Frequently Asked Questions
Wallpaper Installation FAQ
Which tools do I need to install wallpaper?
Learn more about what tools you need to install unpasted, prepasted, and peel & stick wallpapers.
Is it best to overlap the seams when hanging wallpaper?
No, we do not recommend overlapping your wallpaper seams. Seams should be "butted" tightly together and smoothed down with a wallpaper seam smoother. Properly "booked" wallpaper does not shrink on the wall, so you do not need to overlap.
Should I use additional paste on the back of wallpaper?
When wallpaper is properly applied over walls that have been prepared with a wallpaper primer, additional paste is not needed. Applying extra paste to pre-pasted wallpaper can be especially problematic if you ever decide to redecorate because it can make it more difficult to remove the wallpaper from the wall. By getting the walls ready and following the hanging instructions, your wallcovering should stick to the wall just right without extra wallpaper paste.
However, some decorators still prefer to use extra paste. Some claim that, especially in a bathroom, where the wallpaper will be exposed to steamy moisture, this extra paste creates a fool-proof bond with the wall. Others prefer this method of wallpaper installation to using a water tray. They will brush a thin paste solution on to the wallpaper in lieu of submerging the paper in water, thus activating the pre-pasted backing with the moisture of the paste. While this is not necessary, if you truly feel the need to add extra paste to your pre-pasted wallpaper, or simply prefer this method, be sure to use a thin, watery coat of paste, applied evenly to prevent uneven expanding or contracting of the paper.
Also, as always, be extra conscientious to "book" the wallpaper to allow for the adhesive and paper to be evenly activated, before it is applied to the wall.
Can I wallpaper over wallpaper?
We do not recommend hanging new wallpaper over existing wallpaper. The tension exerted by the new layer on the old can cause the original bond to fail and the paper could come off the wall, or bubble dramatically. Learn how to remove old wallpaper from walls.
Do I really need to prime the wall before I wallpaper?
Yes, we do recommend priming the wall first. Sometimes referred to as the old fashioned process of "sizing", priming is an important part of the wallpapering process. Primer makes an ideal and uniform surface for your wallpaper to stick to, and is also an important part of making the wallpaper removal process easier. Priming the wall properly will also help in the removal of the wallpaper when it's time to update your room with a fresh new wallpaper.
I hung a Paintable wallpaper! How long do I have to wait before it is ready to be painted?
Wait at least 36 hours after hanging our paintable wallpaper before painting it. This will allow the adhesive to fully dry and set. If you try to paint too soon, the wallpaper can bubble. Paintable wallpaper can be painted over several times if you change your mind or redecorate in a new color scheme.
Paintable wallpaper does not need to be painted if you want to leave it as a clean, white textured wallcovering.
Do I have to use special paint for my Paintable wallpaper? Do I need to prime the paper first?
You do not need to use a special paint for paintable wallpaper. Paint the wallpaper just as you would a regular wall. Paintable wallpaper can be painted over several times if you change your mind or redecorate in a new color scheme.
You do not need to prime the Paintable wallpaper before painting. In some cases, people have reported that priming filled in some of the texture and lead to a less dramatic relief.
Wallpaper Removal FAQ
Why am I having trouble removing wallpaper from my wall?
Unfortunately, not all wallpaper removal projects are easy. The adhesive behind the wallpaper is formulated to release when wet. When removing wallpaper, many people do not get the backing wet enough. Using a wallpaper perforation tool, and allowing enough time for the wallpaper removal solution to loosen the paste makes the process much easier. If you are mixing the wallpaper removal solution yourself, make sure to use very hot water. For more information see our How to Remove Wallpaper guide.
Don’t I need to rent a steamer to remove old wallpaper?
Steamers are rarely necessary. A good wallpaper removal solution and a wallpaper perforation tool should do the job. Just follow the manufacturer’s directions, and be patient. For more information see our How to Remove Wallpaper guide.
The paper facing on my drywall tore when I removed the old wallpaper. What can I do?
Damaged drywall is a common side effect of wallpaper removal, especially when removing old wallpaper. Kilz Oil Based Primer can be used to repair the wall or ask your retailer to recommend a primer formulated for repairing drywall. Kilz has an odorless formula, and also has high building capabilities, which aid in filling in imperfections. Depending on the condition of your walls after priming, you may also have to "skim coat" walls or fill in imperfections by hand with a smoother.
Wallpaper Repair FAQ
Can I Repair a small tear in my wallpaper?
If a piece of wallpaper has been torn from the wall, you can smooth it out and glue it back into place. Use a small brush to apply paste to the piece, re-affix it firmly to the wall with a smoother and wipe away any extra glue with a damp sponge.
If you don’t have the original piece, or it is too damaged to replace, you will need additional wallpaper for the repair. Trim off any loose bits of wallpaper from the damaged area with a utility knife. Cut out a piece of the new paper that is larger than the hole or tear you are trying to cover, where the pattern exactly matches the area you are trying to repair. Place the patch wallpaper over the damaged area and cut out a shape that is larger than the torn area, cutting through your patch piece and the wallpaper underneath. Gently scrape away the wallpaper from the wall that is inside of this new shape you have created. Apply glue to the patch piece and apply it on the wall. Wipe away any excess glue from the seams.
My wallpaper seams are showing, have separated, or I would like to avoid any wallpaper seam issues.
To avoid seams in your wallpaper, you will need to ensure that you have booked (if using a booking application method) and smoothed your wallpaper properly.
If you have selected a grasscloth wallpaper, the seams will show as there is no match to the pattern.
Booking: Booking gives the wallpaper a chance to relax and evenly absorb the moisture from the adhesive and/or wetting process. Properly booked wallpaper will not shrink after applied to the wall. Learn more about booking wallpaper.
Smoothing: Smooth the wallpaper into place as you put up each strip, taking care to smooth along the seam. You should be using a wallpaper smoother when installing the paper. Either a rolling seam smoother, or a plastic wallpaper smoothing tool, will help you to achieve a good seal so that your wallpaper will not separate at the seams.
Wallpaper Terms FAQ
What is a pattern match?
The match means the place where the design matches at the seams. Check the back of your wallpaper for the match information.
What are single rolls, double rolls, and bolts?
Wallpaper is commonly priced by the single roll, but is usually sold only in double roll or bolt increments (double rolls and bolts are interchangeable). This is because wallpapers are packaged in bolts (double rolls), and therefore they need to be sold in those increments. So if you order 10 single rolls of wallpaper, you can expect to receive 5 bolts when your order arrives.
What is the difference between Paste-the-Wall wallpaper, pre-pasted wallpaper, and un-pasted wallpaper and which one is best for my decorating project?
Paste-The-Wall is an unpasted wallpaper that you “paste the wall” to hang. In general, we find that paste the wall wallpaper is the easiest to apply.
Unpasted wallpapers have no paste applied to the backing so you will need to purchase paste. Unless otherwise noted, we recommend hanging these by “paste the wall” method. Otherwise, you will need to paste and book the paper.
Prepasted wallpapers have a cured adhesive applied to the backing, which is activated with water when "booked".
What is "Booking"?
"Booking" wallpaper is an industry term that refers to the position the wallpaper should rest in while the glue is activated.
What is the Dealer Referral Program?
Our Dealer Referral program is an opportunity for us to partner with the local stores and businesses who carry our wallpaper. At Brewster we like to support our local retailers. When you buy wallpaper directly from our website, it helps to know that you have a wallpaper expert nearby who can help you with your project. And, because we are already shipping items to these stores for their customers, we are happy to ship your wallpaper there for free, too. That way, if you have questions on how to hang your new wallpaper, or need to get wallpaper tools and paste, and other decorating items, you will have a trusted location to turn to. In return, we offer these stores a sales commission on every purchase where their store is selected as the local partner. We believe this policy is considerate of local vendors who may be impacted by the convenience of online sales, as well as helpful for our customers who can benefit from great resources nearby.