How to Wallpaper Over a Brick or Cement Block Wall


The problems of concealing grouting and rough surfaces are easily overcome. Lining paper, if properly applied, will stretch over and hide the rough patches and the effect can be completed by using a heavy or embossed wallpaper.

This technique also applies to walls built of cement blocks. If you are building with brick or cement block and know that you want to wallpaper certain walls, ask your builders to apply the mortar so that you have a nice flat surface, rather than raking out the joints. With existing walls, the secret is in preparing the raw surface.

These are the tools you’ll need:-

A long table or bench, a trough, sponge or foam paste applicator, scissors, soft brush for smoothing wallpaper on to wall, a ruler, plumb line, razor for cutting.

A paint sealer is applied to dry any moisture from the wall, then a latex based wallpaper liquid size. A well soaked pre-pasted wallpaper lining will be just sufficient to soften the size and bond the lining firmly to the wall so that when wallpaper is pasted over, it won’t weaken in any way.

The same principle can even be applied if you are papering over rough-caste walls (walls that have been plastered and raked or scrolled upon when wet). If your brick wall has an extremely rough and raised surface it will have to be plastered over prior to wall-papering.

Here is how it’s done:-

1. Prior to start working on an absorbent raw wall, you’re first step is to seal and size the wall. Coat it with a paint sealer and leave to dry overnight. Next apply a latex based wallpaper liquid size; this is especially good on absorbent surfaces. This takes about an hour to dry. If time is short you can apply two coats leaving an hour between coats, instead of the over- night sealer.

2. Apply pre-pasted lining paper. Soak it in a trough to soften and roll out to arm’s length. Fold over and back half-way, forming pleats to the end of the roll.

3. Holding the top piece of paper in one hand, and pleats in the other, stretch the first pleat along the wall and flatten out with sponge. Stretch next fold and flatten and so on to the end of the roll.

4. To paper around a corner, leave 25 mm (one inch) overlap and “butt” the adjacent strip of paper on to it.

5. Repeat soaking and folding procedure and bring next roll of paper lining overlapping approximately 6 mm (quarter of an inch) onto the first. By having paper on paper you will prevent the joins from edging into the grooves between bricks.

6. Leave lining paper to dry overnight. As it does so it will tighten and stretch out over grooves and rough patches on the wall surface.

7. Before applying wallpaper, coat again with the latex based wallpaper liquid size as added insurance that the lining paper has sealed properly and tightened on to the wall

8. The type of wallpaper used is important. It should be embossed or a heavy natural weave to ensure that the imprint of the design is not lost when pasted on.


9. Hang your selected wallpaper vertically in the normal way.

Sit back and admire your masterpiece.

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Darryl Alfred Jackson


Author: admin

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