Yes, You Can Wallpaper A Caravan – Here is How


Wallpapering

Caravan living has become quite popular in the last decade. Caravan owners are investing in customizations to make their space visually appealing. Dressing your caravan up with fresh wallpaper is a great way to personalize and upgrade your van’s interior. 

You can wallpaper your caravan by following a series of easy steps that aren’t too different from wallpapering a traditional home. All you need is a few common household items, your wallpaper, some time, and a little bit of patience. 

There are a number of options for wallpapering your caravan to suit your tastes. In this article, you will learn about the tools needed to put up new wallpaper in your caravan and the process you’ll want to follow. Let’s get started!

Planning For Your DIY Caravan Wallpaper Project

Planning a DIY home improvement- or in this case, caravan improvement project- is a lot of fun!. Wallpaper is a versatile way to change the look of your caravan’s interior. These days, the options are endless so you need to: 

  • Start with a vision
  • Know your options
  • Gather the right tools

Vision- How Do You Imagine The Look of Your Space?

Before researching your options, you need to have a vision for your space. This is sort of like a mental blueprint. 

Do you want the space to look light and airy or dark and cozy? Do unique designs inspire you? Maybe you’re more interested in a patterned or textured look. 

Thinking about this in advance, can save you time online or in the store. Spend the time you save getting your wallpaper on the walls so you can enjoy your new space as soon as possible!

Wallpaper Options

There are endless wallpaper options at your disposal. You’ll want to consider the following aspects of your wallpaper: 

  • Color and design
  • Cost
  • Peel and stick versus regular
  • Dimensions of the wallpaper roll or sheets 
  • Color and design: Obviously, you’ll want to pick colors that you like, that also compliment the layout of your caravan. This is your space, make sure you love the color! 

What kinds of designs do you like? Do you want something simple and undistracting or are you okay with a busier design? 

Texture is also a design option. You can find wallpaper that looks like wood paneling, subway blocks, stone, or fabric. 

  • Cost: Determine your budget for your project. Because a caravan is a pretty small space, if you want to splurge on a more expensive option, it probably won’t break the bank. 
  • Peel and stick versus regular wallpaper: There are pros and cons to each type of wallpaper. They are summarized in the table below. 
Type of WallpaperProsCons
Peel and stick– Easy application process
– No chemicals
– No soaking
– No pasting
– Less mess
– More Expensive
– Can expand and contract over time
Regular– More breathable
– Less risk of mold build up
– Can be cleaned with a damp cloth
– Range of prices but generally less Expensive
– More difficult to remove
  • Dimensions of the Roll or sheets of wallpaper: Make sure you are aware of the width of the wallpaper. You will also want to measure your wall space and calculate the square footage of wallpaper needed.

    Typically, a single roll is 20.5” W x 16.6’ feet. Knowing the dimensions you are working with ahead of time will help you to thoughtfully prepare your wallpaper for application. 

Tools You Will Need for Your Wallpapering Project

Having the right tools will make the job easier. The following items are necessary for the best measurements, cuts, and application.

  • Ruler
  • Pen or pencil
  • Exacto knife with a sharpened blade
  • Old board for cutting
  • Natural Sponge 
  • Paint roller
  • Smoother

If you are putting up traditional, non-stick wallpaper, you will also need wallpaper paste or a wallpaper adhesive. They come in the following forms and can be homemade or store bought. The table below describes some homemade and store bought options. 

Paste/AdhesiveDescription
Cornstarch PasteThis is a DIY option that is easy to mix. Stir in 3 teaspoons cornstarch for every 4 teaspoons of water and stir until the solution has a paste consistency. The paste can be applied with a popsicle stick or your finger. 
Modified starch or methylcellulose flakesMix the flakes with water to create a paste. 
Pre-packaged pasteThis is store bought paste that is usually sold in tubes or small tubs. 
Wallpaper adhesiveUsually contains a fungicide to prevent mold growth

Let’s Do This! Here’s How to Paper Your Caravan Walls

You’ve chosen your wallpaper and have all of your tools and adhesives ready to go. Now comes the fun part, creating your vision. The process isn’t too different from wallpapering the walls in a house, you’re just working in a smaller space. 

Here are the steps you’ll want to follow for the best wallpaper application in your caravan. 

  • Thoroughly clean your caravan’s walls
  • Measure the caravan’s wall space
  • Measure and cut the wallpaper
  • Prime your walls and apply the wallpaper 

Cleaning the Caravan Walls

First, clean the walls using a sponge or cloth and a bucket of warm water. Make sure to get all dirt, mold or any other build up. Let the walls dry completely. You may want to do this step the day before the actual application of the wallpaper. 

During this step, if you find any protrusions or irregularities you will want to smooth them out with sandpaper. This may require more elbow grease than it would with your typical drywall. 

Measuring the Walls 

Next, measure your walls carefully. It may require two people to hold the tape measure in place and to verify an accurate measurement. You will want to draw lines on the walls where you will have to line up to separate sheets. 

Measuring and Cutting The Wallpaper

After measuring the dimensions of your caravan walls, measure out the dimensions of wallpaper you will need for each section of wall space. It is recommended that you measure twice to ensure precision. 

Once the wallpaper sections have been measured, lay the roll out on a flat board or table and use the exacto knife to make a clean cut. 

Applying the Wallpaper To Your Caravan Walls

Applying Stick and Peel wallpaper

If you are using peel and stick wallpaper, you’ll just peel off the back and line up the paper to hang it straight. Smooth the paper down as you press it onto the wall. 

If you have to use more than one piece on a wall, make sure you line up the patterns or image as closely as you can before pressing the wallpaper into place. 

Peel and stick wallpaper is easy to remove and readjust if you need to, but it’s best to make sure it lines up perfectly the first time. 

Applying Traditional Wallpaper

If you are using traditional wallpaper, first prime the walls using a product called wall-size with a sponge. This product will increase the adhesiveness of your wallpaper and will reduce the chance the wallpaper will shrink. 

Next, lay the wallpaper, face down on a flat board. Using a paint roller, apply the paste or adhesive you are using to the back of the wallpaper. 

Line your wallpaper up to the lines you made on the walls. Start your application from the door that you would enter the room and work your way out to the rest of the room. 

At corners, overlap the paper, then use the exacto knife to cut a seam. 

Once you have the wallpaper on the walls, gently run your smoother down each panel. If you push too hard, the paste will pool up and create bumps. 

Finally, use a natural sponge to clean up any excess paste while it is still wet. 

Enjoy Your New Space

You’ve taken the time and put in the hard work to make your vision a reality. Now it’s time to enjoy the space you’ve created for your caravan. You will especially enjoy your handy work if you have carefully followed each step and put the effort into eliminating

  • Unsightly seams
  • Paste build up
  • Bumps or gouges on the walls

Now you can enjoy your time away in your own home that reflects your personality and vision for life.

Rasmus

Hi, my name is Rasmus. I'm a huge fan of alternative living arrangements and the many ways people are escaping the 9 to 5 grind. Whether it's van dwelling or homesteading, if it allows for more freedom in your life then I'm all ears! I've been exploring different aspects of this lifestyle for over three years now and have learned so much. From solar power to worm farming, if there's something out there that helps us live differently - I want to know about it!

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