How To Put Wallpaper On Rough Walls

How To Put Wallpaper On Rough Walls

How To Put Wallpaper On Rough Walls

Introduction to Wallpapering Rough Walls

Wallpapering can be a captivating and cost-effective way to revamp your walls, bringing character and charm to your space. Specifically, hanging wallpaper on rough walls can seem daunting, but with the right technique and materials, you can transform the flawed into fabulous. This guide explores all aspects from selecting the perfect wallpaper to mastering the art of application on a challenging surface such as rough walls.

Why Opt for Wallpaper

Unlike paint, wallpaper can offer a multitude of design options with a wide variety of patterns, textures, and colors to choose from. Depending on your choice of wallpaper, you can create a bold accent wall or a sophisticated backdrop for your furnishings.

The Challenges of Rough Walls

Rough walls can present certain challenges when it comes to wallpapering. Uneven textures can lead to possible tears or inconsistencies in the wallpaper’s appearance. However, these issues can be mitigated with the right preparation and application techniques.

Choosing the Right Wallpaper

When dealing with rough walls, thicker, heavier wallpapers typically work best. Textured wallpaper can be particularly effective as it can disguise imperfections on the wall's surface while providing a stylish finish.

Consider the Environment

Keep in mind the room where you'll be applying the wallpaper. High-humidity areas like kitchens and bathrooms require vinyl wallpapers for their water and dampness resistance.

Understanding Wall Preparation

Wall preparation is crucial for any wallpapering project, especially for rough walls. This stage often involves cleaning, patching, filling uneven spots, and sanding, followed by a coat of primer.

Applying the Wallpaper

The actual process of hanging wallpaper requires patience and precision. It's a step-by-step process involving measuring, cutting, pasting, and smoothing the wallpaper to ensure a professional finish.

Seeking Professional Help

If you find the task daunting, consider hiring a professional decorator. They have the expertise to handle any wall condition and can ensure a flawless finish.

Ready to dive into the world of wallpapering rough walls? Let's embark on this transformative journey.

Understanding Basic Wallpaper Types and Their Suitability

To properly wallpaper rough walls, you first need to understand the basic types of wallpaper available and which ones are more suited to this task. The type of wallpaper you choose has a significant impact on the final result. Here are a few common wallpaper types and how well they fare against rough walls:

Vinyl Wallpaper

This is one of the most commonly used wallpapers due to its durability. Vinyl wallpaper is moisture-resistant, easy to clean, and tends to hide wall imperfections better than other types. Its thickness helps it to mask the irregularities of rough walls.

Flock Wallpaper

Flock wallpaper has a raised pattern and a velvety feel, adding a sense of luxury and texture to walls. This type of wallpaper can work well on rough walls due to its dense pattern, which can cover up slight imperfections.

Textile Wallpaper

Composed of textiles such as linen, silk, or cotton, textile wallpaper is renowned for its elegant and refined look. However, its delicacy also means it shows wall imperfections easily, making it less suitable for use on rough walls.

Metallic Wallpaper

Metallic wallpapers, as the name suggests, have a shiny, metallic finish. They add a contemporary, high-gloss look to walls but tend to highlight wall imperfections. As such, they are not the best choice for rough walls.

Embossed Wallpaper

Embossed wallpaper is a fantastic choice for rough walls. Their raised design helps to hide wall irregularities. They are also paintable, meaning you can customize the colour to match your decor. This type of wallpaper is a particularly advantageous choice when dealing with rough walls, as they are both decorative and functional.

Paste-the-Wall Wallpaper

Paste-the-wall wallpaper, unlike traditional wallpaper that requires you to apply paste to the paper, requires you to apply the adhesive directly to the wall. As it's durable and doesn't shrink when it dries, it could be an easier option to hang on rough walls.

Choosing the Right Wallpaper

When selecting wallpaper for rough walls, opt for thicker, more textured wallpapers such as vinyl or embossed varieties. These can better mask wall imperfections and create a visually pleasing result. Lighter, finer wallpapers such as silk or metallic are best avoided, as they may highlight rather than conceal wall irregularities.

Note of Caution

Regardless of the type of wallpaper chosen, success highly depends on adequate wall preparation. Even the best-suited wallpaper will struggle to adhere properly or look good on a poorly prepared wall.

Choosing the Right Wallpaper for Rough Walls

When dealing with rough walls, the choice of wallpaper is crucial. Because the surface of these walls is not smooth, it's more challenging for the wallpaper to adhere correctly and last a long time without peeling or ripping. A wrong choice may further highlight wall imperfections rather than disguising them.

Heavy Textured Wallpaper

Heavily textured wallpapers are the best option for rough walls. This type of wallpaper can help hide minor imperfections in plaster or drywall. They create an interesting visual effect while evening out the wall surface.

Consider Vinyl Wallpaper

Vinyl wallpapers are known not only for their durability but also for their ability to cover up wall irregularities effectively. They can be ideal for areas with high traffic or that require frequent cleaning. The downside of these wallpapers is that they can be challenging to remove.

Non-Woven Wallpaper

Non-woven wallpapers are another excellent choice for rough walls. They are easy to install and remove, proving beneficial for those who like periodic wallpaper change. Despite their ability to cover minor irregularities, they are not as effective as textured wallpapers when handling larger imperfections.

Embossed Wallpaper

Embossed wallpaper is another type of textured wallpaper that can also cover small imperfections on your wall. It has the advantage of providing a classic look to the room with its detailed and rich patterns. However, it requires careful application to prevent creases or bubbles.

Beware of Foil and Flock Wallpaper

While foil and flock wallpapers can give an elegant touch to the room, they're not suitable for rough walls. These types of wallpapers will highlight imperfections and require a perfectly smooth wall for optimal results.


Choosing the right wallpaper for rough walls can greatly impact the finish and longevity of the wallpaper application. Textured or non-woven wallpapers are highly suggested. Regardless of the type you choose, adequate preparation of the wall surface is still essential to ensure the wallpaper adheres properly and lasts long.

Necessary Materials and Tools for Wallpapering

As you prepare for your wallpapering project, assembling all the necessary materials and tools beforehand will make the process efficient and hassle-free. Here's a comprehensive list of what you'll need:


First and foremost, you'll need the wallpaper itself. Buy more than you think you'll need, accounting for mistakes and pattern repeats.The type of wallpaper you choose should not only match your décor, but also should be suitable for rough walls. Textured and thicker wallpapers, for instance, are ideal for covering any irregularities on the wall.

Wallpaper Adhesive

Depending on your wallpaper type, you may need to purchase wallpaper adhesive separately. It is the substance that will securely bond the wallpaper to your wall. For rough walls, a high-quality adhesive is a must for ensuring robust attachment to the wall surface.

Wallpaper Brush and Roller

A wallpaper brush and roller will help you smooth out the wallpaper onto the wall. The thicker bristles of the wallpaper brush are perfect for pressing the wallpaper into the rough contours of the wall, while the roller is ideal for applying even pressure across larger surfaces.

Seam Roller

A seam roller is an essential hand tool for wallpapering. Its role is to seal the seams between wallpaper strips to make them less visible, ensuring a seamless finish that blends in perfectly with your wall.

Wallpaper Smoother and Trimmer

A wallpaper smoother and trimmer can be useful tools in making your wallpaper perfectly fitted on your wall. The wallpaper smoother will help remove air bubbles, while the trimmer will precisely cut excess wallpaper along ceiling, corners and baseboard edges.

Bucket, Sponge and Water

These are vital for preparing and applying the wallpaper paste if you're not using a pre-pasted wallpaper. Plus, they come in handy when cleaning up.

Plumb Line or Level

To achieve straight, vertical alignment of your wallpaper, a plumb line or level is crucial. This ensures that each strip of wallpaper is accurately installed for the perfect finish.

Other Essentials

Lastly, a few other essentials like a tape measure for accurate measurements, a pencil for marking, and a step ladder for reaching higher parts of the wall should be part of your wallpapering toolkit as well.

With all these materials and tools at your disposal, you're now well-prepared for your wallpapering project.

Preparing Rough Walls for Wallpaper Application

When using wallpaper as a decorative element for your home, the quality of installation is key. In many cases, you'll find that walls aren't always perfectly smooth. Applying wallpaper on rough walls requires a tad bit more effort and special treatment during preparation. Here we dive into the most efficient and effective ways to prepare rough walls for wallpaper application.

Initial Inspection and Cleaning

Begin by inspecting the wall for noticeable bumps, cracks, or irregularities. Get rid of cobwebs, dust, and loose debris. You can use a vacuum with a brush attachment for this. If the wall has been exposed to grease or oil, clean it using mild soap and rinse with clean water. Make sure to let the wall dry entirely before moving to the next step.

Filling and Sanding

If the wall has noticeable imperfections, it might be necessary to level it out with joint compound or wall filler. Apply a layer of filler over the rough spots or cracks and allow it to dry. Once dry, you will need to sand the areas you filled to ensure they are level with the rest of the wall. Use medium-grit sandpaper for this task. Remember to always wear protective gear such as goggles and a mask when sanding.

Priming the Wall

Applying a primer will help hide any color variations in the wall, providing a uniform base for your wallpaper. It also assists in the adhesion of the wallpaper to the wall, thus extending its lifespan. Use a paint roller for even application of the primer and let it dry thoroughly.

Addressing Larger Imperfections

FOr larger imperfections such as pronounced cracks or gaping holes, you may need to apply a layer of plaster or drywall compound. After it dries, sand down the repaired area until it is level with the rest of the wall.

Applying a Second Coat of Primer

After you have addressed larger imperfections, apply a second coat of primer. This is crucial because it creates a smoother surface which leads to a more professional finished look once your wallpaper is installed.

Wallpaper Lining

Consider using a wallpaper liner if your walls remain noticeably rough even after priming. A wallpaper liner is like a base-layer wallpaper that helps smooth out minor imperfections.

Final Checks

After all the above steps, take one final look at your wall. Make sure there are no remaining imperfections. Check for uneven areas and ensure that your wall is dry before you begin installing the wallpaper.

Techniques for Applying Wallpaper on Rough Walls

Applying wallpaper on rough walls can present a unique set of challenges but with the right techniques, the task can be accomplished smoothly. From proper wall preparation, choosing the right wallpaper, to the actual wallpapering process, every stage is critical to achieve a successful outcome.

Proper Wall Preparation

Prepping the wall is an essential step before applying wallpaper. Sandpaper can be used to smooth out smaller, rougher patches on the wall. Any holes or cracks should be filled with a wall filler or plaster. After drying, they should then be sanded until smooth. Once the wall is as smooth as possible, an oil-based primer should be applied. Priming the wall seals it, stopping the wall from absorbing the wallpaper adhesive too quickly.

Choosing the Right Wallpaper

Picking the appropriate wallpaper can make a world of difference when dealing with rough walls. Heavy and textured wallpapers are ideal for covering imperfections, such as uneven surfaces and minor cracks. They are often easier to work with on rough surfaces as they are less likely to tear during application.

Pre-cutting the Wallpaper

Before applying the wallpaper, all strips must be cut to fit the wall height. Ensure to leave some extra inches on both ends, top and bottom, for adjustments.

Applying the Wallpaper

When it comes to application, start from the top and carefully aligning the wallpaper with the ceiling or cornice. Smoothing should be done from top to bottom, expelling any air bubbles as you go. Be careful not to overwork the paper as it can stretch and tear.

Considering Professional Help

If you're unsure about the process, hiring a professional wallpaper installer could be a worthwhile option. Though it might increase the cost, the end result could be more pleasing due to their skill and expertise.

Practice Makes Perfect

While it might seem daunting at first, applying wallpaper on a rough wall is a skill that can be mastered over time. With patience, attentiveness, and practice, you'll soon be able to flawlessly apply wallpaper on any rough surface.

Maintaining Your Wallpaper

Once applied, regular maintenance can help your wallpaper last longer. Avoid moisture exposure and clean the wallpaper with a dry cloth on a regular basis. Should the wallpaper get stained, a mild soapy solution can be used for cleaning.

Final Thoughts

Even though applying wallpaper to rough walls can seem intimidating, using these techniques can simplify the process. By properly preparing your walls, choosing the correct wallpaper, and exercising patience during application, you'll end up with an attractive and durable finish that transforms your space.

Tips and Tricks for a Successful Wallpaper Application

Applying wallpaper to rough walls can be a challenging task. Therefore, we have curated top tips and tricks that can help ensure a seamless application process. Here it is, let's go!

Choose Thick Wallpaper

Thick wallpaper can better conceal the irregularities on rough walls. Additionally, thick wallpapers are usually more durable and easier to work with than their thinner counterparts.

Select the Correct Adhesive

Ensure you use a strong adhesive specifically designed for rough surfaces. Some adhesives are purposely made to penetrate and adhere effectively to rough walls. These can help reduce the likelihood of wallpaper peeling off after application.

Clean and Prep the Wall

A clean wall ensures that the adhesive bonds well with the wall. Therefore, take the time to clean your rough wall from any dust, dirt or grease. Prep your wall by filling any larger holes and sand them smooth.

Use a Wallpaper Liner

A wallpaper liner is typically applied horizontally on walls prior to hanging the wallpaper. It helps to create an extra smooth surface, masking any wall imperfections, and making the application of your wallpaper easier.

Measure with Care

Accurate measurements can save you from a lot of problems. Ensure that you have enough wallpaper to cover your entire wall, alongside a few extras to cover up errors and future repairs. Also, make sure to align your wallpaper correctly as your project demands precision.

Work Slowly and Patiently

It is important to be patient and take your time while applying wallpaper to rough walls. Rushing could lead to errors, causing uneven alignment and insignificant overlaps.

Use a Seam Roller

Once the wallpaper is applied, go over the seams with a seam roller. This helps the wallpaper properly adhere to the wall and assists in eliminating visible seams and air bubbles.

Consult Professionals for Advice

If doubts or challenges persist, do not hesitate to consult a professional. They have the experience and skills to provide the best advice and can save you from potential errors.

Maintaining and Cleaning Wallpaper on Rough Walls

Once you have beautifully wallpapered your rough walls, it's crucial to maintain and clean it regularly to ensure its longevity and keep it looking fresh and vibrant. The texture of the rough walls could trap dust and dirt, demanding a little more attention compared to wallpaper on smooth surfaces.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance can extend the life of your wallpaper and keep it looking attractive for many years. To maintain it, promptly repair any tears or damages. Use a specially designed wallpaper adhesive to repair any lifts or tears. Also, always try to keep the wallpaper dry because moisture can cause it to peel or breed mould.

Spot Cleaning

Keeping the wallpaper spotlessly clean can sometimes be a challenge especially on rough surfaces. However, light dusting with a soft brush or vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment can work well for regular cleaning. For spot cleaning, there are few gentle methods to follow. First, you must ensure that you don't soak the paper. A lightly dampened cloth should work sufficiently to remove any spots. Additionally, there's specially formulated wallpaper cleaner available on the market for stubborn stains.

Avoid Strong Cleaning Products

It's essential to avoid utilising harsh cleaning products or abrasive items to clean your wallpaper. These products can strip off the colour and damage the wallpaper's surface over time, particularly those wallpapers that do not have a protective coating. Instead, prefer to use products that specify they are safe for wallpapers.

Professional Cleaning

If the wallpaper is extensively dirty, hiring a professional cleaner who specialize in wallpaper cleaning could be an excellent option. They possess the right tools, cleaning solutions and skills to perform the task without causing any damage.


If despite your best efforts, the wallpaper gets damaged extensively or loses its charm, don't hesitate to replace the affected sections. Having some extra wallpaper on hand when you first install it can be a lifesaver when you need to replace a panel or two.

Maintaining and cleaning your wallpaper installed on rough walls require a little more attention and effort but with the right care, it is possible to keep your space looking as charming as ever for many years. It's well worth the time and effort to maintain the aesthetic look and durability of your wallpaper.