Types of wallpaper, wall coverings to use

The walls are the horizontal dimensions that in the space design. If you don’t like to paint in any home or office wall decoration, you have cool alternatives of wall coverings and wallpaper. However, many people wonder what wallpaper they should use. So before you go with any style and texture, you should know what type of wallpapers and wall coverings are in the market, which I will mention them in my article.

Types of Wallpaper

Wall paper is a paper often colored and printed with designs and pasted to your wall in your decoration work. You can cover the all the walls or only one wall of your room with wallpaper. If you like to create a focal view in the design, you can focus only one wall. However, if you prefer an unvarying design style, you can cover all the vertical surfaces with paper.

There are different types of papers to choose that the choice of selection depends on where you will use in bathroom or in bedroom, which type of print you like to see or what type of appearance you like to see in your room. Here is the list of wallpapers that you can buy.

Venetian pattern by William Morris.
Venetian pattern by William Morris. Original from The Smithsonian Institution. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

1-Hand-printed paper

As V&A writes that the earliest wall or furniture coverings were small sheets of papers and, the hand-printed techniques enabled the production of the long rolls and production of larger repeats after mid-17th century. (1) These techniques are block, flock, screen and stencil printing.

Block Printing

In block printing, you transfer the pattern that is carved on wood clock by painting the block with ink. The idea of this printing is that you placed face down the ink painted block on the paper.

Screen Printing

The screen printed wallpaper, which hand prints, silk screening, hand screening, or serigraphy are other names, is a special technique that design (called stencil) passes through a frame onto the paper.The screen is a rectangular frame with a fine polyester nylon woven mesh (at present) or a silk (usually in the past) stretched across it.

First you have to cover the screen and stencil (which is the design) with a photosensitive polymer, and then exposed to a special light that makes the screen with polymer into an impermeable surface. Then remove your stencil that the screen underneath permits the paint transferred on to the paper. This is the basic logic of the screen printing.

Decorative vintage flower ornament seamless pattern paper.
Decorative vintage flower ornament seamless pattern paper.

2-Machine-printed paper

When you transfer the print onto the paper with machine, then you get the moss popular and common  machine production. “The thinner the paper the cheaper the wallpaper is that they may distort if over-soaked with paste before you hang them.

The cheaper papers have the design printed directly onto the paper, whereas the more expensive ones are coated with a ‘ground’ of color before the design is printed.” (2)

Surface Printing

People invented machines for the automation, thus having the mass production papers. The earliest machine printing that is still in use is the surface printing. A large print cylinder- approximately 1.5 mt. diameter- transfers the texture on paper with water-based ink.

Embossed Printing

“This has the design pressed into it with a metal roller so that it stands out in relief. ” The Pan or Through Printing are synonyms of the embossed.

"Flock wallpaper" by Design and Technology Association is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0.
Flock wallpaper” by Design and Technology Association is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0.

3-Flock paper

If you want a velvet appearance, you should choose the flock paper. On the surface of the flock paper is “the attached silk, nylon and wool cuttings  so that the design stands out in relief and has a noticeable pile.”

"Woodchip & Pencil" by monikahoinkis is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Woodchip & Pencil” by monikahoinkis is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

4- Wood-chip paper

The wood-chip paper (or ingrain paper ) has “oatmeal texture” on top surface that is produced by the addition of small wood chips and sawdust to the pulp during the manufacture. Different kinds of wood-chip papers have unique forms and a variety of sizes of fibre pieces.

After placing the paper on the wall, emulsion paint is the final finish. The advantage of the wood-chip paper is that it covers the cracks and uneven surfaces. It creates a texture on the wall when compared with the plain surface of the plain paints.

In 1980s, they were popular; however they need hard work for the installation or removing. At present you can find more mass produced productions or even wood-chip looked papers on the market. Here, is an example of easy to paste and remove wood-chip paper.

Wood-chip Wallpaper.
Woodchip wallpaper.

5- Washable paper

This type, having a glossy or matt transparent coating  protecting the paper against damp, is suitable for use in bathrooms and  kitchens. You have to be careful, when cleaning the paper. You are sure to wash with mild warm soapy water, but not scrub it

Mica wallpaper
Mica wallpaper.

6- Mica prints

Mica paper is a sheen texture as it comprise of different structures and combinations of mica. These mica are added to the grounding to give a satin like surface, which cause to glitter at the same time.  You will love the sparkle and jewel like stones of this mica papers. It is perfect for  creating glitter fleets that catch the light and reflect it on the wall. You can find them here.

The moiré wall paper from tm-interiors.
The moiré wall paper from tm-interiors.

7- Moirés

“The moirés has a watered silk effect similar to French moiré silk that is achieved by means of fine emboss. this effect may also be reproduced on papers by printing.” (2)

These moirés combine and superimpose “two or more different geometrically regular patterns, which a   two sets of parallel lines that are at a slight angle in a classic pattern,” as pointed by TM-Interiors.

Decorative Paper from page 337 of Jezebel's Daughter (1880). Original from British Library. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.
Decorative Paper from page 337 of Jezebel’s Daughter (1880). Original from British Library. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

8- Ready-pasted wallpaper

Ready pasted wallpaper has an adhesive in dry form that is applied to the reverse side of the paper that you have to activate the adhesive for wall application. First, roll up the paper that the reverse side comes out and, then submerge the roll into the water tray for about 30 seconds or a minute maximum. It is my advice to check the specs of the wall paper for the timing.

When the back is wet and the paste is sticky enough, you can hang the paper on the wall. This is easier and quicker when compared to paper without any adhesive. You don’t have to buy additional adhesive or brush. However, you may need more frequent maintenance than the papers with classic installations.

9- Lining paper

Lining paper has the effect of taking away any minor imperfections on the surface is to be wallpapered or painted. In the market, are there grades- that is the signifier of the weight of paper- ranging from 800 to 2000 for lining paper. The most common grades are 800 and 1000 for basic decorating works, whereas the 1200 and 1400 grades are for rough and damaged walls, and 1700 and 2000 are for heavy damaged walls.

It is essential to use lining paper to even some the wall and on some painted surfaces, but it is also advisable to use it before hanging heavy weight papers. If the surface is subject to movement such as battened wallboards, then you can prefer cotton-backed lining paper.

Vintage floral ornament seamless pink pattern background
Vintage floral ornament seamless pink pattern background



How to estimate and buy

Most wallpapers, except the hand printed bespoke ones, are sold in rolls that are 10.05 m. (11 yds) long and 530 mm. (21 in.) wide.

You can check the number of rolls you need from this table, which I used couple of sources.

How to calculate how many rolls of wallpaper you need.
How to calculate how many rolls of wallpaper you need.






1- A brief history of wallpaper, V&M
2- The RD’s complete DIY manual