Why we use lining paper

With wallpapers being back in fashion one thing to consider is lining paper.

Most customers I meet have no idea about what it is used for. Normally they don’t want to pay the extra charge of putting it up plus the cost of a roll.

Lining paper is advised by most manufacturers so if you do skip it you won’t have no guarantee if something goes wrong with the paper.

The main benefits of using Lining Paper are:


The main reason for using lining paper is to help give a uniform smooth surface.

It comes in different thicknesses which they grade from a 1000 upwards to 2000. The paper will hide minor imperfections, but the wall should still be filled and rubbed down before applying. The thicker the grade the smoother the wall with be.


A lot of wallpapers can shrink when drying (especially woven).

Wallpapers usually expand when pasted and shrink when drying. Meaning no matter how hard you try to get your seams right they will still shrink back and leave a gap.

Using lining paper helps the problem of shrinkage by holding the wallpaper in place. It acts like a Velcro by holding the fibres in place. It also helps by giving an even surface to allow the wallpaper to dry evenly and quickly.


There are two reasons for the occurrence of staining.

The first is that there may well be a stain on the wall that is invisible to the naked eye. But when the wallpaper is put up it could bleed through and cause the stain to appear on the wallpaper. Lining paper stops this as the wallpaper is not in direct contact with the wall therefore stopping the stain appearing.

The second reason for staining is that certain papers do not take too well to moisture and can cause the inks, dyes and paints to bleed. This is caused by the pasting process which soaks the paper. As mentioned earlier lining paper speeds up the drying process drawing the moisture away from the wallpaper. Helping to avoid such issues.

Longer Lasting

Due to wallpaper always trying to shrink back to its original size it puts a lot of stress on whatever substrate it is adhered too.

For instance, if you wallpaper over a painted wall you will find that eventually the paper will peel off.

Bringing the paint with it. The lining paper stops this as it is hung the opposite way (cross-lining) which counteracts the pulling of the wallpaper.

So, for a longer lasting finish it is better to cross line your walls first.


Lining paper gives a sound uniform surface for the wallpaper which gives you an even drying of the paste. This helps as it is likely that the surface your papering is probably more porous in some areas than others. This can cause problems with the paper being hung so once again it is best to use a lining paper.

In conclusion

I hope that this little guide has been helpful in explaining why Benchmark Decorators recommend the use of lining paper. It isn’t very expensive per roll around £4.50 for a double roll and doesn’t take long to apply.

So, for peace of mind and longevity go for the lining paper it’s a no-brainer.