As a major feature of interior design, wallpaper is a material used to beautify and cover the interior walls of offices, homes and other buildings. They come in different sizes and material and can either be plain (to allow for painting) or have printed graphic designs. It is essential to select wallpaper wisely, as it changes the whole appearance and feel of a room. Removal of wallpaper is cumbersome; techniques like using water, chemical strippers or steam must be done carefully based on the type of wallpaper used. If not done properly, it can lead to irreparable damage. There are situations when after the wallpaper design is used, it turns out to be an eye sore that blatantly blots the design and ambience of the room. The preference to select that particular design was strong during selection but after application it left a bad after taste. To repair this disaster is no easy task. It is expensive and tedious to redo the entire process. Resorting to desperate measures, many people decide to go for wallpapering over the existing wallpaper. Based on the type of wallpaper used, some of the ways you can re-paper over wallpaper are mentioned below.
Ways To Do Wallpapering Over Wallpaper
Depending of the style, type and condition of the existing wallpaper, different methods could be applied. In general there are two types of wallpapers: non-coated wallpaper and vinyl-coated wallpaper.
- If the existing wallpaper is non-coated it is easier to re-layer it with new wallpaper. One of the ways to test that your paper is non-coated is by using a wet sponge in an inconspicuous area. If the entire area dampened, darkens, then the paper is non-coated. Additionally, if your paper is non-coated, surface inks will not rub out or flake.
- There are two conditions that occur while adding new wallpapers over an existing one. One is strikethrough and other is bleeding.
- Strikethrough happens when the original pattern or paper ink can be seen through the new finished layer. Bleeding is when ink of the original design seeps through the new layer.
- Unfortunately, both these conditions surface only over a period of time which can be in hours to months. It is possible to place test hangings to check the occurrence of these two conditions, but as it emerges over time it may not be an accurate judgment of the condition.
- If you have vinyl-coated wallpaper, it has to be removed completely before applying new wallpaper as coated papers are not porous.
- It is important to know that porous surfaces are the most favorable textures for wallpaper adhesives to stick best on.
- If the surface is not properly prepped, it will not have the bonding ability as compared to a surface properly prepped. On the other hand, paper applied on a wall that is dry and unprepped will lead to much adhesion and during removal will cause damage.
- If you attempt to use wet adhesive between two vinyl layers which are essentially non-breathable, it is a breeding ground for mold and mildew. There won't be proper adhesion too.
- If you notice conditions like strikethrough, bleeding in on-coated paper through test hangings or if there is excess damage during removal of coated paper; you should prep the wall before re-papering in the same way as you do would while painting over wallpaper.