How to paint embossed wallpaper

Written by l. scott pishko
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Sometimes when walls look mundane and boring, you want to spruce them up with something a little different. Installing embossed wallpaper onto the walls and painting them gives your home a look of vintage mystique. Painting them two tone with retro colours will add to the charm. The embossed wallpaper will take some more time and patience to paint than a regular wall, so take your time and enjoy the fact that you have created a one-of-a-kind mix of old fashioned aesthetic with a modern day touch.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Cleaning rags
  • Painter's tape
  • Paintbrushes
  • Metal paint can opener
  • Mini-rollers
  • Paint tray
  • Notebook paper
  • Small sponge

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  1. 1

    Make sure that the embossed wallpaper is dry if recently placed on the wall.

  2. 2

    Place drop clothes into the area where you will be working. This provides the floor with a protective barrier from spills and drips.

  3. 3

    Apply painter's tape to appliances and areas you want to protect from paint splatter. If the area is large, you can add cardboard to the area and adhere it with painter's tape.


  1. 1

    Collect paint onto a paintbrush and coat it on each corner and areas where the roller will not be able to paint. Use sweeping motions from left to right to avoid runs and bubbles. Primer is not needed for this project due to the embossing wallpaper being a sufficient "tooth" that let's the paint stick without primer.

  2. 2

    Utilise the mini-roller to paint the large areas of the embossed wallpaper. Make sure that while you are painting the wallpaper that you check at intervals to ensure proper coating, because the embossing is perforated sometimes the paint doesn't catch the wallpaper properly.

  3. 3

    Review the first coat to make sure it is dry before placing a second coat of paint on the embossed wallpaper. Drying time is four hours or more.

  4. 4

    Add a second thin coat to the wallpaper. If you are painting the raised embossing a different colour you would paint the embossed colour last. Blot the excess second colour with notebook paper or small sponge if it seeps onto the first coat.

Tips and warnings

  • Properly ventilate the area before painting the wallpaper.

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