What is Blown Vinyl Wallpaper?

Benefits of blown vinyl wallpaper

Wallpaper is a common choice instead of painting, as it covers walls quickly.

In the market, you will easily find different types of wallpaper, including blown vinyl.

Blown vinyl wallpaper can be said to be a combination of embossed and vinyl wallpapers where the vinyl surface layer is full of tiny air bubbles that make it thicker and able to be embossed with a surface design.

Blown or expanded vinyl resembles an embossed or anaglypta paper with a pattern etched into the surface, but it is tinted.

The protective layer of plastic makes them resistant to wear and weather, but they cannot be painted over because of this.

The available wallpapers are in the form of textured and flat patterns. It’s made of long-lasting, waterproof vinyl, making them most suitable for areas like the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry.

Blown Vinyl Wallpaper – Pros and Cons

Blown vinyl wallpapers were trendy in the 1970s but came back in the early 21st century.

They are most commonly used in commercial spaces but are also becoming increasingly popular for residential use.

Blown vinyl wallpaper has several benefits that make it a good choice for many people.

Some of these benefits include:

  1. Blown vinyl is durable and easy to clean, making it a good choice for high-traffic areas or areas prone to spills and splashes. When installed correctly, they can last for as long as 15 years.
  2. Blown vinyl wallpaper is easier to install than other types, such as textured wallpaper. You can even use them on textured walls – it sticks well to them.
  3. Blown vinyl wallpaper also will stick to nonporous surfaces, such as concrete blocks, wood paneling, or synthetic laminate paneling. To make sure the paper adheres well, apply lining paper first.
  4. This wallpaper type is available in a wide range of colors and patterns, so you can find one that suits your taste and style.
  5. It is also waterproof, making it ideal for kitchen backsplash or bathroom areas.

The waterproofing material of the blown vinyl wallpapers also means that when you need to clean these wallpapers, just use warm water and mild dishwashing detergent.

After wiping, use a clean sponge to rinse and dry the wallpaper with a microfiber cloth to remove any lint.

Aside from all the advantages, blown vinyl wallpaper also has a few disadvantages you should be aware of before using it in your home. Some of these drawbacks include:

  1. Blown vinyl wallpaper can be more expensive than other types of wallpaper.
  2. Vinyl wallpaper paper can shrink when exposed to heat, like in a room with a heavy amount of sunlight.
  3. Blown vinyl wallpaper is non-paintable and can also be more challenging to repair if damaged. It is also not as easy to remove as other types of wallpaper, so you may need to hire a professional to do it for you.

A Few Other Types of Vinyl Wallpapers for Wall Decor

Although blown vinyl wallpapers are easy to install and maintain, their drawbacks make many people look for other types of vinyl wallpapers.

Some of the other most popular types of vinyl wallpapers include:

1- Vinyl Coated Wallpaper

Vinyl-coated wallpaper is constructed by coating a thin layer of vinyl over paper or other base material (such as polyvinyl chloride).

Paper is typically used as the basis for this type of wall covering, although it can also be acrylic vinyl or polyvinyl chloride.

This wallpaper’s Vinyl coated wallpaper is washable and sturdy but tears easier than other wallpapers.

In bathrooms and kitchens, this home wallpaper has been employed.

2- Solid Sheet Vinyl Wallpaper

Solid vinyl wallpaper is made entirely of vinyl, making it resistant to both water and cleaning.

This wallpaper is ideal for high-traffic areas like children’s rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms because of its durability.

Since the vinyl in these wallpapers is in “solid” form and isn’t coated in a liquid form, these are washable, scratch resistant, and more durable than other types of vinyl wallpapers.

3- Paper Backed Vinyl Wallpaper

A wallpaper made of a paper (pulp) backing laminated to a solid sheet of vinyl is referred to as paper-backed vinyl wallpaper.

This home wallpaper is washable, moisture resistant, and stain resistant. It’s also known as solid sheet vinyl wallpaper since it has a hard surface.

Because it is moisture resistant and stain and greaseproof, paper-backed vinyl wallpaper may be used in almost any room in the house.

These wallpapers are easy to install, repair and remove in full strips.

4- Fabric Backed Vinyl Wallpaper

Vinyl wallpaper with a fabric backing is made with vinyl on the top layer and woven fabric instead of paper on the back.

These wallpapers are moisture resistant, durable, washable, scrubbable, and peelable – making them perfect for high-traffic areas such as hallways, playrooms, kids’ rooms, living room surfaces, kitchens, or bathrooms.

Wallpaper with fabric backing is further classified as follows:

a) Type I

It’s a light-duty wallpaper good for offices, hotel rooms, hospitals, patient rooms, and other low-traffic areas.

b) Type II

It is a medium-duty wallpaper good for higher-traffic or public areas like lounges, corridors, living rooms, foyers, offices, wards, and classrooms.

c) Type III

This high-duty wallpaper is ideal for high-traffic areas with potential abuse, like in restaurants, public bathrooms, and other high-traffic areas.

These are the places where greater wall protection is often required.

Besides the above common ones, there is also a vinyl wallpaper that looks like a grasscloth. This wallpaper strip is easy to install, remove, and repair.

The seams are barely visible, and you can install them in any room without worrying about washability or durability.

Like other vinyl wall coverings, Vinyl grasscloth is machine-produced and lacks the texture of natural grasscloth wallpaper.

They are comparable to real grasscloths. While it lacks some of the beauty of genuine grasscloth, it is usually less expensive and far more durable.

Manufacturers have even discovered methods to create the appearance of a natural grasscloth so that the only way to distinguish it from vinyl is by touching the wallpaper.

Avoiding Common Vinyl Wallpapering Problems when Installing Wallcoverings

Although easy to install, there can be some problems with vinyl wallpapers.

Some of these are due to incorrect installation, while others result from the wallpaper itself.

1- Moisture

Vinyl wallpaper can be significantly damaged by excessive moisture. The humidity in the room should, therefore, be monitored carefully.

If the humidity is too high, the wallpaper can absorb moisture from the air and swell.

This will cause the wallpaper to buckle, ripple, blister, or even attract toxic molds.

2- Temperature

Vinyl wallpaper is also sensitive to temperature changes. If the temperature in the room is too low, the wallpaper can become hard and brittle.

The wallpaper can shrink or become soft and gummy if the temperature is too high.

Both conditions can make the wallpaper challenging to work with and cause it to tear easily.

Vinyl wallpaper can also be damaged by exposure to light. The wallpaper can fade or discolor if it is exposed to sunlight for too long.

3- Bleeding

When you see colors from the design “bleeding” through the vinyl, this is referred to as “color bleeding.”

To avoid this, always test the vinyl wallpaper you’ve chosen in an inconspicuous area before you apply it to the entire wall.

Before you commit to the entire project, this will allow you to determine if the design is “colorfast” (or if the colors will bleed).

4- Stretching

If you try to install vinyl wallpaper without stretching it first, you’ll likely end up with wrinkles or bubbles.

To avoid this, always “book” the vinyl wallpaper by folding it in half lengthwise and letting it sit for about 15 minutes before you begin your project.

This will make the vinyl more pliable and much easier to work with.

5- Vinyl Over Vinyl

Many times people just jump into the project and put a new vinyl wallpaper over their old vinyl wallpaper.

Unfortunately, trying to cover vinyl wallpaper with new wallpaper is not recommended and will likely lead to peeling.

You should make every effort to remove the entirety of the vinyl wallpaper before applying any new layers for better adhesion and long-lasting, durable results.

6- Drying Time

Vinyl wallpapers can take anywhere between 2 and 7 days to dry completely.

While this will largely depend on the type of wall covering used and the environmental factors, the condition of the wall surface and the adhesive used will also play a good role.

That said, if you use a peel-and-stick type vinyl wallpaper with self-adhesive, you need not worry about the adhesive you will be using.

7- Choosing the Right Adhesive

You will have to purchase the adhesive separately to install vinyl wallpaper that doesn’t come with backed adhesive.

If you don’t use the right adhesive when installing vinyl wallpaper, you’ll likely end up with a host of problems.

The most common problem is that the wallpaper will eventually start to curl, peel away from the wall, or not stick at all.

What glue to use for vinyl wallpaper generally depends on the wallpaper’s weight and thickness.

For example, if you’re working with a heavier grasscloth vinyl wallpaper, you’ll need an adhesive that’s specifically designed for heavyweight wallpapers.

On the other hand, if you’re working with thinner, lighter vinyl wallpaper, you can usually get away with using a standard wallpaper adhesive.

Installing vinyl wallpaper on damp walls can also cause greater problems. The wallpaper will not adhere properly to the wall, and as the wall dries, the wallpaper will start to peel off.

If you must install wallpaper on damp walls, make sure to use an adhesive designed for that purpose.

drawbacks of blown vinyl wallpaper

Applying the Adhesive Correctly – Best Wallpaper Paste for Vinyl Wallpaper

Another common mistake people make when installing vinyl wallpaper is not installing the adhesive correctly.

Therefore, you must follow the vinyl wallpaper hanging instructions carefully and choose the right paste.

Some adhesive pastes require that you “size” the wall before you start hanging the wallpaper.

Sizing is a pre-coat that you apply to the wall surface before hanging the wallpaper.

This step is vital because it helps the adhesive better grip the wall, ultimately leading to a better overall hold.

Other adhesives don’t require that you size the wall before you start hanging the wallpaper.

With these types of adhesives, you simply apply the adhesive directly to the back of the wallpaper.

Once you’ve applied the paste, you must wait the amount of time specified by the manufacturer before you start hanging the wallpaper.

Roman’s Heavy-Duty Paste and Rust-Oleum SureGrip Strippable Wallpaper Adhesive are the best adhesives on the market that can hold up even the heaviest wall covering.

If you are looking for good quality and affordable wallpaper adhesive, I recommend trying Rust-Oleum’s paper adhesive, which is the most durable option.

The Bottom Line

Overall, blown vinyl wallpaper is a good choice for many homeowners. This type of wallpaper is becoming increasingly popular as it is easy to install and remove.

It is also available in a wide range of colors and patterns.

You can buy these vinyl wallpapers at any home improvement store (like Lowe’s, Amazon, etc.).

Just make sure to purchase the right adhesive and follow the instructions carefully to avoid any problems.

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