blown vinyl or anaglypta

1 Feb 2009
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United Kingdom
All the ceilings in the house we're doing up is textured and I don't know whether we can just wash it down or paint over it as I don't know if it's anaglypta or blown vinyl. When I search for images on google of both types of paper, the wallpaper we have comes up on both lists so I don't know which type we have. is there any other way to tell which type it is. I also read that you cannot paint over blown vinyl but you can wash it whereas with anaglypta you can paint over it but not wash it.
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Both Anaglypta and blown vinyls are paintable so you shouldn't really worry which you have. There are an odd few off the coloured blown vinyls which have areas which don't accept paint as well as the whites, but still usually turn out fine after a couple of coats.
To check which you have, try to pick of a little of the raised pattern (in an inconspicuous spot) with a fingernail. If it comes off relatively easily, and feels spongy, it is likely to be a blown vinyl. Also, when pressed, Anaglypta will not bounce back but a blown vinyl will (unless pressed way too hard).

If you can post a pic, we can usually tell immediately which type you have.

You wouldn't want to wash either too heavily, if unpainted, but blown vinyl will repel water a bit better than Anaglypta.
thanks misterhelpful. I'll be up there next week and I'll take photos. I was just going to wipe down the ceiling as we've been plastering and it's all really dusty
here's some pictures of 2 of the rooms. In the first two the wallpaper has definitely been painted over but the walls are all shiny so I don't know if someone has painted them over with gloss paint instead of emulsion. The final 2 pictures are in the living room and this wallpaper has not been painted over, so am I looking at blown vinyl or amaglypta. The stuff in the living room can be picked off and is spongy so I take it that it is blown vinyl?


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Picture 1 is definitely Anaglypta and picture 3 is definitely a blown vinyl. Picture 2 is a little trickier but I think it's a blown vinyl that has had a few coats of paint.

The shiny paint is probably just a vinyl silk emulsion which can be painted over again. The issue you could have is, if you want to change from the silk to a matt, the paint could craze (tiny cracks all over the paint film that looks like crazy paving) as it dries. In most cases on wallpaper when I have changed from silk to matt, it has been fine, but there has been the odd occasion where crazing has occurred. An extra coat usually hides the problem though, so be prepared to use 2-3 coats.
The blown vinyl is a bit of a funky colour for it not to have been painted already - most are either just plain white or have coloured patterns. I personally haven't come across that particular paper, but others here may have. Are you certain it hasn't been painted that colour with a matt emulsion?
thanks Misterhelpful. Picture 1 and picture 2 are both in the same room but on different walls and both used to be pink!! the third one is in the living room and it's maybe just the lighting that makes it look a nicotine yellow :( It's kind or more of a cream colour during the day and thanks for the info

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