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If you’ve stripped a wall in the past and still have recurring nightmares, you’re not alone. It’s also probably the reason why you’re wondering if you can cover old wallpaper with new wallpaper.

Well the answer is yes you can, but it does depend on a few things. And although it is possible, our advice is that, for the best result, you should strip it back first.

Here’s what you need to consider.

1. The texture and coating of your old wallpaper

If the wallpaper you want to cover is non-coated, it is possible to wallpaper over it. 

However, if it’s vinyl wallpaper you’re dealing with, you will need to remove it before re-papering and know how to take the wallpaper off properly without damaging your walls.

The vinyl coating used on this type of wallpaper makes it non-porous, meaning the new wallpaper will not stick well to it. Papering over it can also cause a build-up of mould, as air cannot pass through non-porous materials.

Unsure whether your existing wallpaper is vinyl? Sponge the corner of your wallpaper with warm water. If the paper darkens and absorbs the water, it’s non-porous.

Textured or embellished wallpaper will also need to be removed, as this will give the surface of your new wallpaper an uneven appearance.

2. The colour of your old wallpaper

If your existing wallpaper is lighter in colour than your new wallpaper, covering it shouldn’t be a problem. But if it’s darker in colour or has a bold pattern, it should be removed first as this could show through your new wallpaper.

3. The condition of your old wallpaper

If the wallpaper you want to cover is in perfect condition, again, it shouldn’t be too problematic to cover. But if it’s cracked in places, or noticeably lifting at the edges, the best advice is to remove it first.

4. The number of layers already on your wall

If your wall already has more than one layer of wallpaper on it, it’s best to remove all layers rather than applying another on top.

Should you decide to strip your walls, follow our advice on how to prepare a wall for wallpaper without a hitch.

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