damaged wallpaper

How to fix damaged wallpaper The Easy Way

Wallpaper adds interest and texture.

Any designer will tell you nothing can add interest and texture or convey a mood of a room like wallpaper. It is a bit harder to patch and repair damaged wallpapered walls than plain painted walls, but in my book, it is worth the little extra effort. I will share three methods to repair wallpaper quickly. The best part is you probably already have the materials to do the repairs.

Material list To fix damaged wallpaper:

DAP or Sheetrock Spackle and spatula- to fill holes or damaged sheetrock. I use DAP DryDex.
Glue- wallpaper glue, flour and water paste mixture or gluestick
Pastel pencils, paint markers or paint – anything products that will work in the colors of your wallpaper.
Color printer, camera, scissor and tape measure- for method three

DAP
DAP for wall repair
Pastel Pencils
Glue Stick

Method 1: Tears

Fill, glue and color to fix damaged wallpaper.

If your wallpaper tears, don’t panic. Tears are very easy to fix. The picture above shows a tear that happened when I was rearranging the furniture, and a sharp edge of a cabinet hit the wall. I not only tore the wallpaper but also damaged the sheetrock below.

I first had to repair the sheetrock. My go-to product is DAP. I find it very easy to work with, and it dries fast. To fix the sheetrock, use a spatula to apply the DAP to fill the damage. Once you have built the wall back up, the wallpaper can be reapplied.

In this instance, it was such a small area, I let the wallpaper stick to the DAP. Then I used a wet cloth to clean the excess off. If it were a large tear, I would have been more concerned about removing it in the future and would have let the DAP dry and used wallpaper glue or a flour/water paste to reapply the wallpaper.

When it dried, I used colored pastel pencils to recolor any areas that the paper didn’t cover. It is important to note that pastel pencils are very soft and are easy to blend colors to be camouflage the damaged area. Colored pencils are hard and do not work well for wallpaper repair.

Method 2: Scrapes and scuffs

Fill, glue and color to fixed damaged wallpaper

Scrapes and scuffs are also easy to fix. I usually use pastel pencils to camouflage the damaged area. Markers and paint can also be used successfully, although they are less forgiving. If you choose to use paint, make sure its finish matches the finish of your wallpaper. In other words, do not use glossy paint on a matte wallpaper.

The picture above shows some scuffs. I simply colored in the damaged area and used my finger to blend the color into the wallpaper. I keep “playing with it” until I am satisfied. My goal is to make it so if you don’t know it’s there you won’t see it.

Method 3: Nail and molly holes

You can make a photo print of the wallpaper for a patch

When you wallpaper a room, it is a good idea to save an extra roll in case you need it for repairs. It would have been so handy to have some extra wallpaper to fix the damage shown in the picture above. I could kick myself for throwing out my extra roll.

I thought I was going to be replacing the wallpaper in this room soon, so during my last manic cleaning of closets, my spare wallpaper roll got tossed in the garbage. When I brought up redecorating, my husband told me that he loved the wallpaper and would be disappointed if we changed it. Ugh, now I had to get creative because I switched things around, and now I have a few giant molly holes in my wall.

The first step is easy. I filled the holes with DAP. I used the spatula, made sure it filled nicely and cleaned the excess DAP off with a sponge. If I had a spare roll of wallpaper, I would just have to cut out a small piece matching the pattern and glue it over the whole. It would have been fast and easy.

Ok, so now what? I tried just coloring it. It was a big area with a distinct pattern, difficult to reproduce. It would take me forever to disguise it to a point where I was satisfied with it.

I did not save a spare wallpaper roll for repairs

This is what I did and it worked awesome! I took a picture of the paper and printed it. I essentially produced my own wallpaper. It was a little tricky until I figured out how to get the right scale. What worked was using a tape measure to give me a ten-inch reference. When I took the picture, I made sure that the ten inches filled the frame of my camera. Then, I printed the picture out using the 8 x 10 format on my printer. Wo-lah, the photo printed scaled perfectly for me to use for my repair.

I cut out the piece of the pattern that I needed. I did have to fix the color a bit because my printer’s color was off a bit. I used my pastel pencils to shade it slightly. The texture and design was there, which was what would have been difficult to reproduce without the computer print. Once the patch was perfected, I glued it in place.

DON’T BE SCARED OF WALLPAPER

This wall has five repairs made on it.

I am thrilled with the end result of my repairs. Even I forget where the repairs are and when looking, it takes me a bit to find them. So, the moral of the story is don’t be scared of wallpaper. It can be repaired. And to those who are afraid of it because of past taking it down nightmares, the truth is if you purchase high quality wallpaper and the walls are properly prepared before it is hung, removing it will be easy when the time comes.

Favorite Wallpaper Brand

I love Thibaut,York and Brewster Wallpaper. You get a great quality paper through both of these companies. Check them out! There are so many great patterns available. Remember to choose with your heart. It is all about surrounding yourself with the things you love and creating your perfect home.

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Published by

Barbara Rose

Hi I am Barbara Rose. I am an Interior Designer and I started design2bhappy to inspire others to think of Interior Design as more than just creating a beautiful home. It is about living comfortably, while being surrounded by things you love. It is about creating an environment that we feel good in while providing a sanctuary to counter- balance the stress that life can throw at us. This blog is aimed at helping others achieve that "there is no place like home" feeling.

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