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Does lining paper need sealing before wallpapering?

Okay, so this is the test of “the only stupid question is the one you don’t ask” saying.

But does it?

No-one ever mentions it does, and I’m aware cross-lining is partly done to even out porosity. But it strikes me that lining paper is massively porous and will suck out paste from your top paper in an instant, making it difficult to adjust. So will anything bad happen if I give it a coat of HB primer-sealer?

Hi there David what i have done a couple of times is give the lining paper a coat of pva paste the day before i carry out the final papering job, it seals the lining paper and gives a nice slide when hanging your paper,
Hope that helps,


I always size the lining paper the night before with a coat of paste, the same paste as I’m using to hang the paper. This was something my grandfather always did so I just carried on doing it.

I have seen some papers say not to size the lining paper, which of course I then wouldn’t but it does help when hanging, but must say I don’t use PVA as size.

Yes, PVA may be useful for glueing bits of wood together and plastering, but for wallpapering and as an additive to paint, be very careful, it isn’t great.

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Well, that seems to answer my question, thanks gents.

Since I have lots of HB primer sealer, I will use that. Though my customer did change her mind on the location of her last feature wall, so it went on lining paper that had had a coat of vinyl matt, and it didn’t come to any harm.

Thanks again for replies.

I no this is a late reply, but had to comment as lining paper is specially designed for wall-coverings!! So no sealer is required!! cant believe no one else picked up on this?? I don’t think it is wrong to seal/prime the lining paper just a waste of time and money!!!

Well spotted - the fundamental idea that lining paper is massively porous and not compatible with wallpaper isn’t really a good starting point. The primary intention is to make sure the final surface being papered is uniformly “porous” or not, so the paper going on top dries back uniformly.

Do you know the thinking behind your father’s coat of paste the night before, Neil? It obviously worked for a couple of generations :slight_smile:

Not 100% to tell you the truth, but we are talking back in the days when we used to use the old lining paper (the true white one ) which if I remember rightly was quite a course weave (if that’s the right term)and the paste we used to use was the old flour and water ( Boy how old does that make me feel !! )

I can remember if I forgot to size a wall or missed an area, the room use to turn blue when my Grandfather got to it, as the paper would not move or slide at all.

So its just something I just used to do and still carry on doing, it doesn’t do any harm and just helps that little bit when papering.