Wallpaper as a concept may have come back into fashion – but that doesn’t mean every design of it is. So if your home is a nightmare of swirly, flowery or textured wallpaper (unless that’s your taste, of course), what can you do about it?
Painting over the wallpaper is the easiest option, and using a basecoat emulsion – Crown Paints does a good one – will make it easier still.
The problem with painting over wallpaper, especially if it’s been up for years, is that it will eventually start to come away from the wall, often at the seams.
You can also simply paint textured wallpaper, but this only works if you like the texture. Textured wallpaper was often used to cover up less-than-perfect walls, so if you do decide to get rid of it, be prepared to do some replastering
Some walls are beyond repair, unless you line or replaster them and even then you often have to fill and sand.
Newly plastered walls and ceilings can develop hairline cracks, especially over lath and plaster or if the plaster is “force” dried with heat, in which case lining paper or wallpaper will hold in the cracks.
If you opt for lining paper, paste-the-wall ones are the easiest to use, as you apply paste to the wall with a brush or roller and then hang the paper.
Blown plaster (plaster that’s spongy and moves slightly when pressed) can be held in place with lining paper.
If your walls have seen better days in terms of smoothness, the best way to enhance uneven walls is to use a chalky or flat-matt emulsion.