Dealing with lifting wallpaper

Wallpaper seams and edges tend to lift and peel because the paper was not properly stuck down in the first place. When wallpaper is applied it is essential to check that all the edges have had sufficient paste applied, as even the smallest ‘dry’ patch will soon begin to lift or curl away from the wall. Lifting also commonly occurs on overlaps. This is because in most cases the overlap was not stuck down with overlap adhesive – especially required for vinyl papers in order to create a strong bond.

peeling wallpaper 1. The most common places to find lifting or peeling wallpaper is in kitchens and bathrooms because of the damp moist atmosphere.
lifting wallpaper 2. For lifting wallpaper joints and seams, peel back the edges and apply a little overlap adhesive to stick the seam back down. Coat the wall surface for larger areas.
applying overlap adhesive 3. Applying adhesive to the back of paper flaps and allowing it to soak in will make the paper more pliable for smoothing back in place.
cleaning wallpaper 4. Make sure that you wipe all excess adhesive off the wallpaper surface with a clean, damp sponge. Allow the area to dry.
applying silicone sealant 5. As an extra precaution in bathrooms, apply some clear silicone sealant along the joint made by the wallpaper and skirting. This will keep the paper down, be invisible to the eye, and prevent future lifting.
smoothing silicone sealant 6. Smooth the sealant along the joint with a wetted finger. Sealant can cause skin irritation so wear latex gloves.

Wallpapering tips

  • Bathrooms are probably the worst room to hang wallpaper because of moisture in the air. If you choose to wallpaper your bathroom, make sure that it has adequate ventilation with a good quality extractor fan.
  • Wallpaper commonly lifts at the junction with tiles (above a basin splashback for example). If possible, wallpaper before tiling, allowing the paper to lap slightly (about 1cm) under where the edge of the tiles will be. In this way, the edge of the tiles will keep the paper edges down.


Leave a Reply