Why Bother to Smooth the Wall?

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

The wallpaper in the top photo was hung by another installer. They hung the paper right over the slight “orange peel” texture of the wall. It doesn’t look horrible, but I definitely do not like seeing the bumps showing under the paper. In addition, when wallpaper does not have a smooth surface to hold on to, it does not adhere as well as it should. In fact, this paper did have some loose seams.

I hung the paper in the bottom photo, after spending several hours troweling on smoothing compound, sanding, vacuuming, wiping, and priming the wall. There are no unattractive bumps showing under my wallpaper. (The paper is freshly hung in this photo, so there are minor uneven areas from the wet paste.)

While I was finishing up, the homeowner came in and asked, “Is it necessary to smooth the wall before putting up the paper?” I said, “Well, just go look at that other room, and then come back and look at the wall I just did.”

Enough said.

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