How Long Does Wallpaper Paste Last?

For some people, walls should be adorned only with wallpaper, not paint. Wallpapers can give your rooms a quick makeover. Plus, it is easier to put up wallpapers than it is to paint the walls. All you need is the rolls of wallpaper, some tools, and some wallpaper paste. But how long does wallpaper paste last?

Wallpaper paste usually lasts a year or two from the date they were manufactured, if left in their original packaging. However, that range is for unopened wallpaper paste. Once you’ve mixed the wallpaper paste with water, it will have a very limited shelf life of up to one to two weeks.

Stay with us as we go more into the expiry dates and making sure that you are working with wallpaper paste that is still workable. Let us also look into how to store wallpaper paste properly and how to dispose of it if they’re no longer unusable.

How Long Does Wallpaper Paste Last?

Wallpaper adhesives in a powdered form such as the Solvite All Purpose Wallpaper Adhesive will be okay to use as long as you do not mix the powder. Once mixed, you will have to keep it tightly covered in a container. Even then, you will probably be able to store it for a week or two and still be usable.

A similar product like Zinsser’s Suregrip All Purpose Adhesive has a shelf life of two years. Its ready mix counterpart can keep for only half that long.

Mixed Wallpaper Paste

Unused wallpaper paste can have an expiry date anywhere from one to two years from the time it was manufactured. That is especially true for:

  • Unopened packages of wastepaper paste
  • Opened, but properly stored, packages

But what if you have mixed powdered wallpaper paste and could not finish the job in a day? Should you just throw out the prepared wallpaper paste and mix a new batch when you are ready to start work the next day?

The good news is that you can just use that mixed wallpaper paste, as it can last for a week or two without becoming unusable. Just keep it in an airtight container. Or, if you have a bigger project that can take weeks, you might want to mix just enough wallpaper paste powder for a day’s work. This way, you do not unnecessarily waste the paste.

How Do You Store Wallpaper Paste?

Unopened and unused wallpaper paste will present no problems if you do not use it right away. It can last for a year or two and still be usable. However, some manufacturers recommend storing wallpaper adhesives in their original container, with the lid tightly closed. It will help if you put the container in a dry and airy place.

What’s more, you should make sure that the wallpaper adhesive doesn’t freeze.

How to Tell if You Should Just Throw Away Wallpaper Paste

Most products have an expiry date on the packaging. While most products do not necessarily become unusable once the expiry date comes, it will give you an idea if you can still reliably use the wallpaper adhesive and get repeatable and reliable results.

There are also products, like powdered wallpaper paste, that have no expiry dates. If you have a packet or box of these products in your storage, you can still use these if there are no hard lumps.

On the other hand, if you have already mixed the wallpaper paste, you will have a limited time so that you can use it without problems. Some say wallpaper paste that is already mixed can last anywhere from days to around a week. But if it becomes too runny, you might just as well throw it away.

Can You Still Use Expired Wallpaper Adhesive?

Wallpaper paste, like other adhesives, can change as time goes by, and the results may be erratic because of that. It may:

  • Not cure fast enough
  • Exhibit changes in its appearance
  • Become less viscous

The results may vary even if you are using the same wallpaper paste. It may work well in one area of your wall while not adhering at all in another place. Nevertheless, you can still use these expired wall paste, as long as it looks viscous enough.

Expired Wallpaper Adhesive: Something to Consider

But, the better question is, why would you risk it? Wallpaper paste like a gallon (3.78 liters) of ROMAN Products 018801 ECO-888 Strippable Wallpaper Adhesive costs less than $25 and can cover 300 square feet (28 square meters) of your walls. That means that you can wallpaper an area measuring 12 square feet (1.1 square meters) for only a dollar.

On top of that, there are cheaper options as well. On the other hand, to cover that area, you will need around six rolls of this wallpaper, which would cost around $150 to $200, or six to eight times more than the cost of your wallpaper paste. So, are you willing to take a risk using suspect wallpaper paste and possibly ruin wallpaper that’s worth significantly more than the price of buying a new tub of wallpaper paste?

How to Dispose of Expired or Unusable Wallpaper Paste

Wallpapers are very durable, and some of them can last up to 15 years, according to this page. So what if you are done with your wallpapering project, and you know that you won’t be using the leftover wallpaper paste anymore. Rather than storing them and letting them expire, just dispose of them.

How do you do that? There are two ways. The first is to:

  1. Add more water to the wallpaper paste that you have already mixed in until it gets very watery.
  2. Pour the runny wallpaper paste solution down the drain or flush it down the toilet.
  3. Make sure to clean up any splatter or drips. You don’t want wallpaper paste to harden on your sink or toilet. Running the hot water for a few seconds can also help you make sure that the paste flows out the wastepipe.

The Other Way to Dispose of Leftover Wallpaper Paste

Another way to get rid of leftover wallpaper paste to just let it all dry out. If you have bigger chips, you will need to break them down into smaller sizes.

You can then dispose of it in the trash bin. If you have a lot of wallpaper paste to get rid of, dry them off and take these to a local recycling center.

Wallpaper Paste Is Not Hazardous to the Environment

The good news is that wallpaper paste is non-hazardous and non-toxic, so you do not have to handle it differently. According to the University of California at San Diego, you can pour materials down the drain if they are:

    • Non-hazardous, which means that there is no radioactive waste or it is not untreated biohazardous waste
    • Completely liquid and doesn’t contain any solids and is not viscous
    • Is not acidic or corrosive
    • Not oily or greasy
  • With temperatures not exceeding 150 degrees Fahrenheit (66 degrees Celsius)

The Final Word

Using expired wallpaper paste can make it more difficult to hang your wallpapers. For some, your wallpapers may not stick properly. You have one to two years to use up that wallpaper paste that you bought. Beyond that, you will probably have to throw it away.


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About Sergio

Sergio is an author and editor of Abbey Power Tools. DIY enthusiast, and once a retail assistant at B&Q, loves to write and now gives advice on everything home improvement to everyone visiting this website.

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