Even if you do not like patterned walls, paintable wallpaper can add depth and dimension without the downsides that some people associate with wallpaper. Traditional wallpaper adds a style boost to homes that does not always age well. Paintable wallpaper, on the other hand, introduces interesting texture that can be left in its original white state or painted any color. Unlike other wallpapers which people paint with sometimes disastrous results, this specific product is meant to be painted.
History of Paintable Wallpaper
The product is not new. Early versions of paintable wallpaper known as Lincrusta, made of wood flour and linseed oil molded on a paper backing, was developed in 1877. Anaglypta, made of cotton and paper, came on the scene soon after as a cheaper variation. The term is often used to describe a variety of textured paper made of paper or vinyl. Many modern products are made of fiberglass which add additional stability to damaged walls.
The product is designed to go over:
- Old drywall that has small cracks, dings or holes, or even sections where the paper coating is missing due to removing old paper.
- Peg board or paneling.
- Cinderblock walls with small cracks.
Popular Wallpaper Styles
Paintable wallpaper comes in a variety of raised textures that form geometric patterns, tone on tone stripes, stucco look, pebbles, flower patterns, fleur-de-lis, abstracts, and small leaves. Some of the most popular include:
- Beadboard. In this style, paintable wallpaper resembles narrow wood planks separated by a ridge or indentation known as a beadboard, a type of paneling that is frequently used as wainscotting in bathrooms and other rooms. Originally made of tongue and groove wood planks, it is now often sold as paneling, yet remains pricey. Beadboard wallpaper re-creates a classic look.
- Tin ceiling. Reminiscent of the century homes and buildings, tin ceilings are popular but are costly and difficult to install. Paintable wallpaper with detailing that resembles tin tile comes in a variety of patterns that mimic the original, especially after painting.
- Ornate borders. Borders are even available in a draped ribbon pattern, or other designs that might remind you of plasterwork on fine old homes.
Tips for Applying Wallpaper
As with any wallpaper, paintable wallpaper needs to go on a well-prepared wall. While it can hide imperfections, sand down any sharp protrusions in the wall and clean it with TSP.
- Prepare the wall with a latex primer.
- Paper as you normally would. Let the paper cure about 10 minutes after applying paste or wetting it before putting it up against the wall.
- If you choose Lincrusta products, make sure you have two people working on the project as the paper is heavy.
- After hanging, allow about 36 hours before painting. You do not need to prime the wallpaper as a surface for painting. You can use any type of flat or gloss paint.
- Once you have painted the paper, you can repaint as much as you like.
- Many paintable papers are hard to remove. Make sure you are committed to the texture for the long run to avoid potential removal woes.
Paintable wallpapers, with their beautiful and varied textures, can be the perfect solution for imperfect walls.
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