Looking to upgrade a bedroom or bathroom and wondering how to paint over wallpaper?
One method is wallpaper removal (see How to Remove Wallpaper), but if you don’t want to go down that path, why not just paint over the wallpaper instead?
If your wallpaper is not of the strippable variety (the kind that easily pulls away from the wall) and was applied with a strong adhesive, it can be difficult or near impossible to remove it completely, if at all. Sometimes it’s safer for the wall underneath, and less trouble for you, to simply paint over existing wallpaper. Below we lay out the steps for how to paint over wallpaper.
HOW TO PAINT OVER WALLPAPER
Prepare the Wall
The first thing you must do is prepare the wall. Begin by vacuuming or wiping down the wallpaper to remove any and all dust and dirt.
Check for any dings or tears in the paper and cover these with as many layers of spackle as needed. (If you are dealing with textured wall paper, spackle the entire wall to create a uniformed surface for the paint.) Next, sand down the seams of the wallpaper so that the the surface for painting is entirely smooth. This will give the final wall, once the paint has dried, a professional look.
Use caulk where the ceiling and floor meet the wall to prevent the wallpaper from peeling up after you paint. As tempting as it is to skip these steps, it is important that the preparation of the wall be taken seriously in order to ensure an eye-pleasing final product and to ensure that you don’t create more work for yourself in the future.
Paint the Paper
Now that the wall is ready for painting, apply an oil-based primer (a water-based primer is not recommend as it may loosen the wallpaper). The primer will help to seal the paper and reinforce its adhesive. Once the primer is completely dry, your wall is ready to receive its first coat of oil-based paint. You may begin painting over the wallpaper. Use as many coats of paint as you see fit, though at least two is probably best.
You now know how to paint over wallpaper. Happy painting!