Do you have an old and dated wallpaper in your home that you’d like to cover up but don’t know how? No problem! There are actually creative ways to cover up that old wallpaper without taking it down.
This way, you can still enjoy the look of the rest of your home without needing to replace all the wallpaper in it (which would be quite costly). Best of luck!
#1 Painting over the paper
Painting over wallpaper is a great way to cover it up without having to remove it. Begin by cleaning the surface with a damp cloth to remove any dust, or grime. Then smoothen the surface by sanding it with a sandpaper. Apply a primer and then paint over it.
Add an adhesive if you are using an oil based paint. You may need to apply multiple coats of paint to get complete coverage.
#2 Paint a mural over the old wallpaper
- Paint a canvas. You can use any of your favorite paint colors or even use one of the many options available in the store at Home Depot or Lowes. Just be sure that whatever you choose is durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of everyday use without chipping or cracking.
- Paint over your wallpaper with a brush using an oil-based paint such as Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Soft Ochre (shown here). This type of paint can be used on paper-backed printed wallpaper, which makes it ideal for covering up any old wallpaper in your home.
#3 Use fabric instead of paper.
I had recommended this as a solution to cover up ugly walls in a rental. This works for camouflaging your old wallpaper as well. Attach your favorite fabric to the wall with liquid starch or a glue gun. It is also one of the cheapest solutions.
#4 Apply a new wallpaper over the old one
This is a great idea if the old wallpaper is in excellent condition but you are just tired of seeing it over the years and are looking for a change. Bring freshness by putting a new one over the old one.
Prepare the surface so that it is smooth with no bumps or cracks. Then, apply your new wallpaper over the old one and smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles with your fingers or a roller smoothing tool. If necessary, use a hair dryer on low heat to soften any wrinkles caused by stretching when applied in one direction rather than by hand in several directions.
#5 Applying a wall decal over the wallpaper
Decals are usually made of paper and come in many different styles and sizes. They can be applied dry or wet, depending on the product. They can also be cut into any shape you like, so they will blend in perfectly with your existing décor.
If you want to use decals instead of painting, you should make sure that the paper is wrinkle-free and has no bleed-through onto other surfaces like windows or doors. You may also want to consider using a primer underneath your decal because this helps keep the surface clean longer before applying the actual decal itself.
Use straight-edge strips of masking tape to mark where you want to apply each piece of your wall decal. Make sure that each piece is perfectly centered on its corresponding spot on your wall so that it looks seamless when applied there. These marks will become guides for applying additional pieces later on once you’ve peeled off some of those pesky paper strips.
Here are some wall decals for you to choose from:
#6 Stenciling the wallpaper
This is a great option if there are no cracks or tears in the old wallpaper. Else, I’d suggest you fix those worn areas before going with this method. Another option that I’ve seen some people try is using stencils from their local craft store or even using something like Mod Podge or Elmer’s glue to stick on top of their wallpaper. This option is great because it’s inexpensive and easy to do, but again if there are any cracks or crevices in your wall then this method won’t work very well either.
- Start with a piece of tracing paper that fits your wall. You want it to be big enough so that you can draw on it without having any empty space left at the bottom of the wall where you’ll need to cut it out.
- Lay out your stencils on top of the tracing paper, then trace them onto the wall with a pencil or chalk line (or use a ruler). Make sure that you get all edges perfect before starting so you don’t have any gaps in between where paint could seep through later on down the line
#7 Add paneling to create a shiplap wall effect without removing the paper
One of the best ways to create a shiplap wall effect without removing your old paper is by adding paneling.
Shiplap walls are defined by the overlapping wood strips that make up the pattern. But instead of covering up the entire wall with paneling, you can use it as an accent instead of covering up all of your old wallpaper.
Paneling comes in various widths and heights and can be found at most home improvement stores. There are also several different types of paneling available: solid wood panels or ones with a veneer finish.
- Measure the size of the room. The paneling will be installed on one wall, so measure from floor level to the top of the ceiling. If you’re using a papered-over sheetrock wall, measure from floor level to where you want to install the paneling (usually about 2 inches off the ceiling).
- Determine whether you need one vertical or two horizontal panels. Do some research online or at a home improvement store for a few ideas of what would look best in your space.
- Measure and cut your wood boards at least 2x4x36 inches (or as long as needed). Cut one board for each horizontal panel and one for each vertical panel. If you’re using shiplap boards (also known as tongue-and-groove boards), measure and cut them at least 2x4x24 inches (or as long as needed).
- Attach brackets onto each board using screws and glue
Your house will be gorgeous again once you choose to cover that nasty old paper you’ll never tear down. Hopefully, one of these creative ways worked for you.