Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Preparing for Wallpaper: A Short Guide for Kitchen Refacers

by Melissa Bullard
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

Refacing your kitchen cabinets is a great way to bring a fresh look to your kitchen for a cost lower than replacing them. If you're looking for other inexpensive refreshers, wallpaper is another way to make a big difference for just a little money. One of the greatest advantages of wallpaper is that it is a fairly do-it-yourself friendly project. If you're willing to work carefully and invest a little time in preparation, you should be able to complete the project without the help of a professional. Here's some basic information on wallpaper types, wallpaper adhesives, and wall preparation to get you started looking for the perfect wallpaper.

Different Types of Wallpaper

There are many different types of wallpaper, but not all are appropriate for kitchen use. If you're putting wallpaper in the kitchen, with its fluctuating temperatures and humidity levels and the potential for splashes and spatters, you'll most likely want to use either vinyl coated paper or paper backed vinyl, also known as solid sheet vinyl. Both vinyl coated paper and solid sheet vinyl are scrubbable and resistant to grease and moisture, making them good choices for the kitchen. Typically, these types of wallpaper are also strippable, meaning that they are designed to peel off easily once you decide to remove the wallpaper.

Wallpaper and Adhesives

  • Unpasted wallpaper has no paste on it. Therefore, you'll need to look at the package for the type of adhesive the manufacturer recommends and use that when applying the wallpaper to your kitchen walls. Most wallpaper adhesives are applied to the back of the wallpaper itself, but there are some adhesives that are applied directly to the wall instead of the wallpaper.
  • Prepasted wallpaper, as its name suggests, comes with paste on its back that needs to be moistened. Typically, you'll fill a tray with water, roll up a sheet of wallpaper and soak it in the water for a specified amount of time. The water moistens the glue, enabling the wallpaper to stick.

Preparing Your Wall

Once you've got the wallpaper pattern and type you want, make sure your kitchen wall is clean and smooth before you actually hang it. Use spackling to fill in any cracks or nail holes, and sand any excess plaster. Wipe the walls with warm water and if there is any mildew, make sure to remove it with a mild bleach solution. The walls should be completely dry before you apply the wallpaper.

Once you've picked your patterns, bought your wallpaper, and prepared your wall, you're ready to add pattern, color, and style to your kitchen walls.

About the Author
Melissa Bullard earned a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, then a Master's Degree in Spanish Language and Literatures from the University of Nevada, Reno. She has taught writing, literature, and Spanish classes, and is currently working as a fre

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