Wallpaper Wall Preparation:
Professional Wall Treatments, Either Paper or Vinyl, Depend on Accurate Framing and Drywall Finishing
© 2008 by Kelly Smith all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without authors written permission
Wallpaper wall preparation. OK, that sounds a bit redundant. But the fact is, that to
end up with a great looking papered wall, you've got to start with a great foundation.
New Construction or Remodel?
This pretty much covers it. Either you're starting from scratch, or its a
If this is new construction, feel free to skip down to the sizing sub-heading below. Otherwise, strip off
the old wallpaper if thats your current situation.
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This is usually easier to do using a wet sponge to loosen the old wallpaper adhesive. A
spray bottle of warm water helps as well.
If its a textured wall, youll need to get rid of the old texture. Depending on your
situation, this can be done by scraping and/or sanding. If sanding, use a drywall finishing sanding
Skim with Drywall Compound
The purpose of this step is to make sure that the wall surface is smooth, so the finished wall
will be smooth as well. If youre well-versed in
drywall taping and floating
you wont have a problem with this step.
Use your wide floating knife for the open spaces and your narrower taping knife for smaller
spots. You'll probably need a small putty knife for even smaller areas, especially in a
bathroom remodel or inside some window insets.
Sand the Wall with a Drywall Sanding Pole
In this step youll be smoothing the wall surface and making sure everything is flush. Inspect it
carefully and re-skim as needed. The best thing to use is a drywall sanding screen, not regular
Don't forget your dust mask. And make an effort to get all the drywall compound dust off the wall.
Wallpaper Sizing Prevents Future Woes
No, this has nothing to do with measurement. Sizing the wall simply means sealing the wall
prior to hanging the wallpaper. This both helps in the drying process (so the glue doesn't simply
soak into the wall) and it also adds a barrier so the paper can be removed later.
For sizing, either use a commercially available sizing product or thinned-out wallpaper
adhesive. Once its dry, youre ready to
hang wallpaper and borders
like a pro!
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