Understanding Wallpaper - Common Wallpaper Characteristics

Below is a listing of the most important or common characteristics and definitions for wallpaper:

  • Scrubbable means that the wallpaper can withstand scrubbing with a brush and a prescribed detergent solution. (An attribute that would be useful for wallpaper used in a kitchen, bath or laundry room, for example.)
  • Washable means that the wallpaper can withstand occasional sponging with a prescribed detergent solution. (Great for living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.)
  • Stain Resistance is the ability to show no appreciable change after the removal of different types of stains such as grease, butter, coffee, etc. (Ideal for kitchens and baths.)
  • Abrasion Resistance is the ability to withstand rubbing, scraping or scrubbing. (A good attribute for wallpaper in a foyer or hallway.)
  • Colorfastness is the ability to resist change or loss of color caused by exposure to light. (Most of today's wallpapers easily provide this attribute.)
  • Peelable means that the decorative surface and ground may be drypeeled from the wall, leaving a continuous layer of the substrate on the wall. This remaining substrate can be used as a liner for hanging new wallpaper. Peelable paper is great if you love the look of wallpaper and plan on redecorating with it again and again.
  • Strippable means that the wallpaper can be drystripped from the wall leaving a minimum of paste or adhesive residue and without damage to the wall's surface. This is the type to use of your are renting or leasing, as the paper can be easily removed when you leave.
  • Prepasted means that the substrate of the wallpaper has already been treated with an adhesive that is activated by water.

Whether a particular wallpaper is strippable, peelable, washable and so on is shown in the sample book or on the label of the wallpaper bolt.

Content Provided by the Wallcoverings Association (WA).