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Should I use lining paper before wallpapering

Posted by Adrian
July 9th, 2013

Do I need to hang lining paper before I put up wallpaper

Is it necessary to put up lining paper prior to wallpapering? in most cases the answer would be no. If your walls are old and have been filled many times or there are lots of imperfections then you may consider lining the walls before wallpapering. Putting lining paper up before wallpapering doesn’t mean you don’t have prepare the walls first, because you do. Preparation is always the most important part of decorating.

Another reason for lining the walls prior to wallpapering would be if the wallpaper is thin, or if it is a foil paper and you need a good sound surface to wallpaper onto. Some manufacturers say on their wallpaper, “We recommend you line the walls first”, in which case it is best to take their advice.

You may also have different finishes on a wall such as gloss where shelves used to be or maybe different strong dark colours that may show through, in this case you could simply use matt emulsion to obliterate the colour and have the same finish over the entire room, or you may decide to use lining paper.

Lining paper shouldn’t be required for heavy textured papers, Anaglypta wallpapers, of woodchip as these are designed to hide imperfections on walls. If you line the walls unnecessarily you are just wasting your time and money.

What grade of lining paper

In most cases 1200 to 1400 gauge lining paper will be sufficient to apply to the wall before wallpapering. However if your walls are in a really bad condition you could use a 2000 gauge lining paper. You can also buy specialist papers such as thermal liners, sound proofing liners and damp proof liners, but typically standard lining paper will suffice.

How do I measure for lining or wallpaper

Before you buy lining paper or order wallpaper you need to know how much to buy. I have written an article on how to measure a room for wallpaper that explains how you need to do it. I have also written a wallpaper calculator so you can work out how many rolls of wallpaper you need to buy.

Things you should know about lining paper

Before you rush out and buy lining paper and hang it there are a few things you should know first, lining paper can shrink when it dries, this isn’t too much of a problem if you are wallpapering over it as long as the gaps are small.

You may also consider hanging the lining paper horizontally, or cross lining as it’s known. This will prevent any joints of the wallpaper laying on top of the lining paper which may lift the lining paper when it dries.

If you use lining paper before you wallpaper, ensure it is well stuck , you don’t want the lining paper lifting once your expensive wallpaper is on the top of it, ensure you soak the lining paper well enough, so it is supple before hanging, ensure plenty of good quality paste is used. Once the lining paper is hung and dry you can go over it with paste to help seal the lining paper and give the wallpaper a little bit of extra stick when you hang it.

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Posted in Decorating Tips | 53 Comments »

53 Responses to “Should I use lining paper before wallpapering”

  1. Dean Says:

    I have hung lining paper and left it to dry for 4 days and now started hanging the top paper. After 2 good drops the third developed a bubble and when I pulled the paper
    back to smooth it out found that my lining paper has also developed a bubble although it was well stuck down and dry. The lining paper was left to expand for the indicated time before hanging.

    Any though how to resolve this problem.

    Thanks Dean

    Date posted : August 20th, 2013 at 12:28 pm
  2. Adrian Says:


    It maybe worth letting the wallpaper and lining paper dry and see if the bubble goes down, sometimes if the lining paper or the wallpaper bubbles it can tighten up again as it dries.
    As for the cause of this issue, well it sounds as if you have done everything right, could simply be the paste had soaked in more in this area, or a patch of filler or the wall that sucked the paste into it leaving the linnig paper dry and now you have put moisture on it, it has lifted.

    Date posted : August 20th, 2013 at 3:27 pm
  3. Dean Says:


    Thanks for the reply, do you think I would benefit from sizing the rest of the hung lining paper in case I have the same problem again.

    Date posted : August 21st, 2013 at 12:19 pm
  4. Adrian Says:


    Yes it could well be beneficial to size the remaining lining paper, this may reveal any more areas likely to bubble and you may be able to slit the paper with a knife and get some paste behind the lining paper.

    Date posted : August 21st, 2013 at 4:06 pm
  5. Elizabeth Says:


    I’m looking to put beadboard wallpaper in a small guest bathroom to hide some imperfections on one of the walls. I prepped the walls as best as possible but still have some bumps showing. Another concern is that one of the walls is in good shape but it’s textured, when I tested a piece of wallpaper, I noticed the texture showing throught the paper…..would lining the walls help with the texture problem? Thanks.

    Date posted : October 28th, 2013 at 9:41 pm
  6. Adrian Says:


    Lining paper could help with the texture problem, depending on how textured the wall is. As an alternative you could try a smoothover product to cover over the texture and then apply the beadboard wallpaper.

    Date posted : October 30th, 2013 at 7:59 am
  7. Kate Says:

    Can you tell me with its essential to put lining paper onto fairly new painted walls please??

    Date posted : November 16th, 2015 at 9:00 am
  8. Adrian Says:


    No it isn’t essential. Lining paper is only really for providing a smooth finish before say wallpapering. If the walls are OK then no need to.

    Date posted : November 19th, 2015 at 2:38 pm
  9. paul Says:

    I am papering one wall with a designer paper, the wall is good with matt paint on it, but it says for best results use lining paper, do you need to use lining paper with good walls, or are they just covering there backs.

    Date posted : June 21st, 2016 at 7:24 am
  10. Adrian Says:


    As it says to line the walls it is best to, if for any reason you have to claim, the claim may not be valid if you don’t follow the instructions. For the sake of a few pound I would line the walls, better safe than sorry 🙂

    Date posted : June 22nd, 2016 at 2:03 pm
  11. Jaime Says:

    I just put lining paper up, how long do I have to wait until I put regular wallpaper on top?
    Thank you

    Date posted : September 14th, 2016 at 4:46 am
  12. Adrian Says:


    Normally overnight is ok, but it depends on the drying circumstances in the room, humidity, heat, airflow, absorbency of wall etc. So a day / 24 hours should be ok.

    Date posted : September 14th, 2016 at 8:22 am
  13. siobhan Says:

    ive hung lining paper vertically and now need to do feature wallpaper over it – will it be ok? the lining paper is abut 1 inch wider than the wallpaper.

    Date posted : September 14th, 2016 at 9:25 am
  14. Adrian Says:


    Yes it will be fine. Just work out the wallpaper so if you can the wallpaper joints don’t fall on the lining paper joints

    Date posted : September 14th, 2016 at 12:58 pm
  15. siobhan Says:

    hi Adrian,
    we are hopng to finish feature wall today as we have visitors coming to stay..would you be free to reply asap as they arrive tomorrow )-:

    Date posted : September 14th, 2016 at 10:33 am
  16. Howard Says:

    I’ve put lining paper on a wall and 30 mins later papered over this with the wallpaper.
    Later that night I’ve noticed that the wallpaper is peeling off. Is this because I didn’t allow sufficient drying time?

    Date posted : November 27th, 2016 at 11:10 pm
  17. Adrian Says:


    Yes this would be the reason. Ideally you should allow lining paper overnight or until dry before wallpapering over it.

    Date posted : November 28th, 2016 at 7:55 am
  18. Susan Says:

    Do u need to use lining paper on bare plastered walls

    Date posted : November 30th, 2016 at 7:47 pm
  19. Adrian Says:


    No you don’t need to use lining paper on new plaster.

    But you should seal new plasterwork. For paper, size the plaster. For paint mist coat with a non vinyl paint.

    Date posted : November 30th, 2016 at 8:00 pm
  20. john Routledge Says:

    i have lined the walls, however change of mind. We have decided on an embossed paper which is lined it’self. Do i need to strip the lining paper i’ve already hung

    Date posted : December 13th, 2016 at 2:35 pm
  21. Adrian Says:


    No need to strip lining, just try and make sure the lining paper and embossed paper joints don’t fall in the same place.

    Date posted : December 13th, 2016 at 5:02 pm
  22. MRS. KOBI Says:



    Date posted : February 7th, 2017 at 10:10 pm
  23. Adrian Says:

    I’ve never wallpapered over tiles.

    Date posted : February 8th, 2017 at 1:29 pm
  24. Gary Says:

    After damp apeared on certain walls I first painted them with damp seal then aplied damp proof foil followed by lining paper,I now wish to finish by using a textured vinyl wallpaper would this be ok.
    Thank you.

    Date posted : February 13th, 2017 at 1:15 pm
  25. Adrian Says:


    If the cause of the damp has been fixed then it should be ok.

    Date posted : February 15th, 2017 at 3:52 pm
  26. Kathy Says:

    The wall I want to wall paper has a rather heavy “orange peel” texture, and I do not wish to sand it down. Should I apply liner paper before hanging my wallpaper?

    Date posted : March 5th, 2017 at 7:50 pm
  27. Adrian Says:


    It depends on the thickness of the wallpaper you intend to put up. If it’s thin then line before. If thick or textured paper then you may get away without.

    Date posted : March 5th, 2017 at 8:37 pm
  28. Kat Says:

    I have quite a long wall to line and don’t want to hang it horizontally will it be ok to hang vertically before putting wallpaper on?

    Date posted : June 28th, 2017 at 8:43 pm
  29. Adrian Says:


    Yes it is Ok to hang vertically before wallpapering, just work it out so the joints of lining paper and wallpaper don’t layon each other, sometimes it can lift if they do. It is normally OK as lining paper is wider than wallpaper.

    Date posted : June 29th, 2017 at 3:11 pm
  30. morg Says:

    We are doing a temporary installation using wallpaper paste and A3 printer paper on a plaster wall. Need to remove and make good afterwards with a steamer and i am wondering if liner would be beneficial to the making good process, would it come off easier that copier paper as it’s more absorbant?

    Date posted : October 31st, 2017 at 10:37 am
  31. Adrian Says:


    Lining paper maybe the best option. You shouldn’t need a steamer to get it off. Just a good soaking with water and it should come off ok.

    Date posted : October 31st, 2017 at 6:58 pm
  32. Alan Says:

    Hi… I have lined the walls and plan to paint 3 of them and paper the other….. Should I paint the lined wall I plan to wallpaper over, its a paste the wall paper or is it okay to just apply the paper straight onto it……. Thanks for any advice you can offer…

    Date posted : December 1st, 2017 at 1:57 pm
  33. Adrian Says:


    No need to paint wall you are papering, you can paper straight onto it.

    Date posted : December 1st, 2017 at 3:48 pm
  34. Alan Says:

    Thanks Adrian.. Didn’t know if it was better to paint the lining paper before papering over incase it made it easier if the paper was ever removed but now I know… Cheers.

    Date posted : December 2nd, 2017 at 1:04 am
  35. Alan Says:

    Hi Adrian…

    One last thing, I am painting some of the walls but some small gaps have appeared between the pieces of lining paper, I have started to fill some of the gaps using Red Devil filler but was wondering if I should stop and paint first as I have read some posts that say Paint first then fill and others that say the opposite,,, Thanks..

    Date posted : December 4th, 2017 at 1:26 pm
  36. Adrian Says:


    I always fill first should any gaps appear. Just be careful not to rub paper to hard as it may fur up.

    Date posted : December 10th, 2017 at 3:19 pm
  37. Gill Says:

    Hey Adrian,
    Thanks for the replies that you have posted on here. You have managed to answer everything I would ever have had to ask for my current project.
    Well done 🙂

    Date posted : January 17th, 2018 at 9:36 am
  38. Adrian Says:


    Glad you found the answers you were looking for.

    Date posted : January 17th, 2018 at 1:42 pm
  39. Dee Says:

    Hi, we have bought a good quality embossed paper for our hall stairs and landing. The area has just been plastered and will be sized before papering once the plaster dries. Have never used embossed paper before – always lined the walls and used anaglypta or similar. Do I need to use lining paper first?

    Date posted : August 20th, 2018 at 4:39 pm
  40. admin Says:

    No you shouldn’t need to line the new plaster. Embossed paper will be fine over sized new plaster.

    Date posted : August 24th, 2018 at 3:37 pm
  41. Moya Says:

    I plan to paper a new sheetrock panel and have a wallpaper that recommends a lining paper.
    Do I prime the sheetrock first, then apply lining paper, then apply wallpaper primer again on top of the lining paper?

    Date posted : December 9th, 2018 at 12:14 am
  42. admin Says:

    I would prime the sheetrock, then hang the lining paper, you shouldn’t need to prime the lining paper before the wallpaper, just use the wallpaper recommended wallpaper paste.

    Date posted : December 9th, 2018 at 1:09 pm
  43. Carmen Says:

    Hello –
    We are planning to hang paperbacks fabric wallpaper that has hand painting on it. It was quite pricy and don’t want to mess it up.
    The instructions said to use lining paper first. Which we’re prepared to do even though wall is brand new. Our only fear is that the horizontal seams of the lining paper will show through the wallpaper. Any thoughts?

    Date posted : December 27th, 2018 at 3:03 am
  44. admin Says:


    If you butt the joints together or leave a 1mm gap then the horizontal joins will not show, if once the lining paper is on the walls, check the joints to make sure there isn’t any overlapping, if there is these can be gently rubbed smooth with a fine sandpaper before hanging the top paper.

    As the manufacturers suggest using lining paper first, I would do so, just in case there are any problems and you need to claim from the manufacturer.

    Date posted : December 28th, 2018 at 3:05 pm
  45. Dave Says:

    I have just hung some new lining paper.

    Do I need to size the lining paper before hanging the new wallpaper.

    I would appreciate your feedback



    Date posted : January 11th, 2019 at 10:21 pm
  46. admin Says:


    Yes, I would.

    Date posted : January 12th, 2019 at 12:39 pm
  47. MIRIAM Bloch Says:

    Hi, I am putting good quality wall paper on several walls of a newly built house. I have a guy who says he will not under any circumstance put wallpaper without using a liner paper. Obviously this doubles the price of another guy that says he doesn’t need to put lining paper. Which one should I hire for the job?

    Date posted : April 7th, 2019 at 11:23 pm
  48. admin Says:

    @MIRIAM Bloch

    What does the wallpaper manufacturer suggest?

    Date posted : April 9th, 2019 at 1:02 pm
  49. Susanne Says:

    I’m lining a wall to then paper over with a thinish paper. The top paper is a paste the wall type. Is this ok when using with a liner or will the lining paper just suck up all the paste? Thanks.

    Date posted : March 25th, 2020 at 11:09 am
  50. admin Says:


    It is OK to use lining paper first, ensure the lining paper is well stuck and dried before wallpapering with the top paper. If you use ready mixed paste and apply a good even coat you should be OK.

    Date posted : March 25th, 2020 at 11:36 am
  51. Deb Says:

    Hello. I used oil base primer on paneling. Applied wall liner with good quality paste. Let dry 36 hours. What do I primer wall liner paper with before applying wallpaper ? Do I use oil based primer over the wall liner paper again? Thank you

    Date posted : July 1st, 2021 at 7:23 pm
  52. admin Says:

    Once you have applied wall liner / lining paper you can simply hang the wallpaper straight onto it.

    Date posted : July 2nd, 2021 at 1:53 pm


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