Can You Wallpaper Textured Walls? What You Need to Know

Wallpapers come in a wide range of designs and styles, which makes them a very easy method to remodel a room. However, in order to hang wallpaper, you typically need a smooth flat surface to work on. This shouldn’t be a problem when we’re talking about regular walls, but can you wallpaper textured walls?

The answer to this question depends on the type of textured wall. The less textured it is, the higher the possibility for the wallpaper to stick. The best way to be sure is by small-scale testing. You can also try skimming or lining paper in order to flatten the wall and apply wallpaper.


If you want to find out more about wallpaper on textured walls and how to get it, this article has got you covered with all that you need to know. So without further ado, let’s dive in!

Is It Possible to Put Wallpaper on Textured Walls?

Technically speaking, putting wallpaper on textured walls is possible, and in some cases, the wallpaper might just stick properly. However, just because it works, doesn’t mean that you should do it.

To know how this happens, you should first understand the way wallpaper works. Ideally, wallpaper is a type of paper that is glued to the wall by pasting it over.

This means that in order for the wallpaper to stay attached to the wall it needs to be in almost full contact with the wall until it sticks and beyond, and therefore, it’s ideal to have a flat wall in order to have the maximum surface area of coverage.

The problem with the textured wall is that its nature makes the wallpaper stick to the bumps and flat parts of the patterns while missing the grooves, which can affect the wallpaper either functionally or aesthetically, and here’s how:

Functional Problems

Although wallpaper is basically a form of paper, that doesn’t mean that it is lightweight. In fact, if you hold the rolls of wallpaper needed to cover a room before hanging them on the wall, you’ll realize that they can be a bit heavy, which creates a pulling force that makes it fall off the wall.

Of course, all that weight is distributed among the wall, so each square inch of the wall has little wallpaper weight that can be pasted with some glue.

However, in a textured wall, the total weight of the wallpaper is distributed on fewer square inches, and therefore, an extra pulling force is now acting on the wall and the glue, which may end up causing the wallpaper to not stick and fall off.

Aesthetic Problems

Textured walls come in a wide range of patterns, and these patterns have different ratios of bumps and grooves. 

In fact, some patterns have a decent level of flatness in their design that the weight of the textured wall is still properly supported by the wall. In other words, they won’t fall off or cause functional problems.

However, even if the wallpaper still holds up, the bumps and grooves of the wall behind the wallpaper might end up showing up from beneath the wallpaper, deforming the overall pattern of the wallpaper.

Picking the right wallpaper can help a lot as well. Some are a lot stronger than others.

The problem here is usually less pronounced when using solid wallpaper, but it gets more noticeable if you opt for a wallpaper with a geometric pattern, so you have to keep that in mind.

Different Textured Wall Patterns and Wallpaper Compatibility 

There are plenty of common wallpaper patterns and textures out there. So, let’s have a quick overview of some of the most commonly used ones and see whether you can attach the wallpaper to them directly:

1. Cottage Cheese Texture

Also known as “popcorntexture. This one is one of the most popular textures out there and is known for covering up imperfections like a charm. It is possible to remove this, as outlined below. The video is about a ceiling but the same works for walls.

The pattern is composed of bumps and grooves similar to the texture of popcorn or cottage cheese, hence the name. Unfortunately, applying wallpaper to this rough pattern can be extremely difficult.

2. Skip Trowel Texture

This texture is created using the trowel which resembles an uneven or unfinished wall before spreading the material evenly with a skimmer

Despite that, the pattern has a lot of even surfaces, so applying wallpaper would work, although it wouldn’t look as appealing.

3. Orange Peel Texture

Similar to the cottage cheese one, this one resembles the dimpled look of an orange peel. Although the surface of this textured is rough, it can still work with a wide range of textured walls, especially if you’re using solid colors or patterns that don’t have a geometric shape.

4. Knockdown Texture

This one also has a pattern of bumps and grooves. However, the knockdown texture flattens those bumps to create an even wall with some indentations here and there. 

This is actually one of the most wallpaper-friendly types of textured walls, though never as good as a wallpaper on a flat wall.

How to Turn Your Textured Wall into Wallpaper-Friendly One: use the right cover

As you can see, no matter how wallpaper friendly your textured wall is, it will always be inferior to flat walls and may still show some imperfections around. 

Luckily, you don’t have to tear down the wall and make a new one in order to apply wallpaper, instead, you can opt for one of the following solutions:

  • Skimming the Wall: You can simply hire a professional to apply joint compound on the wall in order to fill the gaps created by the textures and sand down any bumps to flatten the wall all the way. You can also do it yourself if you’re handy enough.
  • Lining Paper: Lining paper is a type of paper that is applied to textured walls in order to make them more even or flat. After it dries, you can easily apply the wallpaper lining paper and get excellent results.

Wrap Up

With that said, you now know whether you can apply wallpaper on textured walls. As you can see, the answer mainly depends on the pattern of the wall and whether there’s enough “flatness” in your pattern to have as much contact with the wallpaper as possible.

Although some patterns might work with some forms of wallpaper, such as orange peel and knockdown, they might not be as reliable or aesthetically pleasing as you want them to be.

For that reason, it’s always recommended that you make your wall as smooth as possible using the previously mentioned methods before attempting to hang wallpaper there.

We have discussed if you can paint over the wallpaper here.