How to Fix Peeling Wallpaper Seams

A bold wallpaper can bring style to any room. Whether you’re trying to salvage the wallpaper in your vintage farmhouse or you had a less than ideal application on your first try, sometimes wallpaper needs a little extra help to look its best.

Peeling seams, bubbles, and tears can all happen throughout wallpaper’s life and it may seem like your only option is to rip it out and start over. But that is not always the case! Many common wallpaper issues can be fixed fairly easily as long as you’re willing to spend some time and have some patience with the project.

Why is My Wallpaper Peeling?

Though the age of wallpaper plays a big part in its appearance and overall well-being, it can also start to peel away from exposure to high humidity or issues with the initial installation, such as dust or debris under the paper or an inappropriate amount of (and quality of) adhesive used. No matter the cause of your wallpaper to not stick, with the proper care your walls can look as good as new.

Assess the current state of your wallpaper and note any imperfections. If they fall into the categories below, good news! You can repair them. Be patient and work slowly with the repairs in order to avoid damaging the wallpaper further and your wallpapered walls will last for years.

How to Fix Your Peeling Wallpaper Problem

Wallpaper peeling at the seams is one of the most common issues homeowners have. Since it is so common, there are tricks and tools to help you repair this little problem with very minimal effort.

You’ll need a bit of wallpaper seam adhesive (solvite wallpaper repair adhesive is good), a small paintbrush, and a seam roller, all of which you can find at your local hardware store or online easily.

First, take the peeling wallpaper and peel it back to the point at which it is still firmly adhered to your wall. The amount peeling from the wall may be so small you cannot grab it, that’s fine. You can still follow the next steps.

Take a small paintbrush and apply the seam adhesive as best as you can to the underside of the wallpaper and then use the seam roller to gently press the wallpaper back to the wall. Use a damp, not wet, cloth to wipe off any excess adhesive.

Getting Rid of Wallpaper Bubbles.

The first step in fixing wallpaper bubbles is to find out if the bubble is just trapped air or if there is a piece of dirt or debris from installation that bubbled up due to humidity over the years. Once you’ve established the cause, you can work on the solution.

For simple air bubbles, you can purchase an adhesive syringe, made specifically for this issue. Very carefully insert a filled syringe into the air bubble and gently fill the air bubble with adhesive. Use a seam roller to firmly press the air bubble down and a damp cloth to wipe away any adhesive that seeps out.

If you feel a piece of debris where the air bubble appears, you’ll need to cut a small slit in the wallpaper and remove the problem-causing speck with a pair of tweezers. Use an adhesive syringe to apply more adhesive behind the wallpaper and roll it smooth with a seam roller. Be sure to wipe up any extra adhesive with a damp cloth.

How to Avoid Peeling Seams and Air Bubbles.

If you do end up having to re-install wallpaper or just decide to add character to another room in your home, there are steps you can take to ensure long-lasting life from your freshly hung wallpaper.

  • Clean the area thoroughly before you begin. As noted above, dust and debris can wreak havoc on your wallpaper down the road.
  • Use the right amount of pressure when smoothing wallpaper. Pressing too hard can cause the adhesive to seep out, making it prime for peeling later on.
  • Always start in the center of your wall and smooth wallpaper outward to avoid air bubbles.

So there you have it. With a little patience and some simple repairs, damaged wallpaper can look like new again. Invest in quality tools and do a proper job and you’ll enjoy your wallpaper for years to come.