Can You Install Wallpaper Over Paneling?

If you own a house with wood panels, a makeover is perhaps necessary to preserve its aesthetics. Typically, homeowners opt for wallpaper when they wish to add texture and pattern to their room. Likewise, for those who do not like the trouble of removing the panels, installing wallpaper over the wood is a great solution. It’s as manageable as painting it!

Follow these procedures on wallpapering over wood paneling for a modern look.

Step-By-Step Instructions On How To Install Wallpaper Over Your Wood Panels

Step 1. Buy Wallpaper That Will Cover It Well

Your local hardware store sells wallpaper that is intended for this goal. The best wallpaper for covering wood panels is the heavy-duty type. It will provide you fewer troubles, particularly if you have shallower paneling grooves and decide not to caulk. While heavy-duty wallpaper will be harder to punch holes, it’s a lot easier to alter if necessary.
Some people also prefer paintable wallpaper. It’s ideal if you wish to add some texture to your wood panels, yet still like full control over the colouring of your room. This type of wallpaper is commonly texturized with a seamless pattern that will truly pop and stand out after you have painted it.

Others choose the self-adhesive type or the peel and stick wallpaper. This type of wallpaper works like a sticker. You can simply peel off the backing and install it on the wall. If you beautify frequently, it’s easy to peel and replace!

Step 2. Preliminary Repairs Of The Wood Paneling

Regarding proper wallpapering on wood surfaces, it is important to have your entire wall adequately prepared. The second step will be to clean your wall paneling by removing the grease and dust. For best results, mix hot water with vinegar or unscented dish soap. Also, make some effort to look for mold, particularly around the top and bottom corners. And if you see any, it may be better to dispatch the wood panel, particularly if the panel has moistened from leaks.

But, if it is mold-free, prepare the paneling by sealing gaps with wood filler or drywall mud and caulking visible paneling seams. Carefully remove outlet covers, nails, and other objects from the panels to avoid causing any damage. If some wood is loose, hammer a few nails into the groove where it’s hooked.

Sand the surface down with a sander and 120 grit sandpaper. Sanding a surface rids of the top glossy layer, granting the surface to take in the primer.

Step 3. Priming (Sizing) The Wood Paneling

Choosing the right primer for your special renovation is a critical measure in securing a good installation. Applying a quality oil-based primer is a fantastic assurance for you to revel in the durability of your wallpaper. The primer acts by not letting the wallpaper adhesive permeate and absorb into the surface of the wall. It even masks or closes up the wood to stop the paste from bleeding through.

Note: When using a primer, sizing is not necessary, though it’s still great to use sizing over primer anyway as you still achieve the perks of easier installation and removal afterward. Some primers nowadays also work as a sizer.

Paint on two coats of the primer using a paint roller and allow each coat to dry once laid. After the second coat of primer is completely dry, coat walls with one coat of acrylic-emulsion sizing. These efforts will make the walls’ surfaces rougher so that wallpaper sticks more efficiently.

Step 4. Applying Wallpaper Liner

Use a measuring tape to measure the wall’s height and length. Trim the pre-pasted liner paper with a utility knife according to the measurements attained.

With clean water, drench the wallpaper liner thoroughly but not dripping. You can soak in a tray or use a spray bottle. Place the strip of wall liner toward the paneling, working from left to right. Smooth it out as you allow more of it to adhere to the wall. Flatten it with a squeegee to eliminate air pockets and wrinkles. Repeat the process until all the panels are covered.

Step 5. Measuring & Cutting Wallpaper To Cover Wood Paneling

After correctly preparing the wood paneling, you can begin wallpapering.

Again, make sure to measure the height of the wall at different sections and mark your wallpaper. To avoid risks, add a few inches to the top and bottom end so you can cover possible discrepancies in the height of the wood paneling when needed. Now you can cut it.

Remember that before trimming the second strip of paper, ensure any patterns on the paper are matched. Spread the wallpaper on the floor to match the design. If you’re sure about the layout, cut it. Mark each strip to avoid confusion.

Step 6. Attaching The Wallpaper Over Paneling

A high-quality wallpaper paste helps ensure a smooth, professional look on wood paneling. Use a pasting brush to apply the paste. Then, hang the first strip of wallpaper on the wall from top to bottom.

Use a sponge to wipe off paste residue. It’s much easier to wipe off the paste while it’s still wet rather than waiting until it cures.

Smooth the paper to the panel with a roller along the angle where the wood paneling meets the floor and the ceiling, making a crease. Smooth any air bubbles to the edge of the paper to escape. However, don’t push down too hard on your smoother otherwise, you’ll press out the adhesive and rip the paper. Then, trim the excess paper.

Apply the second strip of wallpaper next to the first one, aligning vertically. Repeat the procedure until your wood panelings are covered. Allow the lining paper to dry for about 24 hours.

That’s it, enjoy the sight of your new walls!

So, Can Wallpaper Stick To Wood?

Yes, of course!

You can hang wallpaper over wood paneling with proper prep, priming, lining, and attaching. And, if you need some help, Apex Wallpaper. is here to simplify the process of applying wallpaper over wood paneling for you.

Contact us today for more information or any questions you may have about your walls makeover project!