Painting over Wallpaper

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated December 14, 2018)

Redecorating a room can often be a big task, and one that no one really likes to undertake that often. Well, one way you can make that task a little easier is by painting over wallpaper that you already have hanging in the rooms. It's not particularly difficult, and if done properly no one can really tell that you have painted over the paper instead of removing it. Here are the steps for painting over wallpaper.

Items needed:

  • Primer (shellac or oil based)
  • Paint in the color of your choice
  • Lots of clean rags
  • Latex (or other disposable) gloves
  • Paint rollers
  • Paint tray
  • Drop cloth
  • Small painting brush
  • Drywall mud
  • Caulk
  • Caulking gun
  • Drywall knife
  • Painting tape

Procedure:

  1. Inspect the wallpaper. One of the keys to doing a really good job of painting over wallpaper is to check and make sure that the wallpaper is in good working order. Typically this will meant that it is sticking well to the wall it is on, and that there are no bubbles or air pockets in the way. If you don't then you run the risk of the paper falling off at a later date and pulling down the paint with it.
  2. Prepare the area. Prepare your work area as well as you possibly can. This means removing any and all furniture, tape off electrical outlets, or remove the covers and tape off the plugs, tape any trim or edges that you don't want painted, and tape off window sills and around the window glass. This is all to protect anything that you don't want painted.
  3. Prime the wallpaper. When painting wallpaper you need to also prepare the surface you will be working on just as much as preparing the room that you are working in. In this case it means that you paint the primer onto the wallpaper. Be sure that you use shellac or oil based primer, as they work best on wallpaper.
  4. Mud the seams. Once you have primed the wallpaper, allow it to completely dry before you proceed. When the walls are ready, get the drywall mud and a drywall knife and start mudding the seams. This will help create a more even and consistent surface for you to paint, which basically means that you won't be able to see the seams any more. Allow the mud to completely dry before painting.
  5. Calk the trim. While the mud is drying, begin caulking along the ceiling, floor, and all the trim that is found on the walls. This will help hide the seams that typically show up along those areas when they are wallpapered. Run your finger lightly along the caulking bead to help smooth it out, and make it fit more naturally into the crevice that is along the corners.
  6. Paint. Once the mud and the caulking have completely dried, you can begin painting. Pretty much at this point all you need to do is paint your room or wall like you would any other room. Be aware that you may need to paint the wall a couple of times to achieve the look you want. Be sure that you allow the paint to completely dry prior to adding any additional coats though.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

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