How can I hide my ugly-ass wallpaper?

Updated Oct 12 2015
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Vintage Wallpaper, by: Monica RoddeyCC BY 2.0
I read the "How to hide the ugly" post, and felt like banging my head against my ugly wallpaper.

I live in a small and cute mobile home in the country.

The main problem concerning my home is the horrible interior walls.

The trim screams "these walls are stapled together" and the wallpaper is bold in a way I can't appreciate for the next numerous years.

What can I do to cover ugly wallpaper and fix the tacky trim?

Amanda

Are there any other Homies out there living with fugly wallpaper? How do YOU hide the ugly?

  1. We live in a mobile home and we popped off the trim, took out the nails and puttied the seams. Then we primed the walls with Killz and painted over that terrible mobile home shiz. I'm making the assumption that it's not actually wallpaper but the standard vinyl interior sheetrock stuff that most mobile homes use. Now our walls look like your standard interior wall.

  2. When my brother got his apartment, he was taken with the quaint style of the complex and it's proximity to everywhere he goes, but he was taken aback by the strong urine and smoke smell. So he point blank asked the landlord if he could paint the walls and change out the carpet and pad. And the landlord agreed and gave him what colors were acceptable.

    After hearing about this, a friend of mine (it sounds like her place is very similar to yours), asked her landlord if she could paint/hang new wallpaper or anything, and she was told she could paint in the kitchen, but the wallpaper stayed in the rest of the house. So she got a bunch of lightweight curtains and hung them, as well as some calming prints to hang in places (like above the windows) that weren't ideal for her curtain idea. The result is actually very calming and the soft colored curtains reflect light much better than the old wall paper – it's like a different house.

    • I was going to suggest this too, we did this in our old apartment to give it more life where we couldn't make any permanent alterations

    • I was also going to suggest this. We did this in my home office, primarily because I couldn't find a wallpaper I liked but found a fabric I loved. It works like a dream, though I would recommend doing a small wall or space first so you can get the hang of it.

      I will be doing more of the same in my home in a number of places. We have plaster and it cracks like crazy… so the fastest, cheapest and easiest way to hide a crack…or several is removable fabric wallpaper. 🙂

  3. I'm not entirely sure what your wallpaper really looks like. But I'm wondering if "mood lighting" could help. I am thinking colored up-lights that could at least change the color of what you see. If up-lights are too complicated, try tacking up some rope lights, or those "nets" of twinkle lights. The rope lights will attract the eye to it, and the nets will cover the wall completely. This will increase your electric bill, but is completely changeable and removable to suit your mood.
    Another trick is to put all your big furniture against the walls. Not only does this cover the ugly, it will help with your heating & cooling efficiency so will lower your utility bills.

    • There you go! Problem solved: Craig's List it.
      Or donate it to the starving kids in Africa. I hear they have no wallpaper either.
      🙂

    • That's not my wallpaper although I don't hate it. My paper has large roses on it with some vines. My bathroom wallpaper is a geometric design with burgundy's and hunter greens. I hate those two. My living/bedrooms/dining area have a white shimmery paper that I like for the most part and will continue to tolerate. But the bold prints are constantly clashing with my other decor. I have painted one bathroom, plan to pain the other soon and the kitchen will be tackled in the future.

    • This reminds me that Spoonflower.com now does wallpaper, so you could even design your own walls if you want. I'm not sure if it's removable or not, but there are some pretty cute options.

  4. Also staying in a mobile in the country – also with the ugly walls. We were supposed to only be here temporarily, so instead of putting the labor in to remove the trim, fix the walls, then paint, we just covered the walls in hangings. The five by seven wall next to me has fifteen pieces on it. The wall hanging overload mostly distracts from the pattern of the 'paper' but I do wish I'd taken the effort to remove trim, putty, prime, and paint before we moved in (and hung so many things). Not having those seams staring at me all night would have made our increasingly less temporary stay here much easier…

  5. If you own the place (or have a nice landlord) it's not a big deal to take down those strips of "trim" that hold the seams of the wall panels together, fill in the cracks with putty, and sand them down so the wall looks like regular wall. I agree with the above poster who suggested Kilz over the wallpapered panels. They aren't actually covered in wall paper, they're a fused kind of thin wallboard with the paper glued onto them, so whatever you do DON'T try to peel it off like regular wallpaper because I can tell you from personal experience that it will result in heartbreak and disaster. Kilz it, let it dry a couple of days, and paint it whatever color you want. We did it; it took about a week to take all the trim down and putty the cracks and a weekend to paint the place, but it made a world of difference in how it looked. I never had a problem with the paint peeling off the wallboard, because Kilz is awesome, and the people we rent it to now have painted over our paint job with their own colors and it's still fine.

    • I've heard conflicting opinions on this. Some people have really bad luck when they peel off their "paper" because it can adhere weirdly. And if it's left up for a really long time, the fabric can stiffen and degrade, which also makes it hard to remove.
      So I guess if you're gonna do it, make sure it's a really short period of time (less than 1 year).

  6. I lived in a tiny mobile home (smaller than many modern day campers) for a few years. It came with dark dark walls that made everything feel even tinier. We painted everything a plain off white color – and it immediately it felt twice as big. Then, we picked up a bunch of bright colors from the clearance pile at a big box store. We used these to paint the fronts of the drawers and knobs. Most of my kitchen things, as well as textiles throughout the living space (the windows were so small I could use cloth napkins as curtains), were quite bright anyway. With the light colored walls we could easily change the look with a different throw or wall art on a whim, and still keep it feeling as large as possible.

  7. Temppaper. It is temporary wall paper. Great for renters or trying out a new look. There is even a blank one that you can draw on!
    Have fun.

  8. Pack of scrapbook album paper you like and double-sided tape. Takes time, but the effect is better than what you don't like underneath.

  9. A wonderful CHEAP remodel of your walls can be done with the paper bag floor method. It works great on walls too. I purchased rolls of brown paper that is the color of paper grocery bags at Dollar Tree for $1.00 each. You mix Elmers glue and water 50/50 and dip large torn pieces and gently squeeze the excess liquid off. This creates crinkles in the paper. Smooth the pieces on the wall and over lap the pieces an inch or so. When the wall dries it will be darker than the original brown paper and looks like suede. The paper will bubble some while drying, but will flatten out as it dries. Use the straight edges of the paper for your wall borders. I purchase a half gallon of glue at Hobby Lobby for $20, but the sold another brand for $10, which I juw think will work just as well. I did 23 feet in length if walls and only used half of the glue and 6 six rolls of paper. You can leave the wall as is or you can paint it. You can also polycrilic the wall for a gloss, but I feel gloss brings attention to imperfections. The nice thing about this process is it hides imperfections on the walls.
    Surf the net for "paper bag floor" and you will see many variations of what I did.

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