Painting over wallpaper is tricky. There are a few things that need to be considered before you attempt to paint over wallpaper. If you are already thinking about covering it then you need to be informed with few tips and guidelines before you begin.
Can You Paint Over Wallpaper
Painting over wallpaper can be done in a few exceptions. We recommend you follow these guidelines to see if you can paint over wallpaper in your house.
Questions you need to ask yourself before painting over wallpaper would be:
- Is the wallpaper peeling or bubbling anywhere on the walls?
- Is the wallpaper loose in any area?
- Does the wallpaper have holes or tears?
- Is the wallpaper recently installed or has it been there for years?
- Is the colour of the wallpaper dark?
- Is it a textured wall paper or smooth surface?
These are all questions you need to ask before you begin painting over wallpaper. You may ask why do these questions matter, here is why.
If you have small bubbles, holes, tears or peeling that is evident on the wallpaper from perhaps not properly being installed to begin with, then you can try to apply some glue to the back of those bubbles, holes or peeled areas. You would then need to smooth them down with a light sanding. This is not in any way a guarantee that you will get professional looking painting results in the end, but it’s worth a try if these are small spots.
All joint seams need to be properly sealed and smoothed out. Using a seam sealer, apply a small amount to the wallpaper. Press it into place and hold. Wipe away any excess sealer with a damp sponge and leave to dry. You’ll find more information and tips on wallpaper repair at the end of this post under helpful hints.
If the holes, bubbles, tears or peeling is larger than what some glue patch up can fix then our best recommendation is to completely remove the wallpaper all together.
Remember that there is always a risk when painting over wallpaper. You will run the risk of moisture in the paint once you begin painting over the wallpaper will cause the paper to actually peel off. You may want to paint a sealer first to prevent this from happening. An oil based primer see end of this article for link to our recommended Kilz primer product to ensure proper coverage before applying the paint colour.
We found some great information from the DIY Network if you want to learn more about how to fix common wallpaper problems. You will find the link at the end of this post under title helpful tips.
Removing wallpaper is time consuming, messy and very frustrating. Not to say it can not be done by a homeowner, but knowing ahead of time how tough it is you may want to call in professional interior house painters.
Painting companies will have the necessary equipment and materials to remove the wallpaper. They will have more of the experience as without a doubt they have done more than once.
Remember that if you do decide to do it yourself you will need to get the equipment and materials yourself by either purchasing or renting. You’ll need at minimum a putty knife, the wallpaper glue, a sanding block, just to do the repairs and leave the wallpaper there. If you have to remove it completely you will need to either purchase or rent from a local home improvement store a wallpaper removal steamer and or roller, along with other necessary products to ensure all the glue is removed before any paint is applied. Not doing the necessary pre painting prep work after removing the wallpaper will leave you with an unfinished and unsatisfying, un-smooth finish in the end.
You will also need a lot of patience, time and elbow grease to get it done. Removing wallpaper from the walls is tedious, messy and frustrating and you may cause damage to the walls when attempting to peel it off. The drywall under the wallpaper will most likely get damaged from either scraping too hard, or from the actual glue having been attached to it for many many years. You will have to do drywall repair work before you begin painting.
Once you’ve established whether the imperfections of the wallpaper can be fixed or if you will be removing the wallpaper all together there are just a couple of other things to keep in mind before painting over wallpaper.
If we go back to questions 5 and 6 above, which are is the colour of the wallpaper dark, and is there a texture to the wallpaper than the following needs be considered.
If you are painting over a dark coloured wallpaper then you will need to use more paint. It will take more than 2 coats of paint to finish to get complete coverage. You may find this article on how to paint the interior of a House helpful as it provides a breakdown of everything you need to calculate the costs from buying the paint brush to the paint and everything in between.
If the wallpaper is of a lighter colour you may be lucky enough to paint a primer first then 2 coats of paint to finish. This is not inclusive of any texture on the wallpaper for if you do have any texture you may want to remove the wallpaper without painting over it. Any paint you apply over the texture will only amplify the pattern and texture of that wallpaper. So in the end if you want an absolute smooth finish to the walls you should remove the wallpaper entirely.
If it’s too much as a DIY project, than look to hire the painting services of an interior house painter as they will have the knowledge and experience of removing the wallpaper, repairing drywall, and many other services beyond paint, along with their knowledge of paint products.
House Painting Tips for tips & information on wallpaper removal