Painting Over Wallpaper

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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July 24, 2011 Flag
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Can I paint sheetrock with wallpaper already on it?

By Flo

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July 26, 20110 found this helpful
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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. :)

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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July 26, 20110 found this helpful

Some people do; some people don't. I wouldn't, because I think it would look tacky, and I think it would be a nightmare to remove the paper after that. But that is just my opinion. I have seen decorators do so on TV, but then I've seen them put moss on bedroom walls and paint upholstered furniture, too.

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July 26, 20110 found this helpful

Be sure and use an oil based paint for the 1st coat, and than you can use any paint. A water based paint will cause some papers to become loose. Try to pull it off if you can, usually it comes off easy. If not good luck with the paint.

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December 1, 2015 Flag
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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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December 3, 20150 found this helpful

Why would anyone want to paint over wall paper when it can be removed easily? All you had to do was go to your local paint store & ask how to do it.

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December 3, 20150 found this helpful

I just got off the phone from a very nice CSR at Lowe's Corporate Office. He said he has never heard of anything like this, & cannot figure out how the cream color paint is showing a bluish hue color from the repair patches over the original 10 year old vinyl wallpaper. (Guess I win the prize for that.) We live very close to our Lowe's store & we have exhausted every delimma possible of finding a 'cause/remedy' effect from this project. He said the Kilz, tinted primer we also tried as a remedy should have taken care of the problem from painting the little flaws & dings on the wallpaper that occurs over a 10 year old time frame. Maybe a second attempt at this puzzling & challenging problem will finally have a successful outcome. I will be doing a "Happy Dance" & hopefully be able to post the results of it online.

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December 10, 20150 found this helpful

My husband took a left-over piece wallpaper & went to our Gibsons' Ace Hardware. A nice man that has many years of paint related experience & knowledge suggested to my husband to always use Kilz oil based...for every project involving paint related projects. He said he never uses regular Kilz on any project. After he matched the paint 'cream color' of the wallpaper that we had from a left-over small sample, he seems he has a very close color we needed for 'patch' of scuffs, etc., that might occur. He reiterated that he never uses regular Kilz, & he only uses Kilz oil based. He has been painting for over 25 years & has seen everything...except for mine! Once again, I "get the prize" for finding a solution that only I could have started. He suggested to let the Kilz dry for 24 hrs., then apply the paint over the wallpaper flaws & let it dry for another 24 hrs. as well. If this is the remedy that we are hoping for, I am crossing my fingers for a successful outcome & my "Happy Dance" will be soon....

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April 27, 2011 Flag
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Do you use an oil base paint or latex when painting over wallpaper?

By Bonnie from Cedar Rapids, IA

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April 29, 20110 found this helpful
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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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April 30, 20110 found this helpful

Emulsion paint. We get it in matte or satin finish.

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April 30, 20110 found this helpful

I asked my husband, who is a professionally trained union painter for more than 35 years. He agrees with Bac.

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August 14, 2011 Flag
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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
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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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August 14, 20110 found this helpful

About 40-50 years ago when I was a really young kid, people just plain painted over wall paper. Of course back then the paint was all oil base, and I don't know if that would make any difference or not.

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August 15, 20110 found this helpful

Some wall papers are very hard to remove. Usually scoring the paper will let the walll paper remover in behind the paper to do the job. As for painting I would ask the paint folks at a home center or paint company for their suggestions before I made too much of a mess.

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June 28, 2013 Flag
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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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June 29, 20130 found this helpful

Yes, you can always paint over wallpaper. Choose a great color and have fun. As long as there are no loose edges; if there are, glue those down.

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June 30, 20130 found this helpful

I have never done so, but I have seen it done many times on the TV decorating shows. You must make sure that it is not a vinyl wallpaper, as paint will not stick to that without special prep. My sister in law lived in a very old house and actually papered over the walls with plain white textured paper, and then painted; it was apparently what the wallpaper was intended for. However, I wonder why you would not remove the wallpaper. I think it is not too hateful a job to take it off the wall, if you have the right products and equipment, but I think it would be a nightmare to get it off after it was painted over. Just asking.

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July 2, 20130 found this helpful

You can paint over it. But you will then not be able to remove it without great difficulty. Most wallpaper just peels off. If you decide to paint use a paint that is not water based, and know that whoever has to peel the painted wallpaper will resent you forever.

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March 14, 2007 Flag
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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?

Laks

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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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October 9, 20080 found this helpful

I have painted over wallpaper and it looked beautiful! That is until I had to use the vaporizer. I woke up and all the wallpeper was laying on the floor or hanging down. The paint had been done 5 years earlier too! At least I knew how to remove the rest of the wallpaper!

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October 9, 20080 found this helpful

I love your kitchen the way it is, but can understand you might just be tired of it. I know it's a bit outdated now, but I've always loved the blue/peach combination--it has to be the right shade of blue though, a real light powder blue doesn't work, it has to be a bit darker to look right. Good luck!

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February 7, 2011 Flag
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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
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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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November 28, 2013 Flag
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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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December 2, 20130 found this helpful

Why, oh why, did you paint over wallpaper? That was your first mistake. I would scrape it all off and start over, but if you don't want to do that, take a sharp x-acto knife and make a small slit in the bubble. Insert a small bit of wallpaper adhesive with a toothpick. Press down on bubble. Let it dry completely, then repaint.

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September 18, 2010 Flag
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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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Anonymous Flag
September 20, 20100 found this helpful

As long as the wallpaper isn't bubbled or peeling/lifting and you simply want an easy convenient fix until a later date (even a couple of years down the road), then you most certainly can paint over the wallpaper and it will be no more difficult to remove the wallpaper with a coat of paint or two on it at a later date! I know this first hand. ;-)

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September 21, 20100 found this helpful

As Deeli said, unless it looks damp or smells musty I'd leave it. You never know what the paper is covering up. I stripped a room once and found loads of small holes drilled in the walls. Invisible under the paper but not if painted. I took one look and papered it over again! No idea why so many holes, there were hundreds! I painted over the paper in the rest of the house.

Marg from England.

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September 21, 20100 found this helpful

I always think it is better to strip the paper, however, if you are not sure about what is underneath and think that you might have something weird and not just gyprock, you might want to leave it. My sister lived in a house built in the 30's with poorly plastered walls that were very rough. She purposely papered over the walls before she painted.

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January 18, 2008 Flag
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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.

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March 13, 2010 Flag
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If you are going to put on more paste and wallpaper, do you have to remove all the old wallpaper and paste?

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