Problems with Wallpapering Problems with Wallpapering

Following are some of the more common problems which may occur when installing wallcoverings, along with their likely causes and solutions. Most involve improper or poor surface preparation, inadequate inspection prior to hanging or installation errors. All of these problems can be avoided if proper instructions are provided and followed.

Seams Opening


  1. Excessive rolling of seams forcing adhesive from behind wallcovering.
  2. Failure to apply adhesive to edges when pasting.
  3. Allowing paste to dry on edges while booking.

Solution: Loose seams can usually be reaffixed using available wallcoverings adhesives.

Curling or Loose Ends


  1. Improper wall preparation, i.e. wall not sealed or no sizing.
  2. Not enough adhesive used.
  3. Adhesive dried too fast due to high temperatures in room.

Solution: If problem is restricted to ends or edges, wallcovering can be re-affixed using the proper adhesive.

Streaks on Wallcovering or Other Surfaces


  1. Failure to rinse off wallcovering and walls after hanging to remove all excess paste.

Solution: Rinse with water or proper cleaning solution (check manufacturer's instructions).

Ragged Edges When Trimming


  1. Usually caused by a dull blade.

Solution: Fresh blades should be used with every strip to ensure a clean cut.



  1. Varies by wallcovering type.
  2. With natural materials, such as grasscloth, slight variations in colors are natural. If the effect is too stark, reversing each strip by hanging every other strip upside down can minimize the problem. Another method is to sort the rolls by tonal values and hang near matches together.

Solution: If the shading is due to the ground color not being consistent from roll to roll, the problem is one that occurred during printing and the wallcovering should not be hung. Contact the retailer or manufacturer for assistance.

Design Dropping or Rising at Ceiling Line


  1. Initial plumb line not truly vertical.
  2. Ceiling not on a horizontal plane.
  3. A combination of the two.

Solution: No way to correct if hanging has been completed. If caught at end of first wall, placing a new, true plumb line on next wall can help correct or minimize problem of ceiling not being horizontal. If caught after second or the third strip, problem can be corrected by drawing new plumb line and double cutting adjoining incorrect strip.

Show Through


  1. Some wallcoverings are thin enough to be semi-transparent and thus allow dark images caused by patching, etc. on the wall to show through.

Solution: This potential problem can be avoided by priming the wall with a pigmented wallcovering primer/sealer. If the wall is in particularly bad shape and a semi-transparent wallcovering will be used, lining paper should also be used.

Bubbles & Blisters


  1. Not smoothing out a strip smoothly.
  2. Hanging in temperatures below 50' Fahrenheit.
  3. Improper surface preparation .
  4. Not allowing the booked strips to relax the proper time.

Solution: Some bubbles and blisters can be eliminated by pricking and smoothing out or, if large, slitting and squeezing in more paste and patting flat..

Content provided by the Wallcoverings Association

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