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Painting Over Wallpaper

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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