Can I Wallpaper Over Damp Wall?

You might be wondering if you can wallpaper over a damp wall. Decorating your walls will make it look more appealing and transform an ordinary room into something that is unique and vibrant. To cater to the needs of the consumers, there are many types of wallpaper that are available in the market. But can you use wallpaper if you have damp walls? Let us learn more about this topic below.

Can I wallpaper over damp wall? It is recommended that you do not use wallpaper on damp walls. Otherwise, you will risk damaging your walls and the wallpaper as well. Moreover, avoid using wallpaper in humid and moist areas like the kitchen and bathroom unless they are water and moisture resistant. Moisture can seep between the walls and wallpaper that can encourage the growth of mold which can damage your walls and also cause health problems.

Why is it bad to wallpaper over damp walls? How to get rid of damp walls before wallpapering? Can damp show through the wallpaper? These are some of the questions that we will discuss. If your walls are damp or the room deals with high moisture level, there are a few things that you need to do before installing wallpaper. Avoid wasting time, money and effort wallpapering if it can easily get damaged by damp walls. Check out the rest of the article below for more tips and information.

Can I wallpaper over damp wall
Image by BUMIPUTRA from Pixabay

Can Wallpaper Be Used in Damp Walls?

Avoid wallpapering damp walls. Damp walls will prevent the adhesive form working properly and the wallpaper will not securely attach into the wall. You might notice that the wallpaper starts to peel off a few weeks after you have installed it. You can also check out this article that we have shared titled, is wallpaper good for damp walls? We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.

Why is it Bad to Wallpaper over Damp Walls?

Moisture, mold, and humidity are some of the reasons why it is bad to wallpaper over damp walls. When it comes to wallpapering, dampness is a common concern for many homeowners. Wall damp can cause issues to rise in the long run which can result to damage in the wallpaper and walls. Moreover, it can also result to mold which can cause allergies and other health risks. Let us learn more about the reasons why wallpapering over damp walls is bad below.


One of the reasons why it is bad to wallpaper over damp walls is that it can cause moisture. Moisture can damage the wallpaper depending on the type of underlying surface. Moisture can seep though the wallpaper and cause stains that may be hard to remove. It can also make the wallpaper appear old and dull because moisture makes it fade faster. The good thing is that there are precautions that you can take so that you can prevent moisture from damaging your wallpaper and walls. You can use exhaust fans and make sure that the room has proper ventilation.


Most wallpaper cannot handle humidity and when exposed to humid temperatures, they can easily get damaged. This is why you need to consider the type of wallpaper that you need to use for a room. On the other hand, fabric-backed vinyl wallpaper is a good option for humid rooms. They are usually used as a wall covering for hotel bathrooms.


Another problem that you might encounter when wallpapering damp walls is mold. This is one of the main concerns of homeowners because mold can cause health issues. Mold that grows behind wallpaper is rare but is not impossible to happen. The growth of mold is usually undetected which makes it even more dangerous.

Can Damp Show through Wallpaper?

Damp can show through wallpaper. It can create stains that might be hard to remove. Furthermore, if you have installed new wallpaper without removing the old ones, stains from the old wallpaper can penetrate through the new ones. Make sure that you remove existing wallpaper before you install a new one especially if the old ones are damaged or have stains. We have also shared this article that discusses if wallpaper is hard to maintain. Check out the article for more tips and information about wallpaper maintenance.

How to Get Rid of Damp Walls before Wallpapering

Identifying the cause, isolating the problem, dealing with the problem, and treating the problem are the steps that you need to take to get rid of damp walls before wallpapering. Damp is one of the common causes of damage to your property. It is important that you deal and treat it as early as possible to prevent further damage that might require a lot of money. Below are tips on how to identify and deal with damp walls.

Step 1 – Determine the Cause

The first thing that you need to do is to determine the cause of the problem. Damp can occur regardless the time or season of the year. You need to check and monitor some parts of your property for any signs of damp especially in places where it usually appears. The walls of your home are usually affected by dampness. You can check this if they feel cold and damp when you touch them. Another sign that your walls are damp is when there is mold growing on them. If you have existing wallpaper, they might start to peel, stain, and discolor.

In a property, the kitchen and bathrooms are the places that are usually affected by dampness. This is because warm and moist air circulates in the room as you bathe or cook. Dampness can also happen in cold basements or any parts of your property that is unheated. Make sure that you do a regular check up and maintenance to determine if any parts of your home is damp or not.

Step 2 – Isolate the Cause of Dampness

Once you have determined what causes the dampness in your home, you need to isolate it. Usually, walls are the common places that dampness occurs. If you have spotted damp signs on your walls, you need to deal with it quickly. Find out what causes the dampness in your walls. You might be dealing with a penetrating damp on upper walls that is caused by a leak in your pipes. It can also be a rising damp which is caused by a broken damp proof course. Moreover, the issue can be caused by condensation where warm moist air gets trapped inside the house and affects walls.

Step 3 – Deal with Damp Walls

If there is dampness in your walls, deal with it immediately. Do not wait for the problem to escalate. You can start by controlling the humidity in the room by opening windows and allowing air inside the house. You can also use an exhaust fan to get rid of humid air indoors.  Once the walls are dried, apply a mold removing treatment in areas that are affected with mold. After removing the mold, apply a special anti-mold paint to prevent the mold from growing back. You can also check out this article that discusses if bathroom wallpaper is cheaper than tile. We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.

How to Prevent Damp Walls?

To prevent damp walls, you need to make sure that the room is free from moisture, condensation, and humidity. You can use consistent heat and ventilation in the room. Another method is to use a damp proof course and to use a special plastering for your walls. You can always hire the services of a professional to provide you with the best solution in how to prevent damp walls in your property.

✅ Video – Condensation and Damp Causes and Prevention

Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing shared the video below on YouTube. It discusses how to prevent the causes of damp and condensation. There are different methods that you can use to effectively prevent dampness and condensation inside your home. Find out about those methods by watching the video below.

Can Damp Cause Wallpaper to Peel Off?

Damp can cause wallpaper to peel off. The common sign of having damp walls is peeling wallpaper. As the damp continues to rise, the moisture level increases which can cause wallpaper or paint to peel away. Wallpaper peeling can be caused by rising damp, penetrating damp, or condensation. Make sure that you identify the cause of the damp so that you can apply proper treatment to the walls. You can also check out this article that disccuses the different types of wallpaper. We have shared a list of options that you can choose from.

Is it Okay to Wallpaper over Damp Walls?

It is not okay to wallpaper over damp walls. Damp can damage the wallpaper causing it to stain, curl, and peel. Moreover, mold can grow unnoticed between the walls and the wallpaper which can cause health issues. Make sure to check the walls before wallpapering. We have also shared this article that talks about vinyl and if it is safe for walls. You can check out the article to learn more about vinyl wallpaper.


In this article, we have discussed if you can wallpaper over damp walls. We have found out that wallpapering on damp walls should be avoided because it can cause a lot of issues in the long run. The dampness and moisture of the wall can cause the wallpaper to easily peel, stain, or get damaged. You will only end up replacing the wallpaper after a few months which is a waste of time, effort, and money. Moreover, mold can grow between wallpaper and the wall which can cause health issues. See to it that you treat damp walls before wallpapering. Thank you for reading!

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