Is Wallpaper Good for Damp Walls?

This article discusses if wallpaper is good for damp walls. One of the common issues that homeowners have in their home is damp walls. Water can easily get into the house in many ways like condensation and leaky plumbing. Dampness can lead to molds which can be a problem if you decide to wallpaper your walls. Can you put wallpaper in damp walls? We will find out the answer below.

Is wallpaper good for damp walls? Wallpaper is not good for damp walls. Do not use wallpapers on damp walls because prolonged exposure to moisture will cause the wallpapers to peel off. Moreover, covering damp walls with wallpaper can lead to mold which can damage the walls.

What is the best way to treat a damp wall? How to treat damp walls before wallpapering? Does wallpaper hold moisture? Is wallpaper waterproof? These are some of the questions that we will discuss. If you are dealing with damp walls and would like to know if it is okay to cover the walls with wallpaper, you can check out the rest of the article for more tips and information.

Are Wallpaper Damp Proof?

Not all wallpapers are damp proof. As a matter of fact, regular wallpaper can easily get affected by damp, humidity, and moisture. If the wallpaper is not labeled waterproof or moisture-resistant, it is best that you do not use it on rooms that with high level of humidity or walls that are damp. Otherwise, you will end up wasting your money, time, and effort because the wallpaper will not last for long and can easily get damaged. Aside from that, you will also risk damaging your walls from the mold that can grow behind the wallpaper.

Does Wallpaper Hold Moisture?

Wallpaper can hold moisture. This is because moisture can get trapped behind the wallpaper which results to the build-up of mold. Mold can damage the wall and the wallpaper. Most wallpaper cannot handle humidity and should not be used in humid and moist areas like the bathroom. However, some wallpaper can be used in humid areas. You can purchase fabric-backed vinyl wall covering which are commonly used in hotel bathrooms and can withstand moisture.

How to Treat Damp Walls before Wallpapering

To treat damp walls before wallpapering, you first need to determine what form of damp your walls are dealing with. Take note that there are many forms of damp like condensation, rising damp, and penetrating damp. Each type of damp needs specific treatment. Once you have determined the form of damp on the wall, you can proceed with the proper treatment. Let us learn more about the different forms of damp below.

Rising Damp

This form of damp is caused by moisture that rises from the ground level to the structure of your home. Rising damp is a common issue in older buildings but it can also occur in newly built homes. When dealing with this form of damp, it is best that you hire the services of a profession to find out the cause and to fix it properly.

✅ Video – How to Repair Rising Damp in A Wall

Our Build shared the video below on YouTube. It talks about how to repair rising damp in a wall. Rising damp is a common issue in a lot of homes and this can be a problem if you want to wallpaper your walls. Check out the video below for tips and information on how to repair rising damp in a wall.

Penetrating Damp

This form of damp is caused by water in the walls and the leaks travel horizontally. This occurs when moisture is trapped and cannot escape. The good thing is that penetrating damp can be treated in different ways. Make sure that you identify the main cause of the issue so that you can handle the treatment accordingly.


This is a common form of damp that happens when moisture in the air touches a cold surface. Condensation usually occurs in areas where there is high humidity like the bathroom. This form of damp is easy to treat because it is a common issue that many homeowner deals with. You can use antibacterial sprays to get rid of mold build-up on the walls.

Is Wallpaper Waterproof?

Take note that not all wall wallpaper are made to be waterproof. However, you can make any wallpaper waterproof. This will require some time and effort but the result is worth it if you want to invest in waterproof wallpaper that can last for a long time.

How to Waterproof Wallpaper

You can waterproof wallpaper by applying coatings of water-based varnish, primer, or emulsion glaze to it. The waterproofing should be done in a place where there is 70 degree temperature and no humidity. You can do the waterproofing after you have installed the wallpaper. Below are the steps that you can follow in how to waterproof wallpaper.

Step #1: Prepare the Room

Prepare the room where you will be working by wiping the floor to get rid of dust and dirt. By doing this, you can prevent the wallpaper from being contaminated with dirt and debris as they dry.

Step #2: Prepare the Wallpaper

You also need to prepare the wallpaper hanging on the walls. Look for any peel, cracks, or tears and repair it. Moreover, see to it that all ends and joints of the wallpaper are securely attached to the wall. If there are any cracks in the wall, you need to repair it first or varnish will seep into the cracks and cause the wallpaper to discolor. To protect the wallpaper from stains and varnish, apply two coats of glue over it.

Step #3:  Gear Up and Prepare the Tools

Make sure that you wear a mask or respirator and gloves when waterproofing the wallpaper. This will prevent you from inhaling and getting in contact with harsh chemicals. Next, prepare the varnish or emulsion that you will use by mixing it properly to avoid bubbles from forming.

Step #4: Start Waterproofing

Use a brush to apply the varnish or emulsion into the wallpaper making sure that it is evenly coated. Once you have coated the wallpaper, allow it to dry thoroughly.

How to Remove Damp Stains from Wallpaper?

There are many methods to remove damp stains from wallpaper. One method that you can do is to mix one part of bleach with two parts of water. Wipe a small amount of the mixture into the stained area in the wallpaper and allow it to set for about five minutes. Next, use a clean rag or cloth to rinse the wallpaper. You can also read this article titled, can I wallpaper over damp walls? We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.

What if Wallpaper Gets Wet?

If the surface of the wallpaper gets wet, moisture can seep into the wall. Once the moisture has dried, it will leave a stain on the surface of the wallpaper. Water can also cause the wallpaper to peel. Moreover, water can seep into the wall which can cause mold to grow behind the wallpaper or inside of the wall. You can also check out this article that we have shared that discusses what wallpaper does not damage walls. We have shared more tips and information about the topic.

Does Putting the Heating On Help Reduce Dampness?

Putting your heating on can help reduce dampness in your home but it will not eliminate it. Contrary to what a lot of people believe, it is not actually true that the warmer the house, the less damp there will be. Even if the house is warm, there can still be damp if it is not properly ventilated. On the other hand, infrared heating can effectively get rid of damp formation in your home. This type of heating is often used outdoors.

How Do You Stop Wallpaper from Going Moldy?

One way to stop wallpaper from going moldy is to make sure that the surface of the wall is properly primed. The primer will stop moisture from getting into the wallpaper. Aside from that, the primer will also make the wall more durable as it prevents moisture and damp from seeping into it. We have also shared this article that discusses if you need to prime your walls before wallpapering. Read the article for an in-depth discussion about the topic.

How to Get Rid of Damp Marks on Wallpaper

To get rid of damp marks on wallpaper, you can use ordinary household products like unscented bleach. To do this, remove any residual dirt with the use of a damp rag or sponge. Next, make sure that the area is dry by wiping it with paper towel or cloth. Create a solution by mixing two parts of clean water and one part unscented household bleach. Use a sponge to dab the solution into the stain in the wallpaper and allow it to sir for a few minutes.

Keep an eye on the stain for potential discoloration of the stain and wallpaper. If you notice that the wallpaper itself is fading, wipe the area with clean water. After rinsing the bleach mixture off, use a cloth to dry the area and make sure that no trace of moisture is left behind. You can also check out this article that we have shared titled, is wallpaper cheaper than paint? We have compared the pros and cons of using wallpaper and paint on your walls to find out which is the more affordable option.


In this article, we have discussed if wallpaper is good for damp walls. We have found out that applying wallpaper to damp walls will not only damage the wallpaper but the walls as well. Moisture from the walls can seep to the wallpaper and cause stains, peeling, and other damages. Moreover, it can encourage the growth of mold. Make sure that your walls are dried, primed, and ready before applying wallpaper. Thank you for reading!

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