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Should You Hang New Wallpaper Over Existing Wallpaper?

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Can You Wallpaper Over Wallpaper

Wallpaper can add both style and personality to a room, but over-layering can be a bit of a commitment.  Once the first one is up, adding another without damaging the walls can be tricky (and sometimes impossible). 

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However, if you want to dare and try it, keep in mind that it’s not always easy to match patterns and colors, so it’s best to consult a professional before taking on this project.

Consider the condition of your existing wallpaper

When considering whether to wallpaper over wallpaper, it is important to consider its condition. If it is in a good state, with no bubbles or tears, then you can easily apply a new layer of wallpaper. However, if the paper is in poor condition, it will need to be removed before you can proceed.

But what if you have patterned existing wallpapers? In this case, overlaying can be difficult and time-consuming, as you must carefully line up the new paper with the old design. However, if the wallpaper is plain, you can get away with simply painting over it instead. 

In any case, it is always better to consider an expert’s opinion before proceeding. They will be able to assess the condition of your wallpaper and advise you on the best course of action.

Assess the quality of your new wallpaper

Not only convenient, but adding an extra layer of wallpaper is also a simple way to redecorate an area of your home without having to go through the removal process of the first one. However, this can lead to problems if the new wallpaper is not of the same quality as the old one. 

Sometimes, they won’t match evenly, creating a visible line between the two layers. In other cases, the new wallpaper may be thinner or less durable than the old wallpaper, leading to bubbles or wrinkles. This is why it’s important to assess the quality of your new wallpaper in advance.

Check if your existing wallpaper is vinyl-coated

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Many people don’t know that there are different types of wallpaper. Some are made from vinyl, which is a type of synthetic man-made material. Vinyl-coated wallpaper is coated with a transparent plastic film, making it more durable and easier to clean. However, this film can also make it more difficult to remove when you want to redecorate. 

If you’re unsure whether your wallpaper is vinyl-coated, you can check by doing the following: First, take a careful look at the wallpaper’s surface. If you see a shine or glaze, the wallpaper is likely vinyl-coated. Second, try scratching the surface of the wallpaper with your fingernail. If it leaves a mark, then the wallpaper is probably not coated with vinyl. 

What is your old wallpaper made of

If your wallpaper is not vinyl coated, it’s still important to know its compound in case you want to remove it. Most wallpapers are made of paper, but there are also fabric options. If you have paper wallpaper, you can take it off before adding new wallpaper. This usually involves soaking the wallpaper in water to loosen the adhesive, then stripping it off the wall. 

Vinyl and fabric wallpapers can often be reused if they’re in good condition. To remove them, start peeling back a corner and then slowly pulling the rest of the wallpaper away from the wall. With a bit of care, you can avoid damaging the wall and save yourself some time and money.

How to wallpaper over existing paper

So, after ensuring everything looks correct, you are ready to proceed with the replacement:

  • Remove all furniture from the area and clear away any clutter.
  • Use a scoring tool to roughen the surface of the existing wallpaper. This will help the new wallpaper adhere more easily.
  • Apply a layer of adhesive primer to the walls. Once the primer dries, apply the new wallpaper according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Trim away any excess paper and enjoy your new wallcovering!

Bottom line

As a result, the answer to whether you can wallpaper over wallpaper is definitely yes, but this is not always recommended. New wallpaper may not stick to the old adhesive and could peel away. But if you choose to hang it anyway, consider all the necessary tips for a smooth process and even ask for a professional opinion previously.