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Painting Over Wallpaper

Category Painting
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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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
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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.

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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 Marks 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.

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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 Liz (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 Elizabeth (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 sherri (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.

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Sher

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By Loretta (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.

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bjpyl (Judy)

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By Dee (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 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
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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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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 tamz (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 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 McDowell 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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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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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 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 debbiesz4

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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 JERRY 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 Joan

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 Elaine

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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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