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Wallpaper symbols guide – What do they mean?

13.09.16 | Darryl Husler

Wallpaper symbols guide – What do they mean?

Wallpaper symbols present a mystery for most people. It’s important to understand how to interpret them in order to care for your high-quality wallcoverings properly.

There are various methods of safe cleaning that might be indicated by symbols on the wallpaper.  If the wallpaper is not marked by any of the subsequent symbols, it is not advisable to clean the wallpaper using any method.

Wallpaper Symbol For Spongeable


This symbol indicates that the wallpaper can be lightly cleaned using a sponge. This type of wallpaper is not recommended to be used in places where it is likely to get wet or in areas with high humidity, as it is susceptible to damage when exposed to water.

wallpaper symbol for washable


This symbol means that the wallpaper is relatively durable and can be gently cleaned without damaging the wallpaper. It is still vulnerable to water.

extra washable wallpaper symbol

Super washable or extra washable

This symbol indicates that the wallpaper is durable enough to withstand rigorous cleaning without sustaining damaged. This type of wallpaper may be placed in areas that are likely to get damp. This type of wallpaper can withstand exposure to small amounts of water.

scrubbable wallpaper symbol


This is the symbol found on the most durable wallpapers, allowing them to be scrubbed clean without incurring noticeable damage. If you need heavy-duty wallcoverings, this is your best choice.
These symbols indicate where in a home or business it is safest to hang the wallcovering, according to the natural light patterns.

Good light fastness wallpaper symbol

Good Light Fastness

This symbol means the wallpaper will not bleach easily even with prolonged exposure to sunlight. It is the type of wallpaper recommended for areas of property that routinely get exposed to sunlight.

moderate light fastness symbol

Moderate Light Fastness

This symbol denotes that the wallpaper is only somewhat resistant to bleaching when placed in direct sunlight. It will bleach faster than those designed and marked “Good Light Fastness”. Wallcoverings without any symbol indication or marking regarding sun-bleaching characteristics should not be placed in areas that are often exposed to sunlight.
These symbols offer valuable information about how best to install the wallcovering.

adhesive to wallpaper symbol

Adhesive to Wallcovering

This symbol means you should apply the adhesive on the wallcovering instead of the wall.

ready pasted wallpaper symbol

Ready Pasted

This symbol means that the adhesive has already been applied to this wallcovering. You only need to immerse the desired length of wallcovering in water to activate the paste before applying it to you wall.

strippable wallpaper symbol


This symbol means that both the top and back layers of the wallpaper will come off the wall if you decide to redecorate. Selecting a wallpaper with this symbol may make it easier to redecorate in the future.

wet removable wallpaper symbol

Wet Removable

This symbol means you have to apply liquid wallpaper stripper or warm soapy water to remove this type of wallpaper.

peelable wallpaper symbol


This symbol indicates that the top layer of this wallcovering will peel off should you decide to redecorate.

offset match wallpaper symbol

Offset Match

This symbol, which can be found beside some measurement of distance, only indicates the vertical offset of the pattern.

straight match wallpaper symbol

Straight Match

This symbol, which can be found beside a measurement of distance, only indicates the start of each time a vertical pattern is repeated on the wallpaper.

free match wallpaper symbol

Free Match

This symbol means the wallcovering has no repeating pattern match and can be hung in any direction to achieve the desired final look.

direction of hanging instruction symbol

Direction of Hanging

This symbol serves as a guide pointing toward the direction this particular wallcovering should be hung.

reverse drop wallpaper symbol

Reverse Alternate Layout

This symbol means that the wallpaper should be hung in alternate directions to achieve the desired final look.

We will provide you with the relevant information when ordering our designer wallpaper online however if you see a symbol that isn't listed here, contact us and we will be happy to help!

We also have a special online wallpaper calculator feature for you to use!

wallpaper calculator symbol