Wallpaper: Everything you need to know

Wallpaper is a practical, easy way to decorate your home. You can combine it with painted walls or go all out and wallpaper a whole room!
Wallpaper: Everything you need to know

Last update: 18 September, 2018

There are all kinds of textures and materials available to dress up your walls with, and wallpaper is one great example. It’s becoming popular again because it’s quite versatile.

Recently, wallpaper with different materials and finishes has been appearing. In fact, has made it into some of today’s top interior design trends.

Below we’ll answer a few questions you may have about this form of home decor.

Why go for wallpaper?

The main reason is that it is clean and quick to hang, though it can be labor-intensive. But, there’s no need to put on a second or third coat, or put up with that chemical odor while it dries – unlike with paint.

Plus, in the long-term it’s good value, since you don’t have to maintain it as often. With paint though, you have to retouch it or give it a fresh coat every so often. While now more people are opting for wallpaper, it’s still rather under the radar. But that actually makes it a great way to surprise your guests and create contrast.

Wallpaper with trees and a couch in front.

What should I think about before picking out my wallpaper?

The first thing to do is to take a look at the condition of your wall. It should be smooth and in perfect condition so that the wallpaper goes on as well as possible. Otherwise it will unstick and not hold up very well.

Another note – solid-color wallpaper and small prints are excellent for making bedrooms look bigger. This is something to think about if you want to add some depth. In addition, these options go well with all kinds of furniture and fabrics.

Larger patterns, on the other hand, will make big spaces cozier and more welcoming. If your wall has a few flaws, but isn’t that bad, then go with texture.

Sometimes stores will also offer hanging. You may be able to do it yourself, though, and save a bit of money.

Types of wallpaper

There are all kinds out there: acrylic, synthetic, fabric, wood veneer, natural fiber, and even electromagnetic (to neutralize static). However, the two most popular kinds are embossed and vinyl.


Embossed wallpaper is normally made of a thick layer that has been stamped with a design. Wallpaper adhesive is used to put it up. Embossed does not hold up very well with a lot of light, and it can’t be cleaned. Therefore it’s best for low-traffic areas.

Embossed wallpaper.


Unlike embossed, vinyl wallpaper is made of two layers, the top one being plastic. It’s much easier to hang, and it comes with adhesive on the back, which you activate by submerging the whole thing in water.

Vinyl is more durable and easy to clean. There are many reasons to choose this kind of wall covering!

Materials and wall coverings

There are plenty of other kinds of materials on the market for dressing up walls. Here are the most widely used ones.

  • Expanded vinyl comes adhered to a smooth backing. The vinyl layer is heated to create a raised pattern.
  • Silk wall coverings are made of silk backed with a thin layer of paper. Be careful that the seams don’t show.
  • Embossed wall coverings are heavy and can be painted over. They’re often used to wallpaper ceilings.
  • Burlap wall coverings come with a thick backing to help hang it. One disadvantage is that it’s hard to hide the seams between the pieces.
  • Double-layer wallpaper is strong and often embossed with a pattern.
  • Flock looks like velvet, comes with a paper backing.
Leaf wallpaper.

How do you clean wallpaper?

A lot of people think that wallpaper can’t be cleaned, and they use this as a reason not to put it up. But it’s actually simple. Just use liquid soap, warm water, and a sponge. That’s it! Now you know what a great choice this kind of wall covering can be for a beautiful change of pace in your home.