Wallpapers add flavor and style to the home. From brightening up bare walls to changing the look of a particular room, there are so many things you can do with wallpaper.
There is no wallpaper without wallpaper glue. That is why we, the cleaning king team, went searching for the best glue for wallpaper. With so many types and brands on the market, it can be hard pinpointing which product will work best for you.
There are standard pastes that you apply to the back of light to heavy wallpaper. Commercial-grade glues that work best with pasting machines and small tubes meant for spot repairs or other forms of wall paper.
It’s even more challenging when you discover that there are different types of wallpaper materials and not every glue works with every material. Some wallpaper materials require specific glues or pastes. The surface also plays a significant role, because wallpaper can be applied to different surfaces, not just walls.
To find out what different types of wallpaper glues are available and what they are best used for the cleaning king team has prepared this guide for you.
Let’s look at the types of wallpaper glue that you may come across before we begin the product review.
Cold Water Paste
Cold water paste is a glue that comes in powder form. To use it, you will have to mix the powder with cold water. The paste is made from a wheat or other starch-based powder.
Because the water-based paste takes long to dry, it is more forgiving so you have a chance to correct any mistakes. The only challenging part about using this type of wallpaper glue is getting the consistency right.
If you mix it too thin, the glue will run everywhere and if it’s too thick, it will get lumpy. You can use cold water paste on most wallpaper materials and it is easy to remove because it is water soluble.
All Purpose Paste
All-purpose glues are the jack-of-all-trades when it comes to glues. They come in powder form or ready-mixed. Usually these pastes contain fungicide to prevent the growth of mold.
If you want to use wallpaper in high-moisture areas like the kitchen and the bathroom then a glue with fungicide is the best choice.
Heavy Duty Paste
Heavy-duty pastes are usually vinyl-based. This type of glue dries pretty slowly so they are very good to use on heavy wallpaper. Using a heavy duty glue on heavy wallpaper removes the risk of it falling before the glue dries. The paste only sets once exposed to the air.
Just keep in mind that a vinyl paste is harder to remove than a cold water paste. So if you frequently change your wallpaper stick to other types of wallpaper glue.
Paste the Wall Adhesive
There are some wallpaper glues that require you to paste the wall instead of the wallpaper.
Ready to Use Paste
Ready-to-use wallpaper glues do not require mixing the paste. They can be used straight off the shelf. This means you don’t have to worry about getting the consistency correct.
They do, however, tend to be more expensive. They are often vinyl-based, making them difficult to remove.
Removing wet wallpaper stains
If you are applying wallpaper and you notice some stains, the best way to avoid spoiling your wallpaper is to remove the stains immediately before they get dry.
Fresh, wet paste stains are hard to notice if they’re in insufficient light. So make sure you are either working in the daylight or in a well lit room when you begin your wallpaper project. This will help you not to overlook these stains.
The following steps apply regardless of the type of wallpaper or wallpaper glue that you use.
Step 1: Always wear gloves
Wallpaper is a delicate surface and wallpaper glue is very sticky. You can easily rip apart your wallpaper because you didn’t notice some glue on your hands. This is a very common problem because your focus is usually on finishing the work as soon as possible.
Avoid using rubber or plastic gloves because the glue tends to stick to those types of surfaces. They are also hard to work with when you are handling a delicate material like wallpaper. Thin cotton gloves help by protecting your hands and protecting the wallpaper as well. They are easy to clean and won’t rip out your wallpaper.
Step 2: Get rid of the excess paste
Try to soak up the excess paste using an absorbent cloth or a paper towel. Make sure the cloth is lint free otherwise you can ruin your wallpaper with annoying cloth fibers sticking on it. Avoid rubbing the paste off.
Step3: Saturate the spot with water
You must then moisten the spot with warm water. Saturate the cloth with water and a sponge then carefully dab off the remaining paste.
Do not use detergents or any chemicals, just use clean water. Wallpaper doesn’t do well with harsh chemicals, they erode the material.
Removing dried paste stains
Dried paste stains have a shiny or white matt look. Depending on the type of material that you use, it may or may not be easy to remove it. You will need to be very patient so that you don’t rip off your wallpaper.
Step 1: Re-moisten the paste
The first step you’ll need to take is to saturate the dried up paste stains. Use lukewarm, clean water with no detergents or harsh chemicals.
Step 2: Use a lint-free dry clean cloth
Use the dry cloth or a paper towel to dab off the stains. Avoid rubbing, scratching or scrubbing, this will ruin the wallpaper. If the stains haven’t budged, repeat the process as necessary.
Always remember that some pastes can be hard to remove without causing damage and never use detergents or harsh chemicals on your wallpaper.
Overall Best Glue for Wallpaper
We at cleaning king thoroughly scoured the internet to try to find the overall best wallpaper paste and we think the Zinsser Sure Grip Universal Wallcovering Adhesive takes the cup.
Aside from the glowing review, this starch best all-purpose paste is our jack-of-all-trades. You can apply it to any surface making it the most multi-purpose wallpaper glue on the market today.
You can apply it on non-woven wallcovering or traditional pre-pasted or non-pasted wallpaper or borders over vinyl. It comes with a convenient roller applicator bottle makes application easy.
For a wallpaper glue to be classified as the best it needs to be strong, lightweight, readily available and it must take time to dry. It comes with a mildew-resistant formula which provides excellent adhesion while making removal easy later. The formula is non-staining and you can clean it up with water.
Best wheat based wallpaper glue
The GH-34 wallpaper glue by Roman is a wheat based paste ideal for hanging certain non-woven wallpapers such as pulp, grass cloth, and string cloth. These types of wallpapers are usually unpasted and that is why this glue works great on them.
The GH-34 provides superior wet-tack and can be used for installing heavy wallpaper as well. It dries clear, is non-staining and is strippable when used with most fabric-back wallcoverings.
Cleaning is easy as water usually does the trick. It is easy to work with and can be used with a pasting machine, paint roller or brush.
This glue by Roman is a heavy-duty paste that is compatible with wallpaper machines. It is best used for medium to heavy wall covering because of its high tack features.
This extra-strength adhesive has a thick non-runny consistency that makes DIY application easier. The formula is designed to flow through a pasting machine with ease but a paint brush or a paint roller can work just as easily.
Whether you are applying to the wall directly or to the wallpaper itself, this glue is great for both scenarios. It is easy to clean and the paste dries clear, leaving no visible residue.
The cleaning king team rated this glue as the best for beginners because of its long working time. It will give you time to make adjustments and correct any errors that you might make.
This Pro-555 is a specialty high tack, low moisture paste that is great for use on new vinyl wallpapers.
Made specifically for vinyl surfaces, it is great for hanging vinyl wallpaper over surfaces where maximum adhesion is required. So if you have a tricky surface that needs extreme tack, this is the glue for you.
It has a thick consistency that makes it easy to use, especially with a paint roller or a brush. It does not flow easily through a pasting machine so it’s best to use it with a paint roller or brush. This wallpaper glue dries quickly and can be used to on heavy to medium weight wallpaper.
The cleaning king team found that this seam repair wallpaper glue by Red Devil is great for repairing small spots on your wallpaper.
It is the best solution for repairing peel or torn wallpaper. The small tube features an easy-to-use applicator that allows for more accurate application. The EZ Squeeze patented device allows you to wind up the tube as you work, this ensures a steady supply of the glue so that you can apply it evenly.
It provides a powerful bond between the surface and the wallpaper and stops peeling in high-moisture areas such as the bathroom and the kitchen.
It is odorless and easy to clean up with water. It adheres to plaster, wood, wallboards and drywall. It can be used on vinyl or textured wallpaper. Over all this is a great small tube to have in your home.
Installing wallpaper with glue is a simple but taxing process. Some glues may not work on certain wallpaper materials which can be frustrating. So ensure that you read the manufacturer’s instructions so that you are not disappointed when your wallpaper peels off.
Tools you’ll need
For your walls:
Step1: Prepare your wall
Wallpaper needs you to prep your walls before you install it. This means filling and sanding any imperfections of cracks in your wall. You also need to clean the wall with detergents and soap.
If your surface also needs for you to pre-paste, then this is the time to do so.
Step 2: Do your measuring
Planning where to start and how to start is important. Have all your measurements in place and envision the end result.
Also remember to consider the time of day, because installing wallpaper works best in natural light. It helps you see paste stains or mistakes that might need correcting.
Step 3: Apply the glue
Depending on the paste that you purchase and the wallpaper material that you have this process can be different.
You can paste the wall with the glue to let it soak (usually used for traditional wallpaper) or paste the back of the wallpaper using your glue of choice. Apply the glue using a roller if you are pasting the wall because it’s quicker. A paint brush might take too long.
Use a paint brush to apply the paste on the top of the wall, above the skirting or around sockets. This will help you avoid lifting when the wallpaper dries.
Step 4: Install the wallpaper
You can hang the wallpaper dry from the roll. Make sure to lightly brush the wallpaper in place as you move towards the skirting. Also ensure that the wallpaper is straight before you brush it down using the smoothing brush.
Once you are done, cut off any excess wallpaper at the top or bottom with your scissors or knife.
Contact paper/ peel-and-stick is an inexpensive alternative to wallpaper. It usually has a design or pattern on one side and glue on the other. It is sold in rolls and can be measured to fit your space.
Contact paper is durable, easy to apply and it is temporary unlike some wallpapers. The removal process for contact paper is easier than that of wallpaper. All you need is a hairdryer to heat up the paper so that it peels off easily.
The adhesive residue left by the contact paper can be washed off using an adhesive remover. Contact paper is great if you are leaving in a rental because it is a temporary thing unlike some wallpapers.
Contact paper does seem to have issues with bubbles appearing after installation. It’s also not as durable as traditional wallpaper. The adhesive can peel off because it is more vulnerable to humidity, heat and col. This makes it a bad choice for bathrooms and kitchens. Other than these issues contact paper is a great wallpaper alternative.
Wallpapers are a great way to have fun with the styles and colors in your home. But choosing the right adhesive is necessary for repairing seams and for the easy installation and removal of the new wallpaper.
The best glue for wallpaper should be easy to apply and should be able to give a strong hold without making it difficult to remove or clean.
We at cleaning king chose the Sure Grip Universal Wallcovering Adhesive as the overall best glue for wallpaper because it can be used on multiple surfaces, it is easy to apply and clean and it contains a fungicide.
If you have non-woven wall paper the Roman GH-34 Paste for unpasted wallpaper is the best choice. It offers grip and dries clear so your fabric backed wallpaper will not stain. The Red Devil wallpaper seam repair is excellent if all you need is a simple nip and tuck.
The Sky Liners team has tried in this guide to showcase the best glues that you can use for different purposes. For durability, for beginners and for those with special wallpaper materials. We have also outlined the type of glues for wallpapers that you can purchase as well as a guide on how to apply glue and install your wallpaper.
We hope that this guide will help you decide which glue is suitable for your wallpaper and that you will have an easy time applying and installing your next stylish wallpaper.
Wallpaper is a great way to update the look of your home. The numerous designs, styles and colors can add style and character to any dull living space. It can cover imperfections and depending on the type you pick, you can redecorate as often as you want.
Repairing your wallpaper is tricky. You need a glue that comes packaged in a tub with an easy-to-use applicator. This will help you accurately apply the glue to the peeling area. The Red Devil wallpaper seam repair is a good choice.
Yes, you can, but it is not recommended. These surfaces are non-porous, meaning they do not have any absorbent qualities. They are smooth and they won’t provide enough adhesion for the paste to stick.
Yes you can, provided that the wood is absorbent, untreated, free of varnish and dry
Yes, some wallpapers can be a challenge depending on how they were installed in the first place. Certain wallpapers like paste-the-wall are easier to remove than the traditional wallpapers.
No, you cannot. Superglue is not designed to be used on wallpaper. It will mess up your walls. Avoid using spray adhesives too.
The consistency of any wallpaper should not be too thick or too thin. Too thick and the paste will form lumps, too thin and it will start to run and be messy. It might even reduce the adhesive strength of the glue.
Yes you can, in fact traditional wallpapers require you to paste the wall first so that the surface can soak in the paste.