to account for any miscalculations or mishaps. Remember, you can always trim the excess later.

Step 4: Apply the Wallpaper Adhesive

Now it’s time to apply your wallpaper adhesive. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and apply an even coat over the paper. Leave it to become tacky, but not completely dry before hanging up the wallpaper.

Step 5: Hang the Wallpaper

Starting from one end of the wall, hang the wallpaper and smooth it out as you go. Use a smoothing tool to press out any air bubbles, ensuring the paper sticks to the wall uniformly.

Step 6: Trim Excess Wallpaper

Once the wallpaper is stuck to the wall, you’ll need to carefully trim any excess. Use a straight edge and a sharp utility knife to achieve a clean cut.

Step 7: Allow the Wallpaper to Dry

After the wallpaper is up and trimmed, you will need to leave it to dry thoroughly. This often takes a full 24 hours. Try to keep the room temperature consistent to avoid shrinking or stretching of the wallpaper.

Step 8: Finishing Touches

The final part of the process involves going back to see if any sections need touch-ups. This could include areas where the paper didn’t stick properly or places where air bubbles may have formed. Address these with your smoothing tool, and you're done!

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Wallpaper Finish on Textured Walls

Perfectly applying wallpaper to a textured wall can be a bit daunting. Yet, with some tips and tricks, you can achieve an impeccable finish that will make your room stand out. Here are some suggestions to help you get started.

Choosing the Right Wallpaper

The first step towards achieving a perfect finish is choosing the right wallpaper. Not all types will work well on textured walls. Thicker, embossed wallpapers are generally the best choice as they are more able to cover the irregularities of the wall. Textured wallpapers can also blend with the wall's bumpy surface, creating a seamless finish.

Preparation is Key

Proper wall preparation can make a huge difference in the final result. Clean the walls thoroughly to remove any dust or grime before starting. Then, use a heavy-duty lining paper to create a smoother surface for the wallpaper. Apply a size – a type of adhesive – on the lining paper before putting the wallpaper. This will help the wallpaper adhere better to the surface and reduce the chance of bubbles.

Application Techniques

The technique you use to apply the wallpaper also matters. When dealing with textured walls, it's crucial to apply from the middle of the paper towards the edges. This helps push out any air bubbles trapped underneath. Furthermore, using a wallpaper brush or smoother also greatly assists in achieving a flawless finish. Remember to keep checking for bubbles as they can ruin the overall finish.

Dealing with Bubbles and Creases

Despite your best efforts, bubbles and creases can sometimes appear on the wallpaper. Bubbles can usually be flattened using a smoothing tool. However, stubborn ones may need to be pierced with a pin to let out the trapped air and then smoothed down. Creases can be more challenging, but gently peeling back the paper and reapplying can frequently resolve the issue.

Finishing Touches

A wallpaper seam roller can be a great tool to help blend seams perfectly on textured walls. Be careful not to press too hard, though, as this may squeeze out the adhesive and damage the wallpaper. Finally, make sure to trim any excess paper at the top and bottom of the wall for a clean finish.

With these tips and tricks, you should be well on your way to achieving a professional, flawless finish when applying wallpaper to your textured walls.

Maintaining and Cleaning Wallpaper on Textured Walls

Proper maintenance and cleaning are vital in preserving the quality of your wallpaper in your textured walls. It can prolong the life of your wallpaper, ensuring that it remains attractive for a long time.

Regular Dusting

Regular dusting is a straightforward yet effective maintenance routine. This can be easily done using a soft brush or cloth. Starting from the top and slowly working your way down, gently clean the wallpaper to prevent the accumulation of dust and dirt, which can degrade the material over time.

Immediate Spot Cleaning

When stains or spills occur, it's crucial to address them immediately to prevent any permanent damage. Begin by patting the area with a dry cloth to absorb as much of the liquid as possible. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing, as this may cause the wallpaper color or pattern to fade.

Proper Cleaning Method

Always ensure to use a sponge or a cloth dampened with water and mild soap. Never use abrasive cleaners or solvents that can potentially harm your wallpaper. Remember to always test any cleaning method on a small, venturous area of the wall first, to ensure it does not damage the wallpaper.

Professional Cleaning

For stubborn stains or for a thorough annual clean, consider hiring professional wallpaper cleaners. They have the expertise and the right tools to effectively restore your wallpaper to its original beauty without causing any damage.

Wallpaper Repair

Over time, wallpaper can tear or come off the wall. This can usually be fixed with wallpaper glue or paste. It may also be necessary to replace certain areas of wallpaper if the damage is severe. It is advisable to always keep some extra wallpaper from your original purchase for such repairs.

Avoiding Sunlight Damage

Direct sunlight can fade the colors of your wallpaper. If possible, use curtains or blinds to limit the amount of sunlight exposure your wallpaper gets, especially during the peak sunshine hours.

By following these guidelines, you ensure that your wallpaper on textured walls will look fresh and last longer, adding an elegant touch to your room for years to come.