Does Wallpaper Look Better When Dry?

Wallpapering is a great way to change a room’s look and vibe. It also allows you to inject a personal touch into any space, especially since there are endless wallpaper designs and pattern options. However, wallpapering a room isn’t a simple process because it calls for a lot of patience on your part, particularly when waiting for the wallpaper to dry after application.

Wallpaper looks better when dry because it looks smooth and spotless, and your design will look nicer. Wet paper looks untidy and will give your room an unfinished, disheveled look. It is best to give wallpaper adequate time to dry so that you get the most out of it.

This article will discuss how long wallpaper should be left alone to dry and why it’s crucial not to skip or improperly speed this step up. Then we’ll discuss the factors affecting wallpapers’ drying rate and tips on how to safely speed up the drying process. Let’s start!

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy. Thanks for supporting Bloom in the Black!

How Long Does It Take for Wallpaper To Fully Dry?

Wallpaper takes 2–7 days to dry fully. It must be allowed to dry naturally in a well-ventilated space, and the drying process should never be artificially accelerated. Leave windows and doors open, and never touch the wallpaper until it’s completely dry.

Why Does Wallpaper Have To Dry?

Aside from the obvious aesthetic reasons for allowing wallpaper to completely dry, there are also certain risks you will avoid by waiting for the natural drying process to finish. You will get the most out of your redecoration efforts by simply being patient. 

Here are some of the risks of dealing with wet wallpaper:

  • Peeling. Wet wallpaper can quickly peel when you or a piece of furniture accidentally rubs against it. Anyone will agree that peeled wallpaper is a ghastly sight. 
  • Ripping. Wet wallpaper can rip at the slightest touch, exposing you to the risk of having bald patches on your newly-revamped wall.
  • Uneven surface. Bubbles and dips can form in the adhesive underneath and even on the wallpaper itself, making your wallpaper look bumpy and uneven.

Shop this wallpaper on Etsy

Factors That Affect Wallpaper Drying Time

Different types of wallpapers dry at different rates. Drying time depends on several factors you must be aware of so you can plan efficiently on how to redecorate the rest of the room. Remember that it is best to leave your newly-wallpapered walls undisturbed until they dry completely before you can rearrange furniture or hang your paintings. 

Here are some factors that significantly affect wallpapers’ drying rate:

Wall Surface Condition

Your wall should be prepared for wallpaper application to encourage faster and proper drying. Ideally, there shouldn’t be any holes and gaps on the surface since these can create problems later on with how well the wallpaper will be able to adhere to the wall. Fill in any cracks and holes with spackling paste or powder fillers, depending on the size of the gaps or holes. 

Here is how to fill in small holes and gaps in a wall:

  1. Use a putty knife to fill in the unwanted spaces. Spackling paste is your best bet because this patching compound is proven to last longer. 
  2. Allow the paste to dry. To check, lightly dab your finger directly on the paste to see if it’s still sticky. You’ll know it’s fully dry when it feels as solid as the wall.
  3. Lightly sand the affected areas. This gets rid of any indentations and rough patches that may, later on, give your wallpaper an uneven appearance. 

Note that larger holes, typically those more than 5 inches in diameter, should first be covered with a bridging material, such as a galvanized-metal patch or a piece of drywall before spackling paste or powder fillers can be applied. This ensures that the patching compound won’t collapse into the hollow space

Room Conditions

Adequate ventilation is crucial in how quickly wallpaper dries. A bright room that enjoys fresh air circulation within its walls will encourage wallpaper to dry sooner than one that is dingy and stuffy. Adequate amounts of heat are also a factor that can affect the drying rate.

Some people assume that raising the room’s temperature will help speed up the drying process, and turning on the heater is a quick and easy way to do so. However, your wallpaper will most likely shrink when the temperature is too high, causing gaps to form between the adhesive at the back and the wall’s surface.

Instead, keep windows and doors open so fresh air can freely move around the room. This will also allow a good amount of sunshine in. A healthy dose of heat will help with the drying process and will help ensure that your wallpaper dries up nicely. 


It is best to apply wallpaper when the sun is out and temperatures are up. Avoid wallpapering activities during wintertime or the rainy season because temperature drops and the dampness in the air will make wallpaper dry out slower. The extra humidity may also cause problems on the wallpaper’s surface while drying, such as bubble formation, crease development, and tearing.

Type of Wallpaper Used

It is crucial to read your wallpaper’s label before starting any kind of work. The type of wallpaper used and the recommended application method will significantly affect how quickly (or slowly) it will dry. 

Here are the basic wallpaper types and their application methods:

  • Peel and Stick Wallpaper. This type of wallpaper functions like a sticker. Simply peel it off its backing and carefully stick it to your wall. Among wallpaper types, this is the most practical choice if you like to redecorate frequently because you simply peel it off the wall. I’m a big fan of this type and have rounded up my favorite peel and stick wallpaper from Etsy for you.
  • Non-Pasted Wallpaper. This wallpaper is like wrapping paper — there is no adhesive or paste at the back. The advantages are that you can choose which type of adhesive to use, plus it typically lasts longer than other types of wallpaper.  
  • Pre-Pasted Wallpaper. A particular type of paste has already been applied to the back of this type of wallpaper. All you need to do is add some water to the paste, and you’re good to go. The drawback is that this type of wallpaper doesn’t last quite as long as the others. 

Type of Adhesive Used

The type of adhesive used with your wallpaper can also influence its drying time. For instance, traditional cold water wallpaper pastes dry much slower than vinyl-based adhesives. On the other hand, clay-based wallpaper adhesives are practical, especially for first-timers, since they don’t dry as quickly as vinyl-based adhesives. You get to enjoy more time adjusting the wallpaper, but you don’t have to wait too long for it to dry like traditional wallpaper paste. 

Shop this wallpaper on Etsy

Tips To Properly Dry Your Wallpaper

Sometimes, you just can’t rest on your laurels and wait for your wallpaper handiwork to dry. After all, once it dries, you’ll be able to bring all the furniture back in, hang paintings, and redesign the room to your liking. We’ve all been there — You can’t wait for the final results! 

There are some natural and safe ways to speed up your wallpaper’s drying time without compromising its quality and strength. Here are some tips:

  • Ventilation. Proper airflow is vital in helping your wallpaper dry faster. Make sure the room is well-ventilated at all times. Invite fresh air in by keeping all windows and doors open.
  • Dehumidifier. Proper ventilation won’t do much good if the weather is wet and if you live in a humid area. A dehumidifier will aid in the drying process by significantly reducing moisture in the air. 
  • Portable heater. Turning on your home’s central heater may not be a good idea, but using a portable one won’t do any damage. Just make sure you keep it a reasonable distance away from your wallpaper. 
  • Paste as you go. Rather than applying paste to large areas of non-pasted wallpaper, paste as you go. This simple trick helps eliminate the risk of blister formation and will ensure that the paste won’t dry out. Make sure you apply adhesive all the way to the wallpaper’s edges to prevent them from folding and peeling. 

Final Thoughts

It’s best to wait for wallpaper to fully dry before doing practically anything else in the room. It can take about a week or so, depending on several factors, such as environmental conditions, type of wallpaper used, and manner of application. It is crucial to allow your wallpaper to dry correctly so that you end up with beautiful, smooth walls.

There are some tricks that can help speed up the drying process, but make sure to do things correctly. The keys to proper wallpaper installation are following instructions, skill, and a whole lot of patience.