Can You Wallpaper Over Wallpaper? Top Tips For Covering Wallpaper

August 14, 2019

If you’re planning on updating interiors that are covered in wallpaper, you might find yourself wondering can you wallpaper over wallpaper? Wallpapering over wallpaper can present a good solution when you’re refreshing your home. This is especially true if you’d rather have your walls covered in new, modern wallpaper instead of opting for paint instead.

Ready to learn how to cover old wallpaper and get your interiors looking brand new? Then keep reading below for a full step by step guide. Then for more information on how much it costs to wallpaper a room check out our comprehensive price guide!

Striped Wallpaper on Wall

Can You Wallpaper Over Wallpaper?

So you’re wondering, can you wallpaper over wallpaper? The answer here is yes, but there are still some things you’ll need to consider. To make sure you have the info you need before you start your project we’ve include these factors below.

The Condition of Your Old Wallpaper

The most important factor when contemplating wallpapering over existing wallpaper is the state of your current wallpaper. Hanging new wallpaper over old wallpaper that is cracked, peeling, ripped, and severely damaged might not be a good idea.

Hanging wallpaper on damaged wallpaper will only result in your new wallpaper peeling that much faster. So, it’s essential that if you plan to cover old wallpaper with new wallpaper, that the old stuff is still in decent shape and hasn’t deteriorated too badly.

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The Material of Your Current Wallpaper

To decide whether you should wallpaper over existing wallpaper you’ll also want to consider the type of material the current wallpaper is made of. Generally, it is best to hang wallpaper over non-coated wallpapers. It is also important to avoid covering old wallpaper that has embossing or embellishments as these can create unsightly bumps in your new wallpaper.

Wallpaper Texture

Your Old Wallpaper’s Colour and Pattern

If your existing wallpaper has a dark colour or pattern, it might not be a suitable option to hang new wallpaper over it. This is because the dark colour of the old wallpaper could show through. The exception to this is if you plan to use a new wallpaper that’s dark as well. In this case, the new wallpaper could still effectively conceal the dark colour of the old wallpaper.

What’s The Best Wallpaper to Wallpaper Over?

Essentially, this means that in order to effectively cover your wallpaper, your old wallpaper should ideally meet the points outlined below:

  • Matte, or low-gloss
  • In good shape
  • Free of embossing or embellishments
  • Light in colour

Matte Interior Wallpaper

How Can Wallpaper Transform Interiors?

Firstly, wallpaper can be useful in transforming any room in your home. Apart from paper and vinyl, wallpaper comes in many other materials as well such as fabric, grass cloth, cork and metallic. Each type of material has different attributes such as its quality, texture, and appearance.

Wallpaper is also often a good fit for decorating children’s rooms. Look for delightful patterns with animals or fun patterns when decorating a child’s room. Then, when it comes to the texture of children’s wallpapers, look out for vinyl or synthetic wallpaper as these are durable, long-lasting, and easiest to clean.

Want to create the illusion of higher ceilings in your child’s room? Look for patterns with trees reaching towards the ceiling. These will elevate the room’s look.

For a sophisticated look, keep an eye out for wallpapers with a deep shade or stylish patterns. This will make your interiors pop.
No matter which room you’re choosing, keep an eye out for simple patterns unless you’re doing a statement wall. That way your room will look polished without being visually overwhelming.

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How to Wallpaper over Wallpaper

If the existing wallpaper in your room is still in good condition, you can easily hang new wallpaper over it by using the following steps. You will need the following things to start your wallpapering process.

Materials for Covering Old Wallpaper

  1. Steam Roller
  2. Ladder
  3. Tape Measure
  4. Utility Knife
  5. Sponge
  6. Sandpaper
  7. Paint Roller

Step 1. Inspect Your Wallpaper

The first thing you need to do is inspect your current wallpaper. Make sure that there are no hanging tears, lumps or bubbles in your current wallpaper. Then, remove all the nails from the wall. During an inspection, if you find out that there is already more than one layer of wallpapers, then you may decide that removing the wallpaper is the better option.

Step 2: Seal The Seams

Use a seam sealer to reattach any of the loose seams. Apply the seam sealer on the backside of the wallpaper and use a paint roller (without any paint) to roll over the seam so that the sealant will firmly adhere.

Step 3: Cover Any Holes

The next thing that you need to do is spackle over any small jagged or patchy areas or holes. A putty knife can be used to complete this step. After you have finished the spackling of overlapping seams or nicks on the wall, give it some time to dry.

Step 4: Smooth Out Spackle With Sandpaper

Use sandpaper to smooth any of the areas that you have spackled over. Make sure to get them as smooth as possible.

Step 5: Clean The Walls

After sanding and repairing any minor areas, you’ll need to clean the walls. Make sure to use a wallpaper-friendly cleaner to remove any dust, then, leave to dry.

Step 6: Prime The Walls

Now that your walls are clean, it’s time to prime the walls. This will ensure that the new layer of wallpaper firmly sets on the wall.

Step 8: Start Wallpapering!

After allowing the priming the walls, paste the new wallpaper over the old. Use a paint roller to roll the seams and get rid of any air bubbles or uneven spots. Use a utility knife to trim off any of the excess wallpaper either on the top, bottom or sides of the wall. Then simply leave your wallpaper to completely set!

Wallpaper in a Bedroom


Hanging wallpaper over old wallpaper is something that can elevate your room, and give it a modern touch. Simply keep in mind that in order to successfully complete your project that your old wallpaper should be in relatively good shape.

Not sure if you’ll have time to wallpaper over wallpaper on your own? Don’t stress. Simply click here to find a professional wallpapering expert in your area!

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How to Wallpaper like a Pro (Top Tips That You Need to Know)

If you want to learn how to wallpaper for yourself, you’ve come to the right place! We have compiled a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about wallpapering.

Even if you’re a total novice, our wallpapering tips will help you to succeed.  We’ll explain every step of the process, from preparation to finishing. We’ll even show you how to master trickier steps such how to wallpaper around corners. So read on to discover how to wallpaper like a pro!

After reading, if you're looking for more information on the cost of wallpaper installation be sure to check out our handy price guide!

Wallpaper Supplies

What Equipment Will I Need?

Before you begin to learn how to wallpaper a room you need to invest in the right tools. Below is a list of essential equipment that you will need for this project:

  • Your chosen wallpaper
  • Lining paper
  • Tape measure
  • Paint roller
  • Wallpaper paste
  • Bucket
  • Plumb line or spirit level
  • Scissors
  • Putty knife
  • Ladder or step stool

Using a paint roller instead of a brush to apply your wallpaper paste is more efficient and wastes less paste. Before you begin, you need to make sure that the surface is totally clean. If the wall has been papered before, it’s essential that you remove all traces of the old paper. For the best methods and techniques, read our how to remove wallpaper guide.

Installing Lining Paper

Do I Need Lining Paper?

Most of the time, it won’t be necessary to use lining paper before wallpapering a surface. However, in some cases, it is a good idea. Older walls or surfaces with imperfections will benefit from lining paper. If you’re using foil wallpaper or thinner wallpaper, it is also advisable to use lining paper. Read the instructions on the wallpaper roll, as it will usually say whether you need to line the surface first.

The key benefit to using lining paper is that it will provide you with a high-quality finish. It’s also very cheap, as lining paper starts at around £2 a roll. It can also help to protect you against a lot of the issues that can arise when you wallpaper. Lining paper prevents shrinkage, strengthens the top paper, prevents staining, and flattens the paper. So, investing some time in hanging a layer of lining paper could save you time and money in the long run. more

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