Can I Paint Over Wallpaper?
Wallpaper is not being installed as often today as it once was, but there is plenty in homes all over our area. Wallpaper is very expensive to remove. It can come off in sheets or tiny pieces, and there may be multiple layers. Then you usually have wall damage underneath, so you have to texture the walls. So it is not surprising that many people ask about painting over wallpaper. While the correct way is to remove it before painting, you most certainly can paint over it. There are a couple things to keep in mind with painting over wallpaper.
Inspect the wallpaper thoroughly for problem areas. This may be joints or corners peeling, or bubbles in the middle of walls. These are signs that it is not a good idea to paint over the wallpaper as the glue has already started to release. If it is small, they can be trimmed and floated out, but if they are numerous, you really need to remove the wallpaper because the added weight of primer and paint could cause many more areas to lift off.
The smooth texture of wallpaper could be different than other walls in your house. To some this is an issue, others it is fine. Most wallpaper is smooth, and most wall texture in our Northern California homes is not smooth. You can texture over wallpaper once it is primed, but you could end up with issues due to the weight of the texture pulling paper off the wall. So if you decide to texture over wallpaper it is critical to make sure it is 100% sound and the glue is really adhering to the wall. If the different textures don’t bother you, then prime away.
If you decide to paint over your wallpaper, here are the steps that you want to follow. Remove all outlet covers, hooks, and items that are on the walls. Mask and cover the baseboard, and other woodwork areas that you want to protect. Then you must prime the wallpaper, using an oil base primer. Once the prime is dry you can see any imperfections, seams, and nail holes. Caulk all the seams between the sheets of wallpaper with a very thin bead of caulking. Fill any nail holes with spackle. Then you are ready to paint. You want to apply 2 coats of premium grade paint. Keep in mind the more of a sheen you use, the more imperfections could stand out. So pick a lower sheen finish. Clean everything up and you can sit back and enjoy your newly painted room.
If this is something you don’t want to tackle on your own, please call Brooks Painting at 530-753-5074 and we can provide you with an estimate.