How to Install Wallpaper on Glass and Mirrors

Wallpaper has a wider range of uses than many people realize. It’s not just for walls; for instance, it can be installed in the rear of a kitchen cabinet to give the space a stylistic boost. Another area suitable for wallpaper is a mirror or glass surface in the home.
Interior of home

Wallpaper has a wider range of uses than many people realize. It’s not just for walls; for instance, it can be installed in the rear of a kitchen cabinet to give the space a stylistic boost. Another area suitable for wallpaper is a mirror or glass surface in the home.

Why would anyone want to cover these types of surfaces with wallpaper? Sometimes homeowners get tired of the existing look of a room, but for one reason or another, it’s impractical or undesirable simply to remove a mirror on a wardrobe door, an entire mirrored wall, or a pane of glass. For renters, attempting to remove these furnishings may violate their lease. Others may prefer the appearance of a partially wallpapered mirror or window. In circumstances like these, wallpaper can be a good option when it’s time to renovate.

Installing wallpaper on glass or a mirror is certainly a doable proposition, and there are many types of paper that can be successfully hung on these surfaces. However, the procedure differs in a few important ways from a typical wallpaper installation. Let’s take a look at how to stick wallpaper to mirrors or glass surfaces.

Gathering Your Materials

Roman wallpaper smoothing tool

To begin, you’ll need to collect most of the items you would use for a standard wallpaper installation, including:

If the wallpaper will reach near the ceiling, you will need one or more step ladders as well.

Selecting Your Wallpaper

Wall paper rolls and color palette on wooden floor

Although you have plenty of options here, it’s best to take a few moments to ensure that the wallpaper you select is best suited for the surface in question. If possible, you may wish to consider purchasing wallpaper of a width that can cover the surface in a single strip; this will prevent gaps from showing through, and create a more harmonious appearance.

In non-contiguous glass walls (i.e., ones with a joint between panes), liner paper is recommended for bridging gaps.

Selecting Your Primer

Roman PRO 935 R-35-1 gal Difficult Surfaces Primer

Choosing the right wallpaper primer is extremely important for these types of installations. That’s because glass and mirrors are very smooth and non-porous surfaces. Unlike wood or drywall, they do not easily absorb gasses or liquids. This characteristic makes it difficult for wallpaper to adhere securely to these surfaces.

As a result, standard wallpaper primers just won’t work for these installations. You need a primer that is specially formulated for non-porous surfaces—such as ROMAN’s PRO-935 R-35® Adhesion Promoting Wallcovering Primer. It is ideal for use with glass or mirror wallpaper, as well as for hanging wallcoverings on tile, paneling, or laminate.

The PRO-935 R-35 clear acrylic wallcovering primer offers a variety of installation benefits, such as:

  • Provides a permanent tack for maximum wallpaper adhesion
  • Easy to clean up with water
  • Little odor
  • Mold- and mildew-resistant biocide
  • Zero volatile organic compounds (per EPA Method 24)

Once you have all your accessories, you can begin installing your mirror or glass wallpaper.

Installing Your Wallpaper

Step by step guide to applying wallpaper

For this installation, we’ll assume that you’re using traditional, unpasted wallpaper. The process goes as follows:

  • Clean the surface. As with any wallpaper installation, you want to start with a clean, smooth surface. Use isopropyl alcohol to clear away dirt and other residue. Make sure the surface is completely dry before proceeding.
  • Test the primer. Select a tiny, inconspicuous area of the surface and apply primer to it. After it has set for 24 hours, inspect it to ensure nothing has gone awry. This will ensure that your primer is compatible with the surface.
  • Apply the primer. Using your brush or paint roller, cover the surface completely with PRO-935 R-35 primer. Make sure the room temperature is above 60ºF. Remove excess primer before it dries. Allow the primer to dry (optimal time is twelve hours).
  • Apply liner paper (optional). If you’re going to use self-adhesive liner paper, it’s usually recommended to hang it horizontally, which is known as cross-lining or railroading. This keeps the joins of the liner paper and the vertically applied wallpaper from meeting and possibly causing the wallpaper to lift away from the surface.
  • Apply adhesive. Check your wallpaper’s hanging instructions for an adhesive recommendation and application method. For the paste-the-paper, apply adhesive and book your wallpaper before installation. For paste-the-wall, simply apply adhesive to the wall and hang.
  • Apply the wallpaper. Begin at the left or right top corner and align the end of the strip of wallpaper along the surface evenly. A smoothing tool is useful here for flattening out the wallpaper and preventing the formation of bubbles. You will then work downward, securing the remainder of the strip to the surface.
  • Cut off excess paper. At the bottom of the strip, use a knife to slice off the excess wallpaper to ensure an even fit.

Keep repeating the last two steps until the entire surface is covered. How long this will take depends on the size of the surface area—applying wallpaper to a mirror on a wardrobe door, for instance, takes much less time than an entire wall. For complicated projects, you may wish to have one or two helpers to assist you.

Remember that you can always depend on ROMAN Products for the best wallcovering accessories on the market today. Aside from PRO-935 R-35, we have a variety of other state-of-the-art installation products, including adhesives and removers.