How to Prepare Walls For Wallpaper

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Preparing walls for wallpaper is almost as important as the application itself. Why? Untouched walls tend to be bumpy and irregular. As a result, the wallpaper will not lay flat nor adhere well. For this reason, it’s important to take the time to smooth out your walls and get them ready for a little glue and paper. Here’s what to do.

Things You'll Need

  • Sandpaper
  • Scraping tool
  • Plaster
  • Primer sealant
  • Wash rags
  • Old sheets
  • Bucket
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Remove all items from the wall. Before you do anything to prep a wall, remove all of the items from it. This means you should take down photos, hooks, posters and any old wallpaper. These items will either get in the way or be damaged during the process of prepping your walls.

  • Smooth out walls with sandpaper. For painted walls, it’s important to sand and scrape them until smooth. This process may take a few minutes; so enlist the help of a friend or family member, if possible. Also, don’t forget to lay down a covering, such as a sheet, on the surrounding floor to protect it.

  • Repair any holes or cracks in your wall. A rule of thumb to follow is to fill in any holes and cracks in the wall that are larger or wider than a dime with plaster or another appropriate filler. This process will help reduce your chances of puckering and other unsightly things that make a wallpapering job look unprofessional. Be sure to let the filler set before you go onto the next step.

  • Wash your walls with a little soap and water. In a bucket, mix a ½ gallon of water and a drop of liquid soap. Then, wash your walls. Removing excess debris will prepare your walls for better adhesion of the wallpaper. Be sure to let your wall dry before you move on to the next step.

  • Apply primer sealer to your wall. It’s important to add primer sealer to your wall before you add on wallpaper. Why? It seals the old paint and helps treat any imperfections that you may not be able to see with the naked eye. This is the final preparation step you need to take before you begin to apply your lovely wallpaper.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure to follow each step in order to get the ultimate results.
  • Walls that have alkyd paint shouldn't be primed with sealer.

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  • Photo Credit Photos by Diega Medrano on Sxc.hu
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