How to Insulate Wallpaper

In general, wallpaper provides no more insulation for the walls in your home than paint. Some types of wallpaper, however, have a design that helps insulate the walls on which you install them. Since you can install new wallpaper directly over old wallpaper without issue, you can use this same technique to insulate your walls. You install insulating wallpaper on the wall first to insulate the surface and then apply any second wallpaper to get the look that you want.

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  1. Fill the holes or dips in all of the walls onto which you plan to install the wallpaper, with spackle. Spread the spackle with a putty knife and run the edge of the putty knife across any filled spots to skim the excess spackle from the surface. Let the spackle dry for 24 hours and sand the spackled spots down to even with the rest of the wall.

  2. Pour wallpaper primer into a paint tray. Roll the primer onto the walls onto which you want to install the wallpaper. Fill in the spaces where the roller wouldn't reach around the edges with a paintbrush.

  3. Cut both the wallpaper that you want to display on the wall and an insulating type of wallpaper, such as cork or jute, into strips four inches longer than the height of the wall.

  4. Fill a paint tray with wallpaper glue. Spread wallpaper glue over the back of the first strip of insulated wallpaper with a paint roller.

  5. Place the first strip of wallpaper on the wall in a corner, lining the edges up with the adjacent wall. Press the wallpaper strip to the wall, starting at the top and working your way down. Roll a wallpaper smoother over the wallpaper strip from top to bottom to work out any bubbles.

  6. Lay the next strip of insulating paper beside the first so that the edges of the strips touch. Line the designs on the wallpaper up as much as possible. If the glue squeezes out between wallpaper strips, use a wet rag to wipe the glue off.

  7. Allow the insulating wallpaper to dry for 72 hours to make sure the wallpaper glue is completely dry. Then, lay the wallpaper that you want to display directly over the insulating wallpaper, using the same application method.

About the Author

Alexis Lawrence is a freelance writer, filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. An avid traveler, Lawrence has visited at least 10 cities on each inhabitable continent. She has attended several universities and holds a Bachelor of Science in English.