How to prepare your wall before hanging wallpaper

The preparation depends on the surface and quality of your existing walls. If your walls are smooth and have no holes to fill from nails or screws, it's just a matter of making sure they're clean. But orange peel or knockdown surfaces require more preparation. Follow our checklist below to make sure you get a great result.

  1. To ensure a successful installation of your wallpaper or mural, the surface needs to be clean, smooth, firm, and dry. This is especially important for Peel & Stick which is not suitable for textured walls. Make sure that there are no loose old wallpaper, paint or dirt that can prevent the paste from sticking properly.
  2. Remove old nails, hangers, or screws and fill in the holes and cracks.
  3. Sand down rough edges until smooth. If there is old wallpaper applied to the wall with overlapping edges, make sure to trim away the edges to ensure a flat surface.
  4. Clean the walls using warm water and a sponge. Use a mild soap or a cleaning agent developed for paint preparation.
  5. Allow the walls to dry completely over at least 24 hours before you continue. Make sure no areas rise when damp and don’t stretch back once dry.
  6. Switch off the electricity and remove the covers to all sockets and switches.

Special cases

  1. If your old wall has a dark color or a strong visible pattern, we recommend painting it in a neutral light color to ensure that the wall doesn't shine through where the edges of the wallpaper strips meet. There are special wallpaper primers that create a matte surface with a little extra slip when moving and positioning the wallpaper during installation. These primers also make it easier to remove the wallpaper in full strips at a later stage using hot water and a sponge.
  2. If your wall is uneven due to the original wall having a texture, like knockdown, orange peel or woodworm, we usually recommend applying a skim coat or primer to even out the surface, but whether it's necessary depends on the roughness of the texture and the aesthetics you're going for. Our guide to textured wall types can be found here.

Contact us

If you have any other questions regarding your specific wall type and the preparation needed, just send us an email at [email protected].