How to Successfully Hang Wallpaper Over Fake Wood Paneling

The inside of my home is covered either with plaster or fake wood paneling. After looking at the drab wood paneling in my living room for a few years, I decided it was time for a drastic change. I decided to cover the ugliness with a nice, bright wallpaper pattern. If this sounds like your home, take heart! With just a little time and effort, you can learn how to successfully hang wallpaper over fake wood paneling!

The Materials You’ll Need Are:

To Hang the Wallpaper-
Wallpaper
One Wallpaper Basin
One Brush to smooth the paper
Some Soft, Clean Rags or Two Large, Clean Sponges
Drop Clothes to protect the floor

To Wash the Walls-
Bucket with Very Warm Water
Apple Cider Vinegar
Large Sponge or Clean Cloths

You May Also Need-
Wallpaper Paste, if the paper doesn’t adhere to the fake wood paneling properly.
Wood Putty or Spackling Compound to fill holes and gaps

The Steps in This Project Are:

1. Open the Access to and Clear the Walls Completely
The first step is to remove any furniture that’s near the walls so you can easily get to them. Because applying wallpaper is a messy task, I moved my furniture to the middle of the room. Then, remove all of the wallhangings so the walls of the room are completely clear.

2. Wash the Walls to Remove Any Dirt, Grease or Debris
Mix up a homemade solution of very warm water and a cup of apple cider vinegar in a bucket. Use a large sponge or a clean cloth to wash down the walls well. Let them air dry before you proceed onto the next step.

3. Fill-In Large Holes and Gaps
If there are large holes or gaps anywhere in your fake wood paneling, you’ll need to repair these spots so they don’t show through the wallpaper. Personally, I didn’t worry about small nail holes from wallhangings or the slight gaps between the sheets of paneling. I was sure that if I bought heavy enough wallpaper they wouldn’t show through.

Then, allow the wood putty or spackling compound to dry thoroughly before proceeding on. Read the directions on the containers to determine how long that will take.

4. Apply a Primer or a Wallpaper Liner… Maybe
In this step, I can’t tell you how to successfully hang wallpaper over fake wood paneling in your home. That is, I didn’t do it when I wallpapered my living room, and it turned out looking fantastic. But, what worked for me may not work well for you in this step.

What I can do is to give you some pointers on how to decide if you need to use a primer or liner. The purpose of the two products is to make a slightly rough surface that the wallpaper can adhere properly to. If the fake wood paneling in your home is shiny and smooth, chances are that wallpaper will not stick to it. Wallpaper liner will also help cover any imperfections on the walls, as well as the cracks between the sheets of the fake wood paneling.

The fake paneling in my house is quite old. It’s hardly shiny or glossy at all and it felt rough when I slid my hand across it. I was sure the quality wallpaper I bought would adhere to the walls without giving me any problems. Fortunately, I was right. If you have any doubts, you can play it safe and use a primer on the walls or a liner. Follow the manufacturer’s directions in order to get the best results. Or, you can apply extra paste to the wallpaper in an effort to make it adhere to the fake wood paneling.

5. Hang the Wallpaper!
Once the walls in the room are prepared and are dry, follow the instructions on the wallpaper and hang it up.

6. Enjoy the New Look of Your Room!

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