Wallpaper Tips

Rough Walls & Paneling – Wallpaper Tips

Liner paper is highly recommended when installing on rough walls and paneling. Wallpaper has a tendency to move when the weather/humidity changes. When that happens, popping seams and possible peeling can happen. Installing a paper liner is the best way to guarantee that the seams will not lift.

Like a pad under a carpet or liner on your drapes, its unseen. It’s a best practice with certain wallpapers like grass cloth and rough surfaces but it can be optional. With grass cloth, 50% of my clients use liner paper and 50% don’t. The percentage goes up to 90% when installing on rough walls like stucco or paneling.

If you use liner paper, grass cloth will last for 30 years. If you don’t use liner paper, it all depends on whether or not the homeowner keeps their home humidity low, i.e., uses A/C all summer and humidifiers. So it’s possible there would never be a problem. That’s why 50% of people take their chances with no liner.

Wallpapering over rough surfaces or paneling is another story. If you want to be sure you won’t be fixing seams or corners every few months, it is best to use liner paper.

Great Solution for Weird Spaces: Accent Walls

Last week I had an interesting installation …


My client moved into a new home. It had an odd space that showcased a beautiful sculpture but the wall behind the art was a mirrored wall 12 ft by 6.5 ft. When you looked at the artwork, your reflection distracted you from enjoying the sculpture. It had to be fixed.


The interior designer came up with a clever solution. Cover the ugly 1970s floor to ceiling mirror with an incredible modern tromp l’oeil concrete wallpaper. The wallpaper is a digital replication of concrete. Now the focus is back on the art. Like the lighting, the wall serves to frame the artwork. Below is a picture of the wallpaper from the manufacturer.

Interesting Wallpapers

If you are looking for very interesting wallpapers to highlight an accent wall or solve a space problem, take a look at these wallpapers from NLXL.

If you have questions about using wallpaper or you want to know more about ordering your wallpaper, email or call me.

OMG! The Wallpaper is Upside Down (Part 2)

As mentioned in Part 1, wallpaper is frequently hung upside down.

Is this Scalamandre Pimpernel paper showing up or down?

scalamandre up

Here’s a few tips you can use if you’re not sure the wallpaper design goes up or down:

  • Manufacturers usually roll the wallpaper up. When you undo the wrapping on the wallpaper roll, the end you unroll is the top.
  • Look for natural design. Find a flower, tree, bird in the design. Where it is positioned should indicate the top of the paper.
  • Look for any shadows (sun shines down). Shadows usually appear near the floor while highlights come from the ceiling.
  • Go to the manufacturer’s web site and look for pictures of an installation of the wallpaper.
  • If the design is not clear, then it is an artistic choice. Unroll two rolls and lay them side by side so you can see the pattern match. If you want feedback, take a photo and send it to someone you trust/your designer and ask for their opinion.
  • Take stick pins, unroll paper about 5-6 feet of a roll. Pin it to the wall and step back. Sometimes a pattern will emerge that you can’t see if it is on the table or in your lap.

Something to think about

You don’t have to hang wallpaper from ceiling to floor. You can hang it from corner to corner, railroad it. I recently did a client project where the homeowner had striped wallpaper.  Instead of hanging the stripes ceiling to floor, we hung it side to side.

BTW … the photo above of the Pimpernel paper is showing up.

Below is an example of Farrow & Ball wallpaper – one hung up, one hung down.


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