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Lining paper – What thickness should I use?

Posted by Adrian
December 3rd, 2009

Lining paper grades 800 -2000

Lining paper thickness

If you are planning on decorating a room and the walls aren’t that good your best option would be to line the walls with lining paper first.

So what thickness should you use?

Lining paper comes in different thickness known as ‘grades’.
The grades range from 800 to 2000 and vary quite a lot in thickness between the lowest to the highest grade.

Some ‘DIY’ stores only stock the lower grades of lining paper, maybe up to 1200 if you’re lucky, but normally only up to 1000 grade. You can buy the thicker grade papers form ‘trade’ outlets, local suppliers or online.

If you are using some of the higher grade lining paper make sure you allow the lengths of paper enough time to soak and become pliable. The time will increase for each grade of paper thickness.

For most jobs I use 1400 grade, it is thick enough for most jobs and is easy enough to work with. I use it for both walls and ceilings.
If you decide to go for the heavier grade papers (1700 and 2000) then you may find it difficult to handle and work with, this will obviously depend on your experience and room shape and size.

Remember, lining paper isn’t a magic paper that will make your walls imperfection free, it will give you a smoother, sounder base to work from. Lining paper was designed as a base to wallpaper onto, however you can emulsion over lining paper without any problems.
You should always prepair the walls, by this I mean you still need to fill the holes with filler, rub down the walls etc.

Allow at least 12 hours for drying if you are going to emulsion the walls and 24 hours if you are going to hang wallpaper over the lining paper, if you don’t the lining paper may come off the wall.
If the room is cold or damp you may have to allow longer for drying.

If your walls are bare plaster you will need to ‘size’ the walls first. This means either buying a packet of size or alternatively a diluted mix of wallpaper paste applied to the wall.

This will stop the lining paper drying out to quickly and give a stronger adhesion to the newly plastered wall.

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Posted in Decorating Tips | 257 Comments »

257 Responses to “Lining paper – What thickness should I use?”

  1. Mary Says:

    Hi, we’re in the process of repainting a room. There is an area by the window where the wall looks uneven and a has raised areas. The rest of the wall (quite a big area) is perfectly fine We are planning to sand the rough areas down and then put lining paper over it but wondered if we could get away with just putting lining paper on a small section of wall and some way concealing the edge of the papered area or do we need to cover the whole wall with lining paper.

    Date posted : September 15th, 2015 at 1:08 pm
  2. Adrian Says:


    I would recommend papering the whole wall, trying to conceal and edge could take as long as papering the whole wall and the finished result may not be perfect and you may end up keep looking at the paper edge thinking,”I wish I had papered the entire wall”

    Date posted : September 17th, 2015 at 3:28 pm
  3. CB Says:

    Our new house has textured wallpaper which we would like to remove, but it’s been put on unskimmed plasterboard.
    Would a thick lining paper cover the bumps of the textured wallpaper?

    Date posted : October 17th, 2015 at 8:31 pm
  4. Adrian Says:


    The trouble with papering over textured paper is it will only adhere to the ‘high’ parts of the textured paper. I would always advise to remove paper.
    If taken of carefully you may be able to line the plasterboard and emulsion or paper?

    Date posted : October 18th, 2015 at 1:32 pm
  5. rich Says:

    i understand its not ideal papering over wood chip, but the walls underneath are in poor condition, and there is a million layers of paint over it.

    what thickness of lining paper do i need to cover woodchip walls best? do i go for the 2000 grade?

    thanks in advance

    Date posted : October 23rd, 2015 at 7:36 pm
  6. Adrian Says:


    If you do paper over it, use thick paper, as you say 2000 maybe, and use ready mixed paste.

    Date posted : October 28th, 2015 at 2:47 pm
  7. Terry Says:

    Hi there. Just moved to a Victorian house that’s been covered to 2 beds . I’ve stripped old paper filled sanded and put base layer of paint on hall stairs and landing .but its still showing lumps n bumps thinking of lining paper to cover and save time in having to refill and sand again. What would you suggest. I’m not a professional at papering but do a good job. Many thanks Terry

    Date posted : November 15th, 2015 at 9:43 am
  8. Adrian Says:


    Depends on how lumpy and bumpy it is, lining paper will not give you 100% smooth walls.
    It maybe worth filling and sanding rather than paper unless just minor defects.

    Date posted : November 19th, 2015 at 2:31 pm
  9. Rony Says:

    Hi there.

    I’m about to decorate my bedroom walls which have previously had vinyl silk painted on them (direct onto plastered walls). Who ever did the painting before did it with a brush so there are A LOT of brush marks giving a poor visual finish. I don’t want to roller over this as these brush marks will just show through again.

    I would like to hang lining paper and then put matt emulsion over that but my question is, Can you hang lining paper on vinyl silk walls ? My concern is that because the paint has quite a shine on it, the paste/paper wont stick.

    Thanks in advance.

    Date posted : November 28th, 2015 at 12:55 pm
  10. Adrian Says:


    Lining paper should stick to silk emulsion ok, you can give the walls a light rub down first with a fine sandpaper just to take the shine off a little.

    Date posted : November 29th, 2015 at 2:24 pm
  11. K Says:

    Which is thicker in terms of covering wall imperfections –

    ErfurtMAV Professional 2000 grade or
    Wallrock Fibreliner 150

    And which of these 2 gives the smoothest finish for painting over?

    I have used the 2000 grade on a few rooms in the house and painted over it and I do think it is good quality lining paper. The problem I am facing is that in the final room I am trying to decorate – I discovered when I was attempting to strip it, that it had one layer of bamboo like textured paper which came off quite easily with a steamer but this was papered on top of another shell patterned textured paper and this shell paper was pasted directly onto drywall with no sealer coat. Trying to remove wallpaper from paper(the drywall paper lining) is proving almost impossible and I don’t want to damage the drywall itself in the process by either over wetting it or gouging it when trying to scrape the shell paper off.

    The paper is stuck fast so I was going to just line over it and hope that the shell texture wouldn’t come through or wouldn’t be obvious if I used a thick enough lining paper.

    Hence my question of these 2 papers which one would give the best coverage? I know ErfurtMAV do thermal liners and the R300 but my budget does not extend to the £200+ the R300 would cost just to line the walls.

    Many thanks

    Date posted : December 3rd, 2015 at 5:40 am
  12. Adrian Says:


    I have not used wallrock fiberliner myself. Best ask a suppler or the manufacturer to make sure.

    Date posted : December 5th, 2015 at 4:19 pm
  13. Phil Ellia Says:


    We have a medieval house with lime plaster walls I painted with FB Estate emulsion. I now want to wallpaper (fed up of plain walls!) several walls – all easiest description is they are “rustic”. Do you think 1400mm lining paper will be OK?

    Many thanks

    Date posted : January 4th, 2016 at 1:30 pm
  14. Adrian Says:


    It is hard to say without seeing them but after any prep work that is required 1400 should be OK, it is what I typically use.

    Date posted : January 6th, 2016 at 4:47 pm
  15. Andrew Says:

    Hi Adrian, great blog I’ve learned so much just reading your blog. I’m a novice, first time decorating and I’m doing it myself. I painstakingly stripped 4 walls, 2 plaster boarded and two bricked that had woodchip wallpaper. I took my time and with very little damage to the wall I was able to remove the top layer and the sticky backing layer. Now I’m left with Especially with the two plasterboard walls is what looks to be plaster that had previously been painted and then (what looks like) a wish wash of pva primer on top (pva must of been used for the woodchip to adhere to the paint?). Where do I go from here, should I invest more time in somehow removing the pva and paint layer or should I use lining paper? My aim from the beginning was the strip the wallpaper and then paint the walls.

    Date posted : January 16th, 2016 at 8:06 pm
  16. Adrian Says:


    Try filling the walls and sanding them down, then one coat of a white emulsion, this way you can see how the walls look painted, you will have to do the prep work anyway, if the walls are not good enough then line them before painting with the colour.

    Hope that helps.

    Date posted : January 17th, 2016 at 5:05 pm
  17. Jean Says:

    Hi there
    My house has had the attic converted to bedrooms thus giving the rooms sloped walls/ceiling. My problem is that the previous owner has put up what looks like poor quality lining paper and painted over. The seams are now coming apart and the walls are so poor it looks as if to try and remove the paper would, at the very least, leave holes in the wall. I’ve never seen this before but if you press the external wall where the lining paper is, it is soft! There is no dampness anywhere in the house and the area looks clean. Is there any covering I can use on top of the painted lining paper? Or if putting on new thick wallpaper is the only answer, can I hang the paper so that the current seams would lie within the new strip of wallpaper?

    Date posted : January 26th, 2016 at 1:12 pm
  18. Adrian Says:


    I would imagine the reason the walls seem soft is they may of been lined first with polystyrene to insulate the walls and then lined. The only problem with lining over this is it may not be stuck that well and eventually come off. If it was mine I would be inclined to remove it and start from scratch, it could save headaches later.
    You can line it horizontally (cross lined) if you wish, if you think the majority is stuck down well. If you use a border adhesive to glue down the lifted joints first.

    Date posted : January 27th, 2016 at 4:19 pm
  19. Josie Says:

    Hi Adrian

    I am about to decorate my bedroom but the ceiling is quite badly cracked from age and from an attic conversion above. We did try to stiple the ceiling a while ago but it wasn’t very successful. I did consider having the ceiling skimmed but have been advised that skim may not always stick to ceilings that have been painted and stipled in this way. Another choice was to plaster anew but we have insulation in the attic above which might start falling if we take the ceiling down. I have considered ceiling lining paper but I am not sure it will cover all the imperfections. I would appreciate your advice.

    Date posted : February 1st, 2016 at 1:59 pm
  20. Adrian Says:


    I think I would get the ceiling skimmed, the plasterer can advise if it cannot be done but I can’t see why it couldn’t. They could seal the ceiling and even put tape over the cracks. It should be the best long term solution.

    Hope that helps.

    Date posted : February 1st, 2016 at 4:02 pm
  21. Tony Says:

    Hi Adrian

    We are renovating and extending a 17thcentury large Georgian house and our attention is now on the halls & stairs and landing plus two of the reception rooms. Total wall area is approximately 210m2 and ceiling 50m2 all of which are plastered and have various layers of emulsioned embossed paper on them. In a considerable number of areas the paper is scuffed and the plaster is blown. The cost for stripping and replastering are extensive and it has been suggested we take an alternate approach and over line with a modern fibreglass lining paper. Your thoughts and comments willl be most welcomed and if lining paper is the way forward the any particular recommended brands / types.



    Date posted : February 20th, 2016 at 4:35 pm
  22. Adrian Says:


    I tend to like to start from scratch, so stripping wallpaper etc, making good if required. the trouble with going over old paper or blown plaster is you are only covering it up, not sorting the problems out. I know this comes at a cost but it is a long term solution.

    It is up to individual people to decide what they can do or how much they can or want to spend. This is my own opinion and will differ from others. It is also hard for me to recommend a solution without seeing the problems.

    Date posted : February 24th, 2016 at 5:03 pm
  23. neil smith Says:

    Considering a 1900’s craftsman bungalow style house. However, all walls in every room are very rough. It looks as though this a project for a beginner. Very rough. Looks as though they were going to give a “stucco” look and changed there minds. I don’t see wall paper an option at this point. Without removing all plaster, what can we do. Love the house, can be greatly improved. Help!

    Date posted : March 23rd, 2016 at 3:25 pm
  24. Adrian Says:


    Have you thought about a product such as smooth over or similar?

    Date posted : March 23rd, 2016 at 4:29 pm
  25. Maya Says:

    i need some advice about a ceiling… It has been papered with embossed design straight onto plasterboard about 7 years ago and paper is looking rough, seams yellowing and coming unstuck.. I am guessing stripping it will take the paper on plaster board off too?.. So is it best to repaper in heavier 1400 lining paper going in same direction as paper already attached or do something else like re board it or artex it (don’t really want do this!)… Any ideas ?? Many thanks

    Date posted : April 12th, 2016 at 10:07 pm
  26. Adrian Says:


    If you soak the embossed paper and let it soak in and then soak it again you maybe able to get the paper off and not damage the plasterboard too much. The key is to get it wet and let it soak and to keep the scraper flat to the ceiling to avoid digging it in.

    Date posted : April 19th, 2016 at 2:40 pm
  27. John Says:

    Hi, prepping too start wallpapering, bare walls as normal an there sound considering it’s a 1960s house, question I have can I use a single sheet horizontally around the wall?
    Once a dado rail round the room and were it was stained an hit the wall is a small rise, am considering putting a single sheet round the wall over this as I know it will cover the slight rise but question is will the single sheet show through once wallpapered or is it thin enough to come invisible once wallpapered?

    I had dado rail on hall stairs an landing, removed it an went round with heat gun an scraper too remove the old stain an varnish of the wall with great smooth result, problem is time restraint this time round in other room an that why I was thinking single sheet of lining might do the job this time round.

    Date posted : April 24th, 2016 at 10:01 am
  28. Adrian Says:


    I would imagine the lining paper would show through the wallpaper. Could try filling and feathering the edge?

    Date posted : April 24th, 2016 at 4:20 pm
  29. Leona Says:

    I would like to apply lining paper on my walls as the previous owners have use chip wood paper an wallpaper the has raised flower prints on it…what thickness do I need to use so it don’t show through as I don’t like the print that’s on there…plz help.

    Date posted : June 14th, 2016 at 8:03 am
  30. Adrian Says:


    My advise would be to remove the old paper and then line.

    Date posted : June 14th, 2016 at 1:31 pm
  31. Kelly Says:

    Hi, we have just stripped the kitchen that had 2 layers of tile on a roll on it and found wood panelling underneath. Coming accross different opinions of whether we should just size the wooden walls and hang the new contour wallpaper on it or line it first? What grade liner if lining? Just don’t want to hang the new wall paper and it to start coming off or grooves to show because of the wood panelling! Thanks

    Date posted : September 1st, 2016 at 3:01 pm
  32. Adrian Says:


    Lining maybe the safer option, a medium grade such as 1400 should be OK.

    Date posted : September 3rd, 2016 at 1:36 pm
  33. Scermir Says:

    Hi Adrian,
    Our apartment is tiled with semi gloss textured tiles in 2000’s and I am planning to hang lining paper over the tiles and paint on it. Is it a good idea to hang a lining paper over the tiles or is there any suggestion from you? Will the lining paper well stuck over the tiles? And which grade lining paper should I use for this matter?
    Thank you.

    Date posted : September 9th, 2016 at 3:01 pm
  34. Adrian Says:


    Not sure what you mean by textured tiles, if it is too textured the lining paper will not hide it.

    Date posted : September 10th, 2016 at 4:16 pm
  35. Kamie Says:

    We live in an Edwardian property and after stripping all the old paper off it has revealed several layers of old paint old paste and old filler also a few patches of old dblack mould/damp
    Would it be a good idea to PVA the walls instead of sizing or do both to help with adhesion of lining paper
    What would be best thing to do to prepare the old tired walls

    Date posted : September 30th, 2016 at 5:53 pm
  36. Adrian Says:


    I would be inclined to prepare the walls, fill,and treat the damp problems, then use a non vinyl emulsion and coat the walls, this will reveal any damp /water stains, any areas that need filling more. Then I would line the walls.

    Date posted : October 1st, 2016 at 2:50 pm
  37. Heather Binns Says:

    We’ve had a new house built and the ‘professional’ decorators have made an absolute mess of the taping – walls and ceiling look dreadful in sunlight….it’s a 11m x 7m full height room.
    Contractor is proposing they fix this by using lining paper. I know this is common for older buildings but wondered if there are any drawbacks with a new build? We want white painted walls, so interested to know if paper will be seamless and if any long term implications we need to consider?
    We’re thinking plastering would be better, but obviously more expensive for contractor and messy for us – I imagine we will have to empty the room completely!
    I would really appreciate some unbiased advice

    Date posted : April 10th, 2017 at 5:24 pm
  38. Adrian Says:


    If this is a new build isn’t it the building contractors responsibility or covered under NHBC? Paper should be seamless, but plastering would be better if joints can not be re-done?

    Date posted : April 13th, 2017 at 1:58 pm
  39. Deepak Says:

    Hi Adrian – Total newbie in painting. There was a small torn patch in lining paper on a wall and whilst starting to prep, for some stupid reason I decided to tear it bigger so now its a irregular shape torn lining paper about 9 x 4 inches. Its not coming off anywhere else to be honest and is well stuck on the wall. Should I just fill fine surface filler and sand? Or any other tricks you suggest please? Thanks !

    Date posted : May 5th, 2017 at 12:22 pm
  40. Adrian Says:


    If you haven’t still got the torn piece of lining paper to stick back, a fine surface filler should be OK. Be careful not to apply it too thick as rubbing it down could cause more damage to the surrounding area. Best to fill it twice if needed. Also, use a fine sandpaper so not to rough up the surrounding paper.

    Date posted : May 5th, 2017 at 1:12 pm
  41. Gina Says:

    I want to make an ugly painted breeze block wall smooth in my downstair’s foyer. Would lining paper be a good choice for this project? It is not in a basement and has no moisture issues. Any info on what grade to use would be appreciate if possible.

    Date posted : July 2nd, 2017 at 12:38 am
  42. Adrian Says:


    You don’t say if it a plastered wall or not. Paper wouldn’t sick to the blocks too well without having it plastered first. If it is plastered it would be fine to line.

    Date posted : July 5th, 2017 at 3:35 pm
  43. Sarah Says:

    What a wonderful, informative site!

    I have a question about lining paper / wallpapering and some advise would very much be appreciated. I have an old cottage with very uneven walls – the unevenness is quite extreme on one wall in one bedroom, with depressions of perhaps 1-2cm over maybe a metre wide patch. Would (patterned) wallpaper over lining paper be suitable here or would it look terrible? The other walls are not so bad so it may be that this wall could be painted instead. What would you advise?

    Date posted : July 3rd, 2017 at 4:19 pm
  44. Adrian Says:


    Wallpaper over lining paper would be OK. Could the depression be filled? It would depend on the type of pattern as to how much the imperfections show, a busy pattern should disguise it more than a plain one.

    Date posted : July 5th, 2017 at 3:50 pm
  45. Clive Cernuschi Says:

    I wallpapered a room some years ago with plastered walls that had been painted, although when I stripped off the original paper some of the paint came off leaving patches of bare plaster. Although I used a lining paper prior to the wallpaper the patches of bare plaster showed through. I am decorating again and would like to know the best way of preventing the same thing happening again.

    Date posted : July 24th, 2017 at 8:57 am
  46. Adrian Says:


    You could try a thicker lining paper, I typically use 1400 gauge. Or a fibreliner which is thicker still, but this is more expensive. The other alternative is filling before lining but this is time consuming.

    Date posted : July 27th, 2017 at 4:07 pm
  47. Alan Says:

    My daughter recently purchased a 150 year old ground floor flat which had been unoccupied for 4 years.
    We have had walls professionall skimmed to a high standard. I have then started lining the walls after applying a think coat of emulsion and then pasting the walls ie sizing. It is now some 10 days and there are still quite a number of bubbles showing which is annoying because the walls were perfect. Do you think the bubbles will disappear in time? Should I refrain from lining the other rooms or do you have hints that would help prevent this when lining the other rooms?

    Date posted : August 25th, 2017 at 12:52 am
  48. Adrian Says:


    Did you use a non Vinyl emulsion? Did you seal the walls with anything. I’m wondering it the bubbles are the emulsion or the paper? The bubbles may go if it is the emulsion and it dries out, if however it is air bubbles under paper these wont go, try using a pin to prick the bubble and see if that helps.

    You say the walls have been skimmed to a high standard, so why line the walls? Can you not just paint or wallpaper them?

    Date posted : August 26th, 2017 at 1:54 pm
  49. Sue Says:

    We have a bedroom where the emulsion has bubbled off the wall and flaked away in places. We assume that this was due to insufficient preparation after removing wallpaper. We want to emulsion the walls again so is lining paper the way to go or is there an easier way?

    Date posted : October 13th, 2017 at 11:32 pm
  50. Adrian Says:


    You can fill, sand and fill and sand until smooth, or fill and sand the deepest bit and then line with 1400 gauge or above lining paper.

    Date posted : October 14th, 2017 at 3:54 pm
  51. Judy Says:

    I have a freezing cold drafty passage and I would like to know what is the difference between 1400 grade lining paper or a higher grade like 2400 grade to using graphic lined paper?

    Are there any variation in graphic lined paper?

    What types of paste and consistency of paste is advisable to use?

    Date posted : November 29th, 2017 at 4:45 pm
  52. Adrian Says:


    Have you looked at Thermal Liner? It is around 3mm thick. This uses a ready mixed paste.

    Date posted : November 30th, 2017 at 1:45 pm
  53. Christine massey Says:

    I am decorating my living room with just lining paper on 3 walls and then just going to emulsion it what grade lining paper will be best to use

    Date posted : January 7th, 2018 at 12:22 pm
  54. Adrian Says:


    Depending on the state of the walls, but I typically use 1400 gauge/grade.

    Date posted : January 7th, 2018 at 1:52 pm
  55. David Says:

    I have standard wall paneling that I would would like to cover as opposed to remove. I would like to have a finished wall of wallpaper so I intend to first cover the paneling with a lining paper. What prep do I need to do to the paneling and what thickness of lining paper should I use to insure that the paneling groves will not show through to the finished wall?

    Date posted : July 19th, 2019 at 7:23 pm
  56. admin Says:


    I have never done this myself, but possibly fill the groves and use a think lining paper such as 1400 or above or maybe fibreliner.

    Date posted : July 20th, 2019 at 2:13 pm
  57. Linda Says:

    Hi there
    I have just removed some paint from one kitchen wall
    It started to peel off like wall paper so I ended up removing all but some small patches of paint that would not come off and am left with patches of white filler plaster and normal plaster and unfortunately small scrape marks all over with some holes to be filled Would I get away with washing down prepared wall and applying some pva
    Then applying some wall paper lining Matt emulsion followed by a Matt coloured top coat ?
    Can you advise what best to do? Also on the remaining walls as the paint seems to be a kitchen type paint can I just apply Matt emulsion over I have thoughoughly washed and rinsed thee walls ? (It took 4 hours to peel the paint from the wall !)
    Kind regards

    Date posted : March 30th, 2020 at 11:36 am
  58. admin Says:

    I wouldn’t PVA the wall as this will just form a skin on top of the wall, and could cause problems at a later date.
    I would do all the prp work, filling, sanding, remove loose paint, the line with 1400 gauge lining paper, then emulsion it when dry.
    For the other walls, you should be ok to paint over, just ensure any contaminant such as grease spots are removed.

    Date posted : March 31st, 2020 at 2:13 pm

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