How to wallpaper with silk

Written by kaye morris | 13/05/2017
How to wallpaper with silk
Shiny, beautiful silk can be mounter on paper to form wallpaper. (silk background image by Liu Xiang from

Silk wallpaper provides an elegant, upscale look especially suited for formal dining rooms. Silk wallpaper is often seen in restaurants and hotels to provide a high-end polish to the decor Preparing walls for silk wallpaper is key to a successful installation and depending on the condition of the walls, may require a significant amount of prep work. Because silk is usually more expensive than regular wallpaper, you should be very careful not to make mistakes during both preparation and hanging.

Patch holes, dings and cracks in the wall with spackling paste. Use a plastic putty knife to apply the spackling paste. Allow the paste to dry completely.

Sand the walls with fine-grit sandpaper until the finish is completely smooth to the touch. Even the smallest indentations or bumps will be magnified by the silk.

Wipe the walls with a damp sponge to ensure all sanding dust is removed. Allow the walls to dry completely.

Prime the walls with primer specifically designed for wall coverings. A wallpaper shop or DIY centre employee can help you with the selection of an appropriate primer. Allow the primer to dry completely.

Apply clear, non-staining adhesive to the back of a sheet of silk wallpaper using a paintbrush or sponge brush. Use adhesive specifically designed for silk wallpaper so that you do not damage the wallpaper.

Allow the adhesive to become tacky to the touch before hanging. The amount of time may be seconds or minutes, depending on the temperature and humidity in the room and the brand of adhesive used.

Place the sheet on the wall and press it into place with a soft cloth. Use a plastic smoother to smooth the silk onto the wall and remove any ridges and bumps.

Trim the top and bottom of the silk sheet with a utility knife and a straightedge. Make sure you change blades in the utility knife often or you may damage the fabric.

Run a strip of masking tape down the edge of the installed sheet to prevent glue from adjacent sheets from spilling onto the surface of the silk.


Wear a mask and safety glasses when sanding plasterboard.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear a mask and safety glasses when sanding plasterboard.

Things you need

  • Spackling paste
  • Putty knife
  • Sponge
  • Primer suitable for wallcoverings
  • Clear, non-staining adhesive
  • Paintbrush or sponge brush
  • Soft cloth
  • Plastic smoother
  • Utility knife
  • Straight edge
  • Masking tape

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