Residential Wallcoverings


Before we even get into how to prep a wall to apply our residential wallcoverings, we need to decide if we want peelable or strippable wallcoverings. When we get tired of the wallcovering, and no matter how much we love it in the beginning, the wallcovering will fade or become worn looking or we just tire of the pattern and color, we will have to remove it from the wall.

Peelable wallcoverings mean that you can peel the top layer (the decorative layer) off the wall. This leaves the backing on the wall. Now, this can be a great thing if the wall you have under this paper is in bad condition and further water and scrubbing could mean replacing the drywall or require a great deal of spackling and sanding. The backing layer acts as a liner and assists in masking imperfections in the wall.

You will want to have the edges of the new wallcovering begin and end in the middle of the backing wallcovering, not match the existing joints. Peelable wallcovering backing must be removed. If you are going to paint the wall, you will typically apply water and scrap off the backing. Peelable wallcoverings were a saving grace in my old farm home. However, the peelable wallcovering became a much larger project when my energetic assistant went a little too deep with the scrapper when we decided to paint instead of paper.

Strippable wallcoverings mean that you are supposed to be able to pull the entire wallcovering off the wall, leaving a minimum of the adhesive on the wall surface. The adhesive would then need to be scrubbed with a detergent solution and rinsed clean. Strippable wallcoverings are as easy to come off as they went on. They work as a unit – the backer and decorative layers are not supposed to separate.

What is your experience with peelable and strippable wallcoverings?  Which would you suggest?

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