I have many years of experience in home decor and interior design. In my time applying wall covers and paneling to all types of walls, I’ve learned the ins and outs of how to prep and hang wallpapers even on rough plaster walls as many are asking the question: “Can I Put Wallpaper On Plaster Walls?”

Yes, and with the right techniques and materials, you can succeed in applying wall cover even on rough cement walls to give them a fresh new plaster look.

In this Nousdecor guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to hang wall covers on rough or structured plaster walls.

Key Takeaways

  • Whether you can put wall cover on cement walls depends on the structure and texture of your original cement.
  • Rough cement surfaces require a bit of extra preparation work but still allow applying new wall covers for a revamped look.
  • Proper cleaning, repairing damages, and priming provide an acceptable surface for wall covering even rough cement.
  • Using heavy-duty stickies and carefully applying the wall cover allows the finish to adhere smoothly.
  • With some practical solutions for every wall, you can achieve beautifully patterned wall cover installation even on rough cement.

Can I Put Wallpaper On Plaster Walls’ Rough Surface?

The short answer is yes, but there’s more to it than just a simple yes.

Plaster walls, known by the term cement or render, have been used for centuries to provide decorative finishes in homes. There are many different types of cement, from polish rendering with cement or synthetic resin to structured, grainy stucco cement.

If your home has original cement walls, they likely have some roughness and texture to them that can make wall covering difficult. However, with the right preparation, you can succeed in applying the wall cover without issues.

Yes You Can Hang Wallpapers on Plaster Decor

Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Wall Condition: The thickness of your plaster and whether layers of paint or wallpaper were previously applied impact the surface. Painted-over wall cover or damaged cement requires extra work.
  • Type of Wallpaper: Vinyl wall covers are more flexible and easier to apply on uneven surfaces than paper wall covers.
  • Wallpaper Adhesive: Heavy-duty stickies designed for coarse surfaces allow the wall cover to adhere properly.

While each wall will have its own needs, there are solutions for applying new wallpapers even if the original cement has a coarse surface. A bit of extra preparation provides an acceptable surface for the wall treatment.

How to Strip Prepare Smooth Plaster Walls for Applying Wallpaper

If your cement drywall is untreated or just painted, they may provide a polished enough surface for applying wall cover without much prep. But if layers of paint or old wall cover were used, you’ll need to strip the walls and prepare them before hanging new wall cover. Here’s how:

  • Clean the Walls: Use TSP cleaner and water with a sponge or rag to remove dirt, grease, and soap residue. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Repair any Damage: Fill holes, cracks, and uneven spots in the cement with spackling wallpaper paste. Smooth with a putty knife once dry.
  • Prime the Walls: Apply 1-2 coats of latex paint wall primer using a paint roller. This seals the surface and improves wall cover adhesion. Allow the primer to completely dry.

Once your walls are prepped with these steps, they will provide the polish, and clean surface needed for proper wall cover installation.

Use TSP cleaner and water with a sponge to remove dirt
Use TSP cleaner and water with a sponge to remove dirt

How to Hang on Walls with Rough Plaster Surface with a Wallpaper

For walls with rough cement, extra steps are needed to ensure the wall cover adheres properly for a polished finish:

  • Measure and Cut the Wallpaper: Measure each wall height from top to ceiling and cut the wall cover to size. Allow extra length for trimming.
  • Apply the Wallpaper Adhesive: Use a heavy-duty, oil-made wall cover sticky solution suitable for structured walls. Dilute the paste mixture slightly. Apply an even coat to the back of the wall cover using a paint roller.
  • Hanging Wallpaper: Starting from the center of the room, polish the wall cover onto the wall. Remove bubbles and wrinkles using a smoothing tool.
  • Trim the Wallpaper: Once dried completely, use a sharp razor to trim excess paper on the ceiling, flooring, and corners.

Proper adhesion and careful smoothing are essential for the wall cover to adhere evenly to the rough cement surface. Allowing the wall cover to thoroughly dry prevents lifting or peeling issues.

Tips for Wallpapering Walls with Rough Plaster

Following these tips will help ensure success when hanging wall covers on tricky cement walls:

  • Use a heavy-duty wall cover sticky solution like dif wall cover paste designed for rough surfaces and difficult-to-hang papers.
  • Apply the sticky solution evenly on the back of the wall cover to prevent air bubbles and wrinkles during hanging.
  • Smooth out the wall cover carefully using a wall cover smoother to press it into the texture. Work from the middle to the outer edges.
  • Allow the wall cover to dry completely – up to 24 hours – before decorating to prevent moisture issues.

With the proper preparation and materials, you can achieve beautiful patterned wall cover installation even on walls with rough cement. A little extra care goes a long way!

Tips for Wallpapering Walls with Rough Plaster

For more wallpaper or art print ideas, why not consider visiting our article on Islamic art prints for wall decoration?

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, as long as the paint is in good condition. Scrape off any flaking or peeling paint, then prime before wall covering. Oil-based primers work best on cement.

Wall liners provide an extra polish surface for wall covers. But with proper prep, they usually aren’t necessary for small jobs. For extensive wall covering, a liner may be easier.

Heavy-duty, oil-made stickies like dif wall cover paste provide the strongest bond on cement’s rough, porous surface. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Yes, using a wall cover steamer helps soften the sticky solution to gently remove the wall cover from the cement. Go slowly to avoid damaging the original wall surface underneath.

Clean thoroughly with TSP or vinegar solution. Sand down high gloss finishes. Fill any cracks or holes with spackle, then apply oil-made primer. This provides the ideal surface for wall cover.


With a little bit of extra preparation, you can achieve a successful wall cover installation even on challenging cement walls. Proper wall cleaning, repairing imperfections, and priming are key to providing the polished surface wall cover required to create premium choices for wall adornment.

Carefully applying the wall cover with a heavy-duty sticky solution and allowing adequate drying time helps it adhere evenly, even on structured cement. With some practical solutions suited for all walls, you can refresh your home with a beautiful new wall cover, even on older cement surfaces.

Interested more in plaster art? Check out our articles on plaster tile wall art Pottery Barn, crafting exquisite plaster arch wall art, and collecting antique plaster wall pieces now!

Similar Posts