A 'hidden door" wallpaper applied to door as well as wall makes a secret entry

Can you put wallpaper on any surface?

If you are feeling creative with your wallpaper application and wondering what surfaces wallpaper can be stuck to we will answer that question for you. Maybe you have a surface such as laminate, glass, metal or timber to cover. This question may arise at times like a walk in robe getting a makeover or furniture upcycling.

Some up and coming clever wallpaper trends are to create a hidden door and the back face of a shelving unit.

So while it’s fantastic to think outside the box with your interior designing you need to ensure the idea will work beforehand to avoid disappointment. To answer any questions you might have surrounding how wallpaper sticks and what it can stick to, read on.

Apartment Therapy wallpapering furniture
Photo from Apartment Therapy

What wallpaper can't stick to and why

An often asked question is can wallpaper can be stuck to doors? If they are flat wooden doors doors the answer is yes. But any shiny surfaces such as laminate, metal or glass are not porous and so when wallpaper paste is applied it does not have anything to adhere to and can’t dry. Therefore the wallpaper will literally slide off the surface!

Are you questioning if there is any way you can make this work? The answer is yes as long as you prep correctly first. To begin the surface must first be primed with an appropriate sealer. You would then apply your wallpaper as the final step.

But if you want to skip this extra step altogether; a sticker style wallpaper will be the right product to use. Peel and stick products can be applied directly onto laminates, glass etc. 

Kismet Thibaut wallpaper installed behind shelves

The surfaces wallpaper can be applied to


The ideal surface to apply wallpaper to is timber or MDF. But first you must  prime the surface with a sealer coat, if it doesn’t already have one. Here a water based undercoat is recommended in most cases. Do not use oil based or gloss paint.

A great tip for you is; if you have a dark wallpaper consider painting surface with a darker colour. And vice versa for lighter colour wallpaper.

Another pro tip is ensuring the surface is sanded, filled and prepped. This ensures a smooth finish for the wallpaper which is super important. It is a bit of a myth that wallpaper covers all imperfections and often the opposite is true!

Any wood veneers cannot be sanded as this would damage the surface. However when planning to use wallpaper on this type of surface, as above, they first have to be pre-treated by applying the correct primer.

If you still have some unanswered queries we are always here to answer any them. We are also available to send you a quote to complete your wallpapering project professionally if you are based in Brisbane.

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Etons of Bath photo from Houzz featuring faces wallpaper over a "hidden" door and wall
Etons of Bath Photo from Houzz

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