how long does wallpaper paste last

How Long Does Wallpaper Paste Last? (plus 3 easy storage tips)

Powdered wallpaper paste lasts approximately 2-years if stored properly, and wet paste gives you 2–7 days of useful life if you follow the tips in this guide.

After many years of decorating and countless papered walls, I’ve learned a thing or two about using and storing wallpaper paste. So, to learn how to store wallpaper paste correctly and extend its lifespan, read on…

Wallpaper Paste Shelf Life

Typically, wallpaper paste comes in powdered form and is mixed with cold water to create a thick paste. However, some manufacturers have introduced ready-mixed paste for added convenience. 

Let’s look at the difference in shelf life between dry powder, wet mixed and ready-mixed wallpaper paste.

Note: If you’re using wallpaper paste beyond the time limits below or fail to store it correctly, this may weaken the adhesive bond between your wallpaper and walls.

Dry Powder Paste

wallpaper paste powder
Image courtesy of Wickes.

Powdered wallpaper paste lasts two years in its unmixed state. So, even if you’ve mixed half the packet, the other half is still reusable for up to two years if resealed and stored in a dry environment. 

Pro Tip: I recommend using Solvite’s All Purpose Dry Powder Paste.

Wet Mixed Paste

Once you’ve mixed the powder with water, it forms a thick paste lasting 2–7 days if stored in an air-tight container. If you think your project will take longer, mix smaller batches to minimise wastage. 

Ready-Mixed Paste

ready mixed wallpaper paste
Image courtesy of B&M.

Ready-mixed paste is a relatively new option that saves time and effort, especially on long papering projects or if you’re unsure how to mix wallpaper paste.

Unlike powdered paste, ready-mixed paste starts deteriorating once you open the tub. You might get about one year’s worth of use, but it depends on how you store it (see storage guide below).  

Pro Tip: I recommend using Solvite’s All Purpose Ready Mixed Paste.

How To Store Wallpaper Paste — 3 Easy Methods

Once you’ve finished wallpapering for the day, store the paste properly so it’s ready to use again. 

Below are three main methods for preserving wallpaper paste.

Pro Tip: Whichever method you use, always store wallpaper paste in a dark, cool location and never under direct sunlight.

1. Sealed Containers

Sealed containers with air-tight lids prevent wet paste from drying overnight. Old Tupperware containers are ideal for this job.

2. Cling Film

If you’re mixing paste in a bucket with no lid, wrap the top in cling film to keep it fresh overnight.

Pro Tip: If you don’t have time to clean the pasting brush, wrap it in cling film and store it in the fridge overnight. 

3. Food Bags

Pouring leftover paste into Ziplock food bags is another great way to seal the paste and keep it fresh. 

Signs Your Wallpaper Paste Has Gone Off

Below are the tell-tale signs that your wallpaper paste has spoiled with age.

  • Loses adherence when applied to the wallpaper.
  • It takes longer to cure.
  • Loses viscosity (has a runny consistency).
  • Shows changes in appearance (colour and texture).
  • It gives off an odd smell.
  • The powder crystals have several hard lumps.

To check if your old powdered paste still works, mix a small amount with water and test it on a small, ideally hidden, wall area. If it works well, you can use the rest with confidence.

How To Dispose of Wallpaper Paste

There are two ways to dispose of old wallpaper paste — down the drain (wet paste only) or throw it out with the rubbish (dry paste only).

Note: Neither method impacts the environment because modern wallpaper paste is non-hazardous and non-toxic

Wet Paste Disposal

  1. Mix the paste with water until it has a runny consistency.
  2. Pour the runny mixture down the drain. 
  3. Run hot water to wash away paste residue before it dries hard and becomes challenging to remove. 

Pro Tip: You can also flush paste down the toilet, but only if connected to the central sewer system. If you have a septic tank, it could block the system if it dries. 

Dry Paste Disposal

  1. Pour the paste into a container and leave it to dry out completely.
  2. Once the paste forms a solid block, throw it in the bin with your other household waste. 

To learn more, check out our step-by-step guide to disposing of wallpaper paste.

Final Thoughts

Wallpapering projects can take 2–3 days to complete, so knowing how long wallpaper paste lasts and how to store it can save you time and money mixing up another batch.

If you want to avoid mixing wallpaper paste altogether, we highly recommend Solvite’s All Purpose Ready Mixed Paste.