Tuesday, May 5, 2020

How to Wallpaper Over Textured Walls with No Prepwork

Wallpaper. You either love it or hate it. Or maybe you're indifferent, you've never really put any wallpaper up or experienced the joy of removing old, damaged wallpaper that wasn't your style (insert sarcasm here).

Cory and I have had our fair share of not only taking down but putting up wallpaper since the Grey Apartment Building had wallpaper in the kitchen and bathroom of the upper unit when he purchased it. The wallpaper that was on the walls in those two rooms was pretty hideous, and damaged, so we had to tear it down. Removing wallpaper is a tedious task to say the least. 

Since we didn't feel like repairing the walls to paint them we put up new wallpaper (which can also be a time consuming job). Cory went through several tenants since then and the wallpaper inevitably got damaged so Cory finally decided it was time to paint and he put a skim coat of joint compound on the walls to smooth them out. 

I never really gave wallpaper a second thought after that since our house has all textured walls and textured walls + wallpaper = potential disaster...including, but not limited to: not lining up properly because of uneven walls and not adhering all the way to the wall so possible bubbling and lifting of seams.

But then Photowall contacted me with an opportunity to put up a wallpaper mural. I checked out their site and saw all their amazing wallpaper, including tons of different maps and I was instantly in love with the idea of putting a feature wall in our office. Our office is a work in progress, much like the rest of the house. I have a couple globes placed throughout the office along with map posters and map artwork waiting to be hung, so I figured a map mural would be the perfect addition!

Photowall Pale Vintage World Map Wallpaper
Here's a before shot of our office, where all the magic of writing Thrifty Artsy Girl happens, along with most of my Etsy shop stuff and other essential "office" work.

Obviously it needs a little something to spruce it up a bit, and possibly a professional organizer, but with Cory and I working in multiple businesses that require an office space it works well for us.

I still had the whole textured wall ordeal to figure out and now that I had decided I was going to put up wallpaper and I wanted the process to be as easy and fast as possible. So I read up on textured walls and wallpaper and what I had to do. Most people suggested skim coating the walls with joint compound and painting them white, but I really didn't want to put that kind of prepwork into it. To be completely honest, I didn't want to put any extra work into this project other than the wallpaper itself. Even though I know that proper prepwork will equal the best results, I'm always looking for a shortcut because there’s only so many hours in the day and I always have way too much to get done so any way to speed up the process makes my life (and my family’s lives) easier.

Textured wall in the office
Thankfully during my “research” I found a couple people that said if you used thicker, textured wallpaper it should work, and that was just what I needed to see since it just so happens that Photowall offers premium wallpaper that has an extra matte finish, is scrape-resistant and also suitable for cleaning products! I was pretty confident that their premium wallpaper would do the job to make my job easier.

When I received the wallpaper I could see that it was a lot thicker and better quality than the wallpaper we've used in the past. I couldn't wait to get it up on the wall! Since it had been awhile since we had hung wallpaper we watched Photowalls how to assemble wallpaper video to refresh. I then cut the wallpaper (that comes in one big long roll) into the marked divided sections.

Before I hung the first piece I drew small lines on the wall the width of my wallpaper ( 17 3/4") all the way down the wall and then used our giant level to join them and make a line. I did this to make sure the first panel would go on perfectly straight. Thankfully our wall was level so all the pieces would be straight corner to corner.

It is recommended to prime the walls if they are a bright color but again I didn't want to do any prepwork and once I received the wallpaper and saw how thick it was I was pretty confident I didn't need to.

Before we started I unfortunately had to do the smallest of repairs to the wall where our shelving unit had been screwed in. Cory insisted that I fill the holes with joint compound or they might show under the wallpaper. So of course I did (begrudgingly) but I still consider this a no prep job because I did nothing else to the textured wall or paint to prepare.

We didn't have to buy supplies or glue for the wallpaper because Photowall graciously includes glue with every order and we just used a paintbrush, bucket and sponges that we already had. I'm glad I watched the video because the process of hanging this wallpaper was a little different than what we'd done in the past with painting or rolling the paste directly onto the wall.

I could tell after putting up the first panel that neither the texture on the wall or the color was going to show through! Even though it took us longer than we thought it would (everything does, doesn't it?) we had a lot of fun noticing all the crazy names for different islands and countries, some interesting ones we found were: Necker Island, Starbucks Island and even Nameless Island.

One thing about wallpapering that makes the process way easier is making absolutely sure you hang the first panel straight or the rest of the panels will be off. Nobody wants crooked wallpaper or panels that don't match up perfectly and possibly having to start over once you've already put a bunch of work into it.

We took a few pictures of the wallpapering process which took us about 5 hours because, you know, kids. One of the many times they came into the office for something they helped out for about 3 minutes. I'm sure you'll notice we all have some serious quarantine hair (or as Cory calls it, apocalypse hair) going on, which is our daily life right now.

Once we were done and I saw the finished product it looked exactly how I imagined it! This wallpaper has definitely exceeded my expectations! It's super thick, durable and I love the fact that I can wipe off anything that gets on the wall because, again, kids. Speaking of my kids, they love the wallpaper too, as much, if not more than I do! Jackson has been checking out all the continents and even showing Brynlee where different countries are. Haha my plan to sneak something educational and stylish into the house worked.

Here's a full view of the wall mural in our office. It definitely gives it a more finished, refined look, now if we could just get that professional organizer over here...

Here's a closer view so you can see that neither the textured wall or brown paint are visible underneath the wallpaper.

After completion of our wallpaper project I believe (in my honest and humble opinion), that you can definitely wallpaper over textured walls with no prepwork, you just need high quality wallpaper!

If you are interested in wallpapering your own walls with some of Photowalls wonderful wallpaper or even designing wallpaper or wall art with your own photos I'm sharing a coupon code for all my readers good for 25% off your entire order from now until June 6, 2020! The code is: thriftyartsygirl25.

Now I'm off to my next quarantine project!

Disclaimer: I received my wallpaper complimentary from Photowall. However all opinions expressed are my own and 100% true. Please see my disclosure policy for more info


  1. Apocalypse hair who cares. No one should be coming to the door anyway.Oh and the bonus...you got the office cleaned up. Great job on both.

  2. Thanks girls very encouraging.

  3. I live in Hawaii and want to cover a textured wall with Grass Reed wallpaper. I am thinking the wall paper is thick so I won't have to retexture to flat. Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. This is Totally Beautiful!!!


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