How to: Fix bubbling wallpaper
Illustration by Emilie Simpson
A weak bond between wallpaper and wall will cause bubbles to form, especially over time. Don’t have the budget to remove old, bubbling wallpaper that still makes the grade on style? Follow these easy steps to smooth it out.
1 Before you begin, feel the bubble to ensure there’s nothing but air trapped under the wallpaper. If there’s something else, such as a bit of chipped paint, you’ll need to remove it before proceeding to step 2.
2 Using an X-acto knife, make a small incision in the paper. To ensure the slit will blend right in when you’re done, keep it as small as possible and let the wallpaper’s pattern dictate its shape (if it’s a polka dot motif, for example, your cut should run along the outer edge of a dot).
3 Press on either side of the bubble, working in toward the incision to push out all the air.
4 Load a syringe with wallpaper glue and squeeze some through the slit onto the wall. Work slowly and apply a healthy amount, but avoid oversaturating the area.
5 Flatten the paper against the wall with a seam roller, applying enough pressure to level the area without pushing out too much glue.
6 Be sure to wipe off any excess glue with a damp cloth to avoid
a shiny blemish when the glue has dried.
7 Repeat on other bubbles as necessary and continue to enjoy your wonderful wallpaper for years to come.
Image courtesy of Ryan Brook/TC Media
To help avoid a bubbly result the next time you hang wallpaper, be sure to use a good smoothing tool. Whether you choose a sponge-topped, bristled or straight-edged smoother is up to you – just be sure to banish every little bit of air.
Tip: Work from the centre out.