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How to Replace a Section of Damaged Wallpaper

You can replace a small section of damaged wallpaper using a piece of extra wallpaper in a matching pattern. Follow these easy step-by-step instructions.

More in Windows Walls and Doors

replacing a section of damaged wallpaper
  • Time

    2 hours

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty

    Easy

Highlights:

Step 1: Cut Out a Patch of Wallpaper

Cut out a rectangular patch that's a few inches bigger than the damaged area. You can use a piece of wall covering that was left over from when the covering was initially installed. If you don't have a piece, look for a place where you can "steal" a patch -- such as behind the refrigerator, inside a closet or behind a mirror.

cut out patch of wallpaper

Step 2: Prepare the Adhesive

Determine how the original paper was applied. If it was pre-pasted on the back, you'll need to dampen the back of the patch with a sponge to activate the adhesive; otherwise, coat the back of the patch with a thin layer of wallpaper paste.

prepare back of wallpaper patch

Step 3: Cover the Damaged Area

Making certain that your patch lines up precisely with the pattern on the installed wall covering (Image 1), press the patch firmly into place (Image 2) and wait for three to five minutes for the paste to set.

Step 4: Make a Cut-Out

Once the paste has had a chance to set up, use a utility knife with a new blade and a straightedge to cut a rectangle around the inside of the patched area (Image 1). Cut straight lines to form a neat cutout and avoid overcutting the corners. Once you've made your cuts, remove the portion of excess wallcovering surrounding the newly-cut area.

Then, very carefully pull off the newly-made patch from the middle (Image 2).

Step 5: Remove the Damaged Wallpaper

Use the utility knife to pull up the newly cut corners of the damaged piece that was underneath the patch, and carefully pull up and remove the damaged section.

pull up newly cut corners of damaged piece

Step 6: Apply the New Patch

Making certain that the patterns match up, press the new patch firmly into place and smooth it over with the wallpaper sponge. Since the new patch and the old damaged section were cut out together, the patch should match the cut out area exactly.

press new patch firmly into place and smooth

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