How to get your walls ready for wallpaper.

Are you having wallpaper installed in your home or installing the wallpaper yourself? If so, then you will want to read how to get your walls ready for wallpaper!

Hello again, this is David from D’franco Painting & Wallpaper, and I just wanted to share a few things to help you in your wallpaper installation so you have a trouble-free installation. Inspecting your walls or using this as a checklist of things to think about before you install wallpaper will make the installation that much better for you. Knowing what to look at will make sure that if you hire someone, you are hiring the right person. In any case, getting your walls ready for wallpaper is not just a nice thought…it is a must!

Do your walls need repairs?

In most homes that we inspect, there is little need for wall repairs. If there are any, it is usually from nail holes, old picture hangers, etc. But sometimes…

drywall damage - how to get your walls ready for wallpaper
Drywall damage from baseboard replacement
drywall damage from wallpaper removal
Drywall damage from wallpaper removal
drywall damage from tile removal
Here is drywall damage from tile removed from a wall

Each of these issues will need attention before you start installing drywall. These repairs usually take several coats to fill in the holes and make things smooth again. If you don’t know how this is done, it is one of the things you want to hire someone to do, as you will see every single knick, ding, scrape, bubble, uneven spot, or divot in the walls. You want to make sure the walls are ready for wallpaper by being very smooth.

Are you removing wallpaper?

This should be a yes or already done. If you have commercial wallpaper, it is against fire code to install new vinyl or old vinyl wallcovering.

Here is a quick video on one of our guys removing wallpaper: Removal

Are your walls sealed or primed and ready for the wallpaper?

If you have had any drywall repairs made, then you must seal those spots. We have several products we use, but one of the ones we have used more of lately is ROMAN 977 as it is a white pigment and can be tinted.

roman 977 white pigment primer
Roman 977 white pigment primer

Priming your walls video

Make sure that you are using a wallpaper primer, and NOT a drywall primer! There is a difference. Drywall primer does not really soak into the surface. It sits more like paint. Wallpaper primers do a better job, some more than others, of penetrating the wall surface to create a uniform solid surface that the wallpaper adhesive can adhere to. Are you asking or saying, “So what?” GOOD! If you have ever put a piece of tape on the wall, go to remove it and the paint and drywall rip off the wall with the tape? This is the reason we use what we do. The primers penetrate, almost gluing, the surfaces together. When it is time to remove the wallpaper, it comes off like it should, leaving a solid wall surface you can paint or hang new wallpaper.

Be sure of any other work you want done before wallpaper installation begins.

What we mean by that is:

  • Are you replacing a towel holder?
  • Getting a new mirror?
  • Changing your vanity?
  • Updating your toilet?
  • Removing the toilet paper holder?
  • Painting your ceiling or trim?
dfranco wallpaper removal
Wallpaper Removal
wallpaper removal - dfranco painting & wallpaper
Wallpaper removed, trim painted

If there is a “yes” to any of these questions, you need to make sure that you are having it done before wallpaper begins.

What else you should do before starting to install wallpaper?

Aside from the above…

Make sure you have the proper adhesive for the wallpaper you are using.

Double check the wallpaper for any defects. Here is our last install that we had to stop due to defective materials.

Have clean water, plenty of space, and READ the instructions one more time.

When done, have fun! Wallpaper can be fun to install. Seeing the transformation take place is worth the time.

If you have questions on wallpaper installation, let us know how we can help you love the space you’re in.


Add a splash of color and style to your walls. Book your paint and wallpaper appointment today!