How To Get Rid of

Bubbles in Wallpaper

bubbles in wallpaper

Bubbles in Wallpaper

There are several causes of bubbles/blisters in wallpaper:

1. A weak bond between the wallpaper and wall causes the wallpaper to lift. This can be the result of not applying enough paste, or from an absorbent wall surface that absorbs much of the paste, resulting in the paper not sticking to the wall.

2. Trapped paste that wasn’t brushed out when hanging the paper

3. Trapped air pockets.

4. Not allowing the paper to sit for the required booking time.

How To Stop Wallpaper Bubbling

1. Prepare your wall surfaces properly. Applying a coat of size or primer to the walls will prevent the wall from absorbing the paste.

2. Take time to apply a sufficient amount of paste as evenly as you can across the entire surface.

How To Prepare Your Walls For Wallpaper

Should I Use Primer Or Size?

3. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommended time for booking/soaking the wallpaper. The paper expands during the booking process, and if you hang the paper on the wall before the booking time has expired, the paper can continue to expand on the wall. You may not notice initially, but when it has dried you may find some bubbles.

4. Drying Time – Drafts, humidity and temperatures that are too high or too low can also be the cause of bubbles. Ideally, opening the window for 5-10 mins allowing any humid air to leave the room whenever necessary, is helpful to the drying process.

booked wallpaper being lifted off table by person

When in the process of hanging paper, bubbles or blisters can easily be removed by brushing them to the side of the wallpaper using a soft cloth or wallpaper brush. This process will allow any trapped air or excessive paste to escape at the edges of the paper. Be careful not to apply too much force when doing so, to prevent any damage to the surface of your wallpaper. Brush from the center of the wallpaper out to the edges.

Wallpaper Sticking To The Wall Below The Working Line

We like to refer to the level at which your hands are smoothing as the ‘Working Line’. Once wallpaper starts to adhere to the wall below this level you are going to have to deal with bubbles and creases. This is because the paper sticking to the wall below the working line, will not stick to the wall in the correct place. It will always stick to the wall slightly higher than it should. So as you continue to smooth down towards this lower level, bubbles and creases result as a wave-like ripple will form in the paper. Brush them out immediately.

To reduce the number of bubbles and creases caused by this process, we would suggest you use WallpaperBuddy™ which prevents wallpaper sticking to the wall below the working line.

WallpaperBuddy™ Makes Wallpapering Easy

WallpaperBuddy™ holds the paper away from the wall for you, leaving you two hands free, one hand to glide over the surface of the paper feeling for even the smallest of bubbles, with the other hand following close behind with a smoothing brush to brush them away.

person hanging wallpaper smoothing paper down to wall

How To Remove Bubbles From Wallpaper After It Has Dried

A ‘Wallpaper Syringe’ is specifically designed for applying wallpaper paste. There are several options available, but we would recommend purchasing a syringe that has a hollow metal needle. This type is stronger and better suited for piercing thicker wallpapers.

1. Simply draw up a little paste into the syringe

2. Pierce the bubble and inject some paste underneath the paper.

3. Use your finger to gently spread the paste around the entire area under the bubble. Remember to allow for the correct ‘booking/soaking’ time for the paste to be absorbed into the paper before you smooth the paper to the wall. When smoothing out the bubble, brush from the outer edges towards the ‘Injection Point’, this will allow excess paste to escape through the small hole.

4. Depending on the size of the bubble, it might be necessary to inject paste into more than one place to cover all the dry areas underneath.

For larger bubbles:

1. Use a craft knife to cut a cross shape into the bubble, then peel back the flaps and apply some paste to the back of the paper.

2. After allowing for the correct booking time, smooth the paper from the outside inwards towards the centre of the crosscut.


The good news, the vast majority of blisters and bubbles will vanish once the wallpaper has had time to dry.

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Are you ready to get started? Here’s some more help:

How To Prevent Wallpaper Creases 

How To Fix Wallpaper 

How To Replace A Section Of Damaged Wallpaper