What Wallpaper Is Best For Textured Walls?

Updated April 6, 2021

Can I Wallpaper Textured Walls?

Wallpaper has an impactful effect on a room. With a variety of designs, styles, and colors to choose from, wallpaper and wall murals are fantastic ways to freshen up your space. What if you want to get in on the wallpaper trend but have textured walls? Although it’s not totally impossible, it is not recommended to hang wallpaper on textured walls or uneven surfaces. Read on to learn the challenges of hanging wallpaper on textured walls and ways to create a smooth surface for wall mural installation.

Challenges of Hanging Wallpaper on Uneven Walls

Some problems arise when it comes to hanging wallpaper on textured walls, since it best adheres to a smooth, even surface. Wall murals and wallpaper installed directly on uneven walls have difficulty adhering. This can result in panels peeling from the wall or developing bubbles within days or even hours of it being installed. With a few easy steps, wallpaper bubbles can easily be removed.

However, due to all the irregularities present in textured walls – like bumps, ridges, and grooves – lining up wall mural panels is difficult, and seamless transitions are nearly impossible. Depending on the thickness of the paper, the underlying wall texture may also be seen through the wallpaper.

Despite all this, there are a few ways you can make your wall surface smooth. Whether you have rough, textured, or uneven walls, here are some solutions on how to prep a textured wall for wallpaper.

Mural Material Recommendations for Lightly-Textured Walls

So, what mural materials are your best bet for lightly textured walls? We recommend using products that feature a woven poly-cotton osnaburg backing. The grid-textured osnaburg backing holds paste better than smooth fabric backings, which helps to hold the mural material to lightly textured surfaces. The Murals Your Way materials that feature an osnaburg backing are our Vinyl HD - Texture as well as our EcoBella™ - Smooth and EcoBella™ - Texture. Again, it’s recommended that you test your walls with a small sample of the material you select to see how it holds up before proceeding with your full mural purchase.

Test Peel & Stick Wallpaper for Lightly-Textured Walls First

Generally, peel-and-stick wallpaper is not recommended for textured walls. The wall texture can show through the wallpaper, and often times the adhesive has difficulties properly adhering to the wall (resulting in a fallen heap on the floor). If you’re adamant about using a removable wallpaper on a textured wall, it’s recommended to test your walls and the peel-and-stick wallpaper before doing a complete installation. Allow it to stick to your walls for a few days and see how it holds up before purchasing.

Skim & Sand

Installing wallpaper over a smooth, flat, and clean surface is always the best method of application. Textured walls can be skim coated and sanded smooth. If done right, this will fill in all the cracks, blemishes, and unevenness of the wall.

There are a variety of techniques and approaches to skim walls. A fairly simple method calls for a bucket of all-purpose joint compound, mud pan, putty knife, and sandpaper.

  1. Fill a mud pan with joint compound and, using a putty knife, apply the compound onto the textured wall.
  2. Smooth it over the wall using up-and-down and side-to-side motions until it’s even and you’ve covered the entire wall.
  3. Allow it to dry thoroughly.
  4. Once the walls have dried, take a fine-grit sandpaper and sand over any rough areas until they’re smooth.
  5. Remove dust with a clean, soft cloth.
  6. After the walls have been completely skimmed and sanded, you can prime and seal the walls and install a wall mural.

Lining Paper

Lining paper, or wall liner, is a quick and easy way to create a flat and smooth surface on walls. It’s more DIY-friendly than plastering, produces a professional finish when wallpapering, and increases wallpaper durability. Lining paper can be used over a variety of surfaces, like wood paneling, block or brick walls, and other unique textured surfaces. Not only that, but it can cover imperfections in the wall too.

Lining paper goes up just like wallpaper, however, it is hung horizontally using a “cross-lining” technique. This guarantees that the joins between the wallpaper and lining paper will not meet along the same line, preventing the wallpaper from lifting off the wall.

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Be sure to check out our videos to see how easy it is to install a mural and learn more about our materials.

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