Wallpapering Over Wallpaper

Wallpapering Over Wallpaper

Wallpapering Over Wallpaper

Revamping Your Walls: A Guide to Wallpapering Over Wallpaper

Wallpapering over existing wallpaper might seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach, it can be a practical and efficient way to refresh your walls without the hassle of removing old wallpaper. Whether you're looking to cover up outdated patterns or simply add a new layer of style, this guide will walk you through the process step by step, ensuring a smooth and successful transformation.

Assessing the Situation

Before diving into the project, it's essential to evaluate the condition of the existing wallpaper. If it's peeling, bubbling, or severely damaged, it's best to remove it entirely to create a clean surface for the new wallpaper. Run your fingers over the original wallpaper. Can you feel the seams? Can you feel any bumps? If you can then chances are you will see these through the new wallpaper. If the current wallpaper is in good condition and firmly adhered to the wall, you can proceed with wallpapering over it.

What paper type is your new wallpaper?

To wallpaper over existing wallpaper, you'll need to put some consideration in to what the new wallpaper will be. Thick wallpapers such as Anaglypta or textured vinyl can help hide imperfections that the original wallpaper may cause. If you are going for a thin paste the paper type of wallpaper then you may want to consider using lining paper between the two wallpapers to create a smooth surface.

Preparing the Surface

Before applying the new wallpaper, it's crucial to prepare the existing surface properly. Start by cleaning the walls to remove any dirt, dust, or grease. Use a mild detergent solution and a sponge or damp cloth to wipe down the walls thoroughly. Allow the walls to dry completely before proceeding.

If the existing wallpaper has a glossy finish or is made of vinyl it may be trickier than first anticipated. This is because vinyl wallpaper is non-porous, meaning that new wallpaper is unable to properly adhere to it. For this reason, we personally recommend not wallpapering over non-coated or vinyl wallpaper. Your local DIY store may have a skim coat product that can be painted over some types of wallpapers - it is worth checking with them if they have something suitable for your situation.

We also suggest stripping the walls if they are textured or embossed, as this can show up as bumps and lumps in your new paper.

It's advisable to roughen the surface slightly with sandpaper to improve adhesion. Be sure to sand lightly to avoid damaging the underlying wall.

Preparing the Surface

If your old wallpaper is quite dark or bold, there’s a chance it will show through your new paper - especially if you’re moving from a darker colour to a lighter colour. You can test this before you start by buying a sample of the new paper and holding it against the wall. If it shows through, you can either strip the wall or choose a darker wallpaper. If it shows through you may need to use lining paper.

Applying Primer (Optional?)

While not always necessary, applying a primer can help create a smooth and uniform surface for the new wallpaper. It also gives the wallpaper paste more to stick to. If you choose to use a primer, follow the manufacturer's instructions for application and drying time before proceeding with the wallpaper.


Wallpapering over existing wallpaper can be a practical solution for updating your walls with less effort than peeling the original wallpaper off. Some trail and error may be necessary to pull this off. The best result is always going to be in the amount of preparation you put into your project prior to hanging your new wallpaper.

By following these steps and taking the time to prepare the surface properly, you can achieve a fresh and stylish look that transforms your space. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to revamp your walls with confidence!


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