How to Wallpaper With Anaglypta

Updated February 21, 2017

Anaglypta is a textured, paintable type of wall covering developed in 19th century England as a more economical alternative to the ornate plaster designs seen in many wealthy homes. There has been resurgence in its popularity and use in recent years as a versatile wall covering that can be painted over and over and still retain its unique textural patterns. You may have started with anaglypta as a border or chair rail covering, but here's how you can wallpaper an entire wall with it.

Remove any loose paint, old wallpaper or textured finish from the wall.

Fill any cracks or holes with caulk, wood putty or spackling paste.

Scrape and sand any rough surfaces on the wall with a scraper and sandpaper.

Wash the surface of the wall with a solution of 2 cups of bleach mixed with a gallon of water. Allow the surface to dry completely.

Apply a primer coat of water-based acrylic paint or use a shellac-based primer that is specially designed for use under wallpaper. Allow the primer coat on the wall to dry thoroughly.

Brush a clay-based, heavyweight wallpaper adhesive onto the back of the first section of anaglypta. Allow to soak for 15 minutes. Be sure to allow the same soak time for each piece of anaglypta since it is possible the adhesive can alter the relief pattern the longer it sits on the paper. Use a brush, not a roller, so you don't crush the pattern.

Fold the edges of the paper over to join them, also known as "book-ending" or "book-folding." Allow 10-15 minutes to set up, if needed. Include this as part of the adhesive soak time so as not to damage the pattern.

Hang the anaglypta sheet starting at the bottom of the wall and smoothing as you go up the wall. Again, using a brush designed for wallpaper application is favourable over a roller that can crush the raised patterns of the anaglypta. However, using a roller can make the process much quicker, so if you choose to use one, make sure it is a very soft foam roller.

Seal corners and edges of the wall you're covering with anaglypta by overlapping the paper about 2 inches and pressing hard into the corners and edges with a putty knife to distribute the adhesive and create a tight seal. Cut through the layers of wall covering with a utility knife and remove the overlapping strips. Use a seam roller to create a smooth butt joint in the corner.

Overlap additional pieces of anaglypta about 2 inches as you cover the wall. As with any wallpaper, make sure the patterns match up. Use a shorter bristled brush to smooth the seams and ensure a good stick. Wipe up any excess glue right away with a damp sponge.


Allow the anaglypta to dry for at least two days before priming and painting.

Things You'll Need

  • Caulk, wood putty or spackling paste
  • Sandpaper and scraper
  • Bleach
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Wall primer
  • Anaglypta rolls
  • Clay-based wallpaper adhesive
  • Adhesive brush applicator
  • Wallpaper brush or soft foam roller
  • Putty knife
  • Utility knife
  • Seam roller
  • Short-bristled wallpaper brush
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About the Author

Laura W. Smith has worked as a freelance writer since 2007, producing content for various online publications. She has worked as a women's fitness trainer for three years and specializes in health and fitness topics. Smith holds a bachelor's degree in music education from Baptist Bible College and has studied journalism at Wayland Baptist University.