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Painting Over Wallpaper

Category Painting
Painting Over Wallpaper, Vintage Peeling Wallaper
Wallpaper can be very difficult to remove throughly, especially if there is more then one layer of it. Painting over old wallpaper is sometimes the best option. This is a guide about painting over wallpaper.
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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
July 24, 2011

Can I paint sheetrock with wallpaper already on it?

By Flo

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July 26, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

As other posters have said, if the wallpaper is in good shape you can paint over it-I have many times. I've even pulled off the 'came off easy' stuff (bubbled, peeling, etc), sanded the edges smooth, and applied a sponge effect paint job to camouflage the slightly uneven surfaces. Doing that saved me trying to get the 'there forever' stuff off, and looked pretty good. :)

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The thing to be sure of is the type of wallpaper you are trying to paint over-is it paper, cloth, vinyl? Is it textured? All of those factors make a difference-painting over a textured wallpaper of any composition will only make the wallpaper a different colour-the paint WON'T fill in the textures to make it a smooth flat surface, for example. Painting over vinyl means using a different sort of paint than you would over most paper or cloth wallpapers-read the paint label to be sure it will adhere to the surface you are trying to paint.

I also suggest using a high quality primer appropriate to the material of the wallpaper as this will act as a slight fill if you've had to do fine sanding to blend edges where you've removed a bit of peeling paper. It will also neutralize any possible grease or other stain, and will prevent bleed-through of the wallpaper design you are trying to cover.

GrammyV has a good thought going-you might think about testing a small area first to make sure the paper is strong to enough to support the paint. Even applied in thin coats, wet paint will possibly do just what she warns about. This would happen in an older house with wallpaper dating back to the late Sixties; vinyl wallpaper became popular after that and it became REALLY popular in the Eighties.

And lol, if you get good at it, you can make spare money with your newly acquired skills-I did:)

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By 0 found this helpful
April 27, 2011

Do you use an oil base paint or latex when painting over wallpaper?

By Bonnie from Cedar Rapids, IA

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Answers

April 29, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Use an oil primer with a latex paint topcoat. The use of the oil primer is generally recommended because the wallpaper paste is a waterborne product so using a latex could lift the paper which can lead to a bigger problem. They make several products now days that are quick dry oils to speed up the process (at Sherwin-Williams it is the multipurpose oil primer, dry time 1Hr). Then once the surface is secure the latex is a more friendly topcoat.

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August 14, 20110 found this helpful

I have to paint over wallpaper, I have no choice. I tried a steamer and every wall paper remover made by man; it's not happening. Any successful suggestions?

By Denise

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August 18, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

You sure can paint over stubborn wallpaper! Use a fine grit sand paper to smooth any edges from bits you have been able to remove, then use a coat of a good quality primer to keep any pattern colour or bold lines from bleeding, then paint away-use a roller for a smooth application, or a brush if the paper is textured.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 14, 2007

I have white cabinets with peach hardware, peach wallpaper, white trim, peach laminate countertops and dark brick color linoleum floor tile. I want to paint the wallpaper. I am not sure what color would go with the existing countertop? The rest of the house is softer tan and macadamia (sherwin williams) paint. Any advice would help?
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Laks

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 15, 20070 found this helpful

I think green would offset the peach nicely, maybe a soft medium green, not hunter or lime shades.

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March 16, 20070 found this helpful

I would leave it as it is, as it looks great. However, I agree that a soft green would work. Good luck.

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 16, 20070 found this helpful

Hi Laks,

Your kitchen looks beautiful with the walls matching the countertop and the fresh white cabinets! If you really want to change the wall color, why not go with the pretty green color of your chair cushions.

Luv your kitchen!

Elizabeth

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 16, 20070 found this helpful

Hi...

My husband is a painter and if you want your kitchen to "pop"...He suggested a magenta or burgundy color. The white cabinets will still look great...Good luck.

Sher

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 17, 20070 found this helpful

Also love your kitchen as it is!! Great idea with the copper molds on the wall!! A soft green would look great as a wall color or accent color. I'd try it first as an accent color to see how you'd like it before doing anything major.

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March 17, 20070 found this helpful

I agree that a soft green would be very pretty... either a very pale mint green or a light shade of sage green on the walls would compliment the peach color of your kitchen nicely. You could pick up some paint chips of various shades of light green and compare them in your kitchen, to get the perfect color.

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March 21, 20070 found this helpful

I disagree with the green idea. I don't think an additional color is the best idea. I think you need to play off the colors you have. I would suggest the color of clay pots. It would look really sharp against the peach counter tops.

bjpyl (Judy)

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 21, 20070 found this helpful

Be careful painting over wallpaper. I know it can be a hassle but I'd take the wallpaper off before painting. We had a very bad experience with wall paper that had been painted over 2 times prior to us buying the house. I'd remove it paint a neutral color or even white if you want to brighten it up and get a fabulous picture to put on the wall that would bring out the peach in your counter and the green in your cushions.

We have the yellow counters but fortunately the dishes and accesories we had have yellow so it really helps bring it all together. Good luck.

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 3, 20080 found this helpful

I have to paint my entire house inside as well as do the outside around the windows and doors. so I figure 32 years ought to get the job done! Well I have a lot of books I picked up at Home Depot. I found a booklet on kitchens by Behr. Now I know they are expensive, you do not have to use the paint you can go for something cheaper. But we have found cheaper is not better but there have been those times where we had no choice. What I am looking at is a light peach kitchen now one has trim around the top, what they are doing now I have been trying to do for years but you know how life is. At any rate in one picture what they have done is used a glazed pecan over the top of the peach. It looks like a peach with a tint of a warm light gold, and what they have done is used the ragging technique which is easy you just need to ask someone at the paint store what to do.

The kitchen really looks nice with this it look really rich. Now you can paint a darker peach color for your doors around the frame and in the middle of the door you can paint a lighter color of peach. The one you used for your kitchen and it looks great. They also use in another picture a Carmel Latte 260-7 and paint a medium sized stripe around the middle of the wall. Then they have pictures on the wall with greens in them the color is called dill pickle 420d-7. That color of green I don't know about. But yes you may use green, beige, brown and white.

Now I liked the color summer breeze 450E-3, it is a cool green color color, and since your kitchen is cool you might like that much better rather then looking at a dill pickle I just cant believe my eyes! But go to the paint store and talk to someone and they can really help you out with colors. Oh and yes the other girls are right you really need to remove the wall paper. If it is old as it sounds it should come off pretty easy. You can spray it down with water or rent a steamer then scrape, believe me that is one way you will get your exercise, but it beats doing all the work you want to do and then have it peel. That will definitely have you out in the back yard screaming. Also you can paint the counter tops. There is so much to do.

It is just unbelievable but they can get you moving at the paint store. Make sure your hubby goes too otherwise they become traumatized when they get the bill or look at the color scheme. Well I see a lot of potential for something beautiful! Good Luck and I hope I have not just traumatized you! Good Luck and oh yea one of the rooms I will be painting will be a peach color, you have good taste I see. Have Fun. I hope it all works the way you want it. Darlene

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By 1 found this helpful
February 7, 2011

Can I paint over tight wallpaper if I apply a coat of oil Kilz on the wallpaper first?

By Jim from Waynesboro, PA

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February 8, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I don't know what you mean by "tight" wallpaper, nor have I heard of "oil Kilz", but I have painted over wallpaper many times. If the wallpaper is smooth, like a plain wall, then use a roller. If it is textured, then a brush (about 10 cm / 4 in.) is better. Don't make the first coat too thick, as this can wet the paper and it can bubble up. If you do get air bubbles rising up, just leave them until the paint dries. In most cases the paper will dry and shrink again, flattening out.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 18, 2008

I've moved into a place where someone painted over wallpaper in my kitchen. Then the person who did it tried a glazing effect; it's uneven, I don't like the color (too dark). Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do with this room. Removing the wallpaper is not an option. It's stuck down good.

And I don't want to paper again as the room is quite large. Don't want to spend a lot of money. I really don't like the look of smooth walls and I'm wondering if anyone of you has used any of the textured products on the market? How easy was it to use and were you pleased with the results?

Betty from TX

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January 18, 20080 found this helpful

I have used extra fine sand in paint before.(Sold with the paint stuff in large hardwarestores) I had very uneven plaster walls. I just mixed it in the paint and used a large wallpaper brush, and brushed it on. One room I brushed it on in an "X" shape pattern, another room I did more of a basket weave type pattern, and yet another I did half circle strokes overlapping in every direction. It was very easy, cheap and fun! I got tons of compliments on it. But messy! Use lots of drop clothes, Good luck!

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January 18, 20080 found this helpful

Back in the mid 80's I bought a home with early 70's brown, orange & gold FOIL wallpaper on the main wall as you enter the dwelling. It was HORRIBLE!... I didn't have the time, or energy to remove the wallpaper while moving 3 kids in & being pregnant, So we just primed & painted the wall, a plain white color. Well, that may sound like, not to big a deal... Until, several years later I decided to not follow anyone's directions about removing that paper when I then wallpapered over the painted & pre-wallpapered wall... Well, to make a long story short: It held up fine! A wallpapered & painted wall can stand up to ALOT of coats of paint (& re-wallpapering!) IF the original wallpaper was hung up well in the very first place...

---> As far as thick-texturing... (I'm assuming you want a "Spanish" type texture?) That's a bit heavy. I don't know if the wallpaper could withstand the weight? You may be able to do it, BUT, if later part of the original wallpaper comes down, you'd have to remove or cover your furniture & carpeting then bring in a disc-sander to remove all of that texture!... If it were me, I'd go for a LIGHT texture, like adding a bit of sand or those "Leather-look" finishes. But, none of these would be my first choice. I'd do a NICE, QUALITY decorative painting technique, like a linen look (done with a wallpaper brush dragged through glaze) or another quality finish. This isn't as easy as slapping a coat of paint on, but it will be worth you time. Here's some great sites for you to get some more deas & ask questions:

HGTV FORUM:

http://boards.hgtv.com/eve

DIY FORUM:

http://www.diyforums.net/

DIY CHAT ROOM:

http://www.diychatroom.com/

DECORATIVE PAINTING TECHNIQUES:

http://www.pain  ent/design_6.htm

HOME TIPS: Paint Techniques, Wallpaper & Faux Finishes:

http://www.home  ement/paint.html

DEBBIE TRAVIS's PAINTED HOUSE:

http://www.pain  que&view=all

HOW TO PAINT JUST ABOUT ANYTHING:

http://www.hgtv  p;cat=1&by=3

CHOOSING THE RIGHT INTERIOR PAINT:

http://hometips  se_intpaint.html

VIRTUAL PAINTING (seeing your room on your computer before you paint):

http://www.real  602?OpenDocument

BROWN BAG TECHNIQUE FOR WALLS:

http://www.bozz  nnyeManning.html

DOING A CRACKED-PAINT FINISH:

http://ask.yahoo.com/20010427.html

* PS. IF you decide to paint, (regular OR decorative) I'd recommend you using 100% ACRYLIC paint, Not Latex. As 100% Acrylic sticks to practically anything, plus it costs less. It can be tinted to any color & comes in any type gloss. It's usually sold to professionals for painting masonry work as it sticks so well. You can buy it in gallons at Home Depot. They sell 2 types, Indoor or outdoor.

* BEWARE: Before you go into the HGTV or DIY forums & post a question, you need to register. Be sure to use an extra e-mail address to do this because unlike the nice folks here on ThriftyFun, You're E-mail box will be spammed like never before!

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 18, 20080 found this helpful

I just recently had this very situation on the ceiling in my dining room and this worked beautiful. I bought a bottle of craft glue and a package of tissue paper that you use in gift wrap. Dilute the glue...1/2cup of water to 1 cup of glue, then wad up the papers then straighten them out. Use a paint brush or small roller, put glue mixture on wall. Tear paper in large pieces and adhear to wall, making sure all paper is completed on wall. Continue until surface is done and dry,(4 hours) then paint. The texture is great, you dont have to worry about it being smooth, the more wrinkles the better the texture.

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January 21, 20080 found this helpful

When we moved into our house 11 yrs ago there was walpaper here I tried to remove and it appeared it was really stuck on there good. I filled a bucket with hot water and fabric softner and rubbed it all over the wallpaper with a sponge and the walpaper eventually loosened up and came off with ease. Give that a try :)

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 22, 20080 found this helpful

We did have wallpaper in our bathroom. We didn't put sizing on the walls before wallpapering. We removed the wallpaper using hot water and white vinegar in a spray bottle, and what a mess we had. We went to Home Depot and found a sand additive that you add to paint. It turned out so well.

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 22, 20080 found this helpful

My girlfriend also used a concentrate of 50/50 water and fabric softener (cheap from the dollar store), sprayed it really wet onto the wallpaper and let it soak until the paper began to bubble. She said it was a breeze! It peeled off in large strips. She was shocked that this advice actually worked. You may want to try a small inconspicuous corner by the floor to see if it will penetrate through the paint that is on top of the wallpaper.

Hope it works. Other than stripping the paper, i have no ideas. Blessings!

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By 0 found this helpful
December 1, 2015

I am attempting to paint over wallpaper flaws with the same color flat paint. The cream color, where painted, has a bluish shadow. Nothing works! One person said to paint the paper with a dark brown color and after cream paint was applied, it still has the blue shadow. Even bleach will not help. Lowe's does not have the paper anymore since it is at least 10 years old. Any suggestions would be much appreciated by not having to do all rooms!

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November 28, 20131 found this helpful

How do I get rid of air bubbles that have occured after painting over wallpaper? Also the paint has dried and the bubbles haven't gone. I would appreciate your help.

By Rose B

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By 0 found this helpful
September 18, 2010

We are moving into a farmhouse soon and want to do some redecorating. One room has old wall paper in it. Shall we try to strip it or is it best to just paint over it? Any advice would be appreciated.

By Sheila from Ontario, Canada

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June 28, 20130 found this helpful

I have some "very expensive at the time" textured wallpaper (hung by a professional) that's a light blue color. I'm wondering if I can simply paint over it to update the color?

By Pat from Oak Lawn, IL

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By 0 found this helpful
March 13, 2010

If you are going to put on more paste and wallpaper, do you have to remove all the old wallpaper and paste?

By Ray from Columbus, OH

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By 0 found this helpful
January 31, 2005

I painted a room in my house without knowing that the previous paint job was done over wallpaper. The problem is the paper is starting to bubble under the paint. Is there anything that I can do to fix this without redoing the whole room?
Thanks goldenboggs

Goldenboggs

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February 1, 20050 found this helpful

Hi, I just went thru the entire process. I ended up calling Sherwin williams and was told that no amt of paint over paper can be guaranteed for any amt of time. I ended up stripping the paper which has the paint on and it took off the actual paper on the drywall. I was able to salvage that with primer which took 3 coats of paint. It was a real mess and my husband actually wanted to redrywall the walls but I didn't want the dust that comes with that. Who knows but my wall looks good now. Good luck with yours.

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February 1, 20050 found this helpful

I don't know what to tell you to do about what you've already painted over, but if you decide to paint over wallpaper in the future, use a base of oil paint and then paint your latex over it. I learned this tip from my best friend who has rental homes.

I did this is in my living room and it works. Three years later and it still looks great. Just make sure you use the oil paint in a well ventilated area and make sure you tape off everything well as it's not easy to remove oil paint.

Wendy

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April 13, 20050 found this helpful

Today I helped a friend paper a bathroom in the most unique way I've ever seen. I'd prefer this over painting any day.Sounds to me like you've got wall problems anyway,and it's going to cost a lot to be able to paint. It took 2 rolls to do this job--(Imagine doing a room with cheap paper-- wouldn"t that be nice?) HERE"S THE PROCEDURE: TEAR medium sized peices dipping in the water and putting on the wall. These will be different sizes and shapes because you are TEARING the pieces.. Continue to dip and paste until your wall is covered. Do not use straight edged except to do the top,bottom and to trim around outlets,etc.You will still tear this paper only leaving the straight edge.This gives the paper a textured look and turns out prettier than painting. However I would not recommend this procedure for floral paper, just a solid or a sort of stone type design. This would be a great cover for problem walls.She learned about this procedure at a Lowes store.

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November 20, 20060 found this helpful

You "might" be able to use Kiltz over it then primier then paint it again. I would ask the local Paint store first,or try looking it up online to see if there is a place you can get PROFESSIONAL tips from too. This one is from a woman who just does things herself(ME) then sees if it works. Good luck :)

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By 0 found this helpful
June 27, 2008

I am repairing a wall that has been brown bag wallpapered and the brown bags are different shades of brown. Can I paint over this and just have textured wallpaper?

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By 0 found this helpful
July 12, 2017

Is it feasible to paint over wallpaper, since there are new paints out there?
I know you couldn't do it in the 1999 and beyond.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 6, 2014

I have a room that was painted over wallpaper and because I wanted a change of color I had it painted again. Now I find that most of the edges have lifted. What can I do apart from starting from scratch and probably doing more damage.

By Kathy from New Zealand

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June 9, 20130 found this helpful

I've covered a large cardboard box with wallpaper to make my grandson an army tank fancy costume. My problem is that now that I've spray painted it camouflage colors the paint won't dry. What can I do?

By Iris

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October 21, 20140 found this helpful

I have been trying to remove the backing off an old plaster wall that had not been prepared properly. It is just not coming off. I tried all kinds of glue remover. It takes hours for one little spot. Could I paint over it?

By Carol

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October 3, 20130 found this helpful

Can I paint over thick bathroom paper, like tiling on a roll paper? I am looking to use proper bathroom paint. The walls are so bad in my old cottage, I would have to take all the paper off and have the walls replastered otherwise

By Chris from Wales

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By 0 found this helpful
January 14, 2013

I am currently painting over a textured vinyl wallpaper. I have cut in the ceiling and edges with a brush. Then I rolled the rest of the wall. After drying, I am able to see all of the spots I cut in at first. I believe it is because in those areas, the paint is now thicker and the texture is not as deep. If I use a thicker roller will this even out the walls or how can I fix? If I brush it will it even out?

By Debbie

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February 7, 20110 found this helpful

People often ask if wallpaper can be painted over. The answer is yes, if it is smooth with no tears. You might want to give it a good wiping down first with a good sized dry cloth. Remember to always allow time for drying (curing) etc.

Five years ago I applied a coat of Zinsser 1-2-3 Primer and then painted over it. To this day it still looks great and is holding quite well. I also painted a stucco type paint over a wall that was covered in a fabric/cloth wallpaper and it too still appears to be in excellent shape.

By brushoff from Oshawa, Canada

It Was Common

When I was young nobody primed wall paper before painting over it. They just plain painted over it and that was good. This was back in 40s-50s.

By redhatterb

Removal Will Be a Chore

I feel sorry for anyone who buys your house. Removing wallpaper that has been painted over is really a chore. I know, I have done it. I hope anyone who does this plans on leaving it there forever.

By Laniegirl

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November 8, 20100 found this helpful

Is it OK to paint over wallpaper?

By Mary from FL

Lots of Work Down the Road

I would recommend that you do not. The previous owners of our house painted over some wall paper. At first, it looked fine. But a couple years down the road, the paper underneath started to peel. We had a terrible time removing it. It's much easier to remove paper that has not been painted on. Yes, it's more work now but it will save a ton of work later.

By cdoss

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May 6, 20100 found this helpful

How do I paint over vinyl wallpaper?

By mandgtie from Madelia, MN

Primer for Wallpaper

Check with your wallpaper/paint dept at Lowe's or Home Depot (or specialty store). I may be mistaken, but I seem to remember seeing primer to put on top of wallpaper. I'm usually putting the wallpaper on. (08/04/2009)

By tejasridgerunner

Primer

I just painted over wallpaper. I was told that if the wallpaper is shinny that you need a primer. That's what I did. Make sure all the seams are glued down tight. Mine turned out beautifully.

By TXBetty

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August 3, 20090 found this helpful

We have a mobile home with pre-papered wallboard. Can we paint over it and how?

Elzadia from Beach Park, IL

Kilz

First of all, use Kilz on all the walls, then primer over that then paint. You could just paint over the Kiltz, but I would use a primer first just to make sure the paint adheres to the wall properly since it is a mobile home.

By grammaoftwo

Kilz

We just finished a mobile home and I painted right over the wallpaper. I didn't use Kilz or a primer, that would be a waste of money. I just used plain old paint right over th paper, did the trick. The paint hid the old wallpaper and looked really nice. We also painted the paneling too. It looks so good, didn't primer it either.

By imaqt1962

Sandpaper

I've painted both my bathrooms in my mobile home, and all I had to do is scuff up the walls completely with some light weight sand paper. Try not to skip any areas. I don't have the energy or money to do all the fancy stuff. I just scuff and paint, I used a good quality mold paint for my bathroom. I've had no problems at all of it staying on. It did take an extra coat where it soaked in though. I just allowed a little extra paint. This way will give you some "texture" also to your wall, which I like. I also applied border to it, and it held up fine. No problems.

By Glinda

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November 20, 20060 found this helpful

I'm just wondering if its possible to paint over old wallpaper? Our home is old and there must be 5 layers of wallpaper and we don't really want to have to go through all that trouble of stripping off wallpaper. Our cupboards in the kitchen hide over half of the walls anyway.

We're giving our kitchen a makeover with new cupboards and counters so I wanted to add new paint or something to the old yellowish color wallpaper that's been up there forever.

Any suggestions on if this is possible or not?

Thank you,
Yvonne from Ontario

You Can Paint Over Wallpaper

You can paint on wallpaper. You do not have to prime the wall first. However you might have to do two coats of paint depending on the wallpaper color. You might even want to buy a Magic Roller (you can find them at WalMart) and use the Wallpaper as part of the background. It really is a neat tool.

By Jo

The Paper Can Fall Off

The first time I painted over wallpaper, I did so because I didn't want to have to remove the paper. However, after applying the paint, the paper came loose and then it just peeled right off all in whole strips. I don't know why, as I have painted over some recently, and it stayed on the wall.

By Aneita

Remove It Instead

An easy way to remove wallpaper is by using liquid fabric softener. I had some wallpaper cutouts on my wall & I poured some fabric softener on a wet sponge, wiped over the cutouts & within minutes, just peeled them off. For all over wallpaper, I'd suggest putting a mixture of 75% fabric softener & 25% water in a spray bottle & spraying the walls down.

By Petfinder

Be Careful

I'd be careful! The moisture from the paint will penetrate non-vinyl wallpaper. That's what would make it peel off the wall as Aneita stated. If it's vinyl wallpaper it wouldn't soak through, but you'd still have to watch out at the seams where it still could get underneath! You really are better in the long run to remove it. The fabric softener trick really works good. Time consuming -- but not tough to do. (08/03/2005)

By carolb

Don't Do It

Please don't do this! I speak from experience. I bought a home that had professionally wall-papered bathroom. Although the paper was perfectly applied, I wanted to do another, more personal, look. I looked online for advice, and selected the easiest and spackled, sanded and primed the walls and seams; and then painted over. I have done this twice so far in 2 yrs. and am still unsatisfied with the results.

I then decided to remove the wallpaper, which is now all but impossible, and ended up damaging the wall board beneath. I am left with paying expensive professional painters fees to rectify my mistakes. had i taken the time and effort to remove the wallpaper in the first place I would be done with the job and saved money. some things are best left to the professionals. When you want a quality job done right, you can't cut corners to save a few bucks. It only ends up costing u more in the end.

By Debbie

Vinegar for Removal

Vinegar mixed with warm water in a squirt bottle works fabulous. White vinegar, about a cup, then fill bottle with warm/hot water. Spray on wallpaper, let sit for a few minute and peel right off. My daughter did 5 rooms in the same amount of time it took her to scrape 1 room.

By Barbara

Oil Based Primer

When painting over wallpaper is unavoidable, use an oil-based primer first and the paper will not buckle beneath the paint.

By Patricia

Starched Fabric Alternative

I have a friend who wanted a different look in a rental property and she starched fabric over the existing wallpaper and it turned out REALLY nice. Just saturate the fabric in full strength liquid starch and hang like wallpaper. Trim edges after dry. When you want to change your look it peels right off. (08/08/2005)

By Michelle

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