Straighten out common wallpaper problems.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Straighten out common wallpaper problems.

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Air bubbles may be caused by specks of dirt underneath that weren’t cleaned during initial application, or simply trapped air. Use a utility knife to slit the bubble with a cross cut. With a glue injector (a syringe with a very thin needle), apply a small amount of wallpaper adhesive. Press the wallpaper back in place by gently rubbing the glue in with your fingers. Wipe away any excess glue using a damp sponge. Use a seam roller for better adhesion.


Small tears can be easily fixed if the paper has not been ripped off. Use wallpaper adhesive and a seam roller to press the torn paper back on the wall. Larger tears, however, need to be patched with leftover wallpaper. Cut a piece of paper larger than the damaged area, and overlay using masking tape, making sure to match the pattern exactly. Along the edge of the new piece of paper, cut through both layers of paper using a sharp utility knife. Pull the new paper off, then the damaged paper. Glue the patch in place, and smooth it down with a seam roller, working from the centre towards the edges.


When not enough paste is applied to the edges of wallpaper, edges can peel and curl over time. Lift the problematic edge with a razor and use a small artist paintbrush to apply adhesive on both the paper and the wall. Use a damp sponge to smooth the paper back into place.


If wallpaper is stretched during installation, it may shrink as its adhesive dries over time, causing gaps in the seams. You can camouflage them by carefully painting the gaps with a colour that matches the wallpaper’s base colour.

Remove crayon marks and food stains from non-washable wallpaper by gently rubbing the spot with an art gum eraser or bread crust kneaded into a ball.