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How to fix & prevent wallpaper from peeling

Updated February 21, 2017

Wallpaper is glued to your wall with an adhesive that over time and in especially humid conditions can weaken. Wallpaper may look like it is bubbling before it starts to peel away from the wall, or the seams may start to curl. This quickly makes a room feel ramshackle and neglected. If you don’t want to replace the wallpaper, you can try to fix the peeling parts.

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  1. Apply a thin coat of wallpaper seam repair adhesive with a small paintbrush to the wall on which you wish the paper to stick. You may apply the adhesive onto the back of the wallpaper instead of the wall if you wish; however, do not apply it to both surfaces.

  2. Slowly press the peeled wallpaper onto the adhesive-coated wall with a damp sponge.

  3. Wipe off excess adhesive from the front of the wallpaper with a damp sponge. Don’t press so hard that more adhesive is squeezed out from behind the previously peeling piece.

  4. Secure the edges of the peeled pieces of wallpaper now adhered to your wall with painter’s tape if needed. Start at one end of the seam of the now-adhered piece of wallpaper and move to the other end. Don’t start in the middle of the seam. This may cause wrinkling. The tape should hold the seam together and stop your wallpaper from curling in on itself, allowing the adhesive to dry completely.

  5. Remove the tape after 24 hours.

  6. Allow the fixed wallpaper to dry completely before hanging pictures over it or pressing furniture against it.

  7. Keep the humidity in your wallpapered rooms to the recommended 40 to 50 per cent by using a dehumidifier. This will help prevent the wallpaper from peeling.

  8. Tip

    Use painter’s tape instead of masking tape if taping the seams of your wallpaper. The adhesive isn’t as sticky as masking tape and won’t tear or mar your wallpaper when removed.

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Things You'll Need

  • Wallpaper seam repair adhesive
  • Small paintbrush
  • Damp sponge
  • Wallpaper seam repair adhesive
  • Painter’s tape
  • Dehumidifier

About the Author

Gail began writing professionally in 2004. Now a full-time proofreader, she has written marketing material for an IT consulting company, edited auditing standards for CPAs and ghostwritten the first draft of a nonfiction Amazon bestseller. Gail holds a Master of Arts in English literature and has taught college-level business communication, composition and American literature.

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