Your wall needs to be painted for a successful wallpaper install.
The quality and nature of the paint underneath can have an important impact in a safe installation but also in the removal process. General removable peel and stick wallpapers have trouble sticking over stain blocking, scrub defense paints and no VOC paints.
For optimal removability we recommend paint finishes like sateen or gloss. Matte and flat finishes are more rough so wallpapers tend to stick stronger to non shiny surfaces, there is nothing wrong with this but during the removal process some paint chips might come off.
New constructions with new walls are often only primed. You can safely install a peel and stick over just primer, just consider it as a flat paint finish, and because primers are applied in just 1 layer, expect some paint chips lifting off the wall even with the most removable of peel and stick wallpapers.
Old walls with cracking paint are not recommended, in general removable peel and stick materials need a surface in good conditions to hold onto.
RECENTLY PAINTED WALLS
Recently painted walls should be let dry for 4 weeks before applying any wallpaper type on that wall. Even low VOC paints keep emitting low grade fumes for weeks after, paint looks dry but it’s not. If you install wallpaper those fumes have nowhere to go, will generate massive bubbles on your wallpaper.
LOW OR ZERO VOC PAINTS:
Low VOC paints are amazing but unfortunately they are becoming a challenge for wallpaper installations as they cause the wallpaper to lift the wall. A simple solution for the problem is to clean the wall (recommended 2-3 times) with a mixture of 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% water, let dry completely, and afterwards proceed with the wallpaper installation.
SCRUB DEFENSE AND STAIN BLOCKING (PAINTS OR PRIMERS):
Stain blocking paints are formulated to block anything trying to get bonded to it. Scrub Defense paints have a similar purpose. Both types of paints tend to cause issues with peel and stick wallpapers, from mild lifting to complete fall off the wall.
Getting a sample and trying it on the wall is the only way to test if the peel and stick will hold there.
CRACKED PAINT AND DAMAGED WALLS:
Wallpapers are intended to protect the wall not to repair it. Wall needs to be in good condition prior to applying wallpapers.