What to Know About Paintable Wallpaper

Updated: Oct. 20, 2023

Looking to make a splashy upgrade to a room in your house? Then you might want to consider paintable wallpaper.

Isn’t the point of wallpaper to avoid having to actually paint a room, especially with intricate designs? So what’s the deal with paintable wallpaper?

What Is Paintable Wallpaper?

Paintable wallpaper is a fun way to add texture to any room. You simply apply the paper, then paint over in the color of your choice. Paintable wallpaper is a thick wall covering with a raised pattern, and it can be painted over with flat or glossy paint. Learn how to paint over wallpaper.

Paintable wallpaper is nothing new, but it’s recently seen a surge in popularity among DIYers looking for versatility and ease when upgrading a space. It’s a simple renovation you can do in a weekend.

There are many different patterns and textures of paintable wallpaper to choose from, including geometric shapes, ornate flowers and ones meant to look like wood. Expect to pay between $15 and $50 for a 56-square-foot roll.

What Is Paintable Wallpaper Used for?

The magic behind paintable wallpaper is that it allows you to subtly add dimension to a room. Whether you go for texture or an actual pattern, you get to pick the exact color you want instead of hoping you can find a wall covering in the exact shade you want.

What to Consider Before Installing Paintable Wallpaper

While you can go big and do an entire room with textured paintable wallpaper, this might make the room look busy and smaller than it actually is. It’s best to use it on one wall to make a statement (or cover up minor imperfections). One fun place to install paintable wallpaper is a small powder room, when used as wainscoting or even on the ceiling.

For a traditional look, check out this damask paintable wallpaper.

For a romantic look, consider this curvy wallpaper (shown here).

And, achieve the look of brick with this paintable wallpaper.

How to Install Paintable Wallpaper

You hang paintable wallpaper just like you would install typical wallpaper. Prep the walls, roll on the paste, etc. Just follow the usual steps, but be mindful if the wallpaper you’ve chosen has any specific instructions. Once it’s up, don’t paint it right away! Allow it to rest on the wall for at least 36 hours, before you paint it.

What Kind of Paint Do You Use for Paintable Wallpaper?

There’s no special paint required for this process and you don’t need a primer coat. To achieve a more modern, sophisticated look (and avoid a dated, over-the-top look), we recommend a flat or eggshell finish. With a glossy paint, the texture might stand out too much. Remember, you want to be subtle.

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