Though not always recommended, sometimes it is best to paint over the wallpaper. Here’s how to paint over wallpaper.

How To Paint Over Wallpaper

It was the last thing you expected when you moved into your new house; the wallpaper does not peel off, without causing damage to the walls! You feel almost cheated – the people who lived earlier should have told you about that, so you would have known what to do about it. Now you want to give the walls a different colour, but the wallpaper refuses to relent; or else, it causes the wall to break away or chip. For you the best option would be to paint over the wallpaper; and there is a method to do that too. But before you proceed to do that, you must understand that there is only a limit up to which painting over wallpaper can be effective and you must keep checking the walls for any crevices or blemishes that you may have left behind. 

Tips For Painting Over Wallpaper  

Here’s how to go about when you have decided to paint over your wallpaper:
  • The first thing to do is to make sure that the wallpaper is well adhered to the wall and that it is not bubbling at any point. If there are any loose or stray ends, they must be pulled out or removed at once. If the edges are coming apart, then you must either stick them using strong glue or tear them away. This is also the best time to check any other cracks or leaks and fix them so that you proceed with minimum issues.
  • Priming is another important step that you have to follow. It ensures that water does not seep through and cause the wallpaper to lift off the wall. It is best, in many cases, to use an oil based primer so that it prevents water from seeping in. You will have to give it ample ventilation for drying; once it dries up completely, you will find that all the gaps, seams and holes that need attention have surfaced. Take necessary action for all of them. After you have applied primer, you will have to wash the brush roller completely before applying the paint, as all paints are water based.
  • Using a broad drywall knife and a pan, seal each seam by sweeping a thin coat of drywall mud down it; let it dry completely before you sand it. If the drywall begins to shrink, which it often does, you may have to apply another coat or a few more to ensure that it stays. When you are done with the drywall, caulk along the ceiling line and prime all the drywalled areas.
  • Use eggshell or washable flat paint, with less sheen, to hide the irregularities. Paint with steady strokes of the roller brush and make sure the paint is evenly spread over the wall. You could also choose to have a texture over the wall of your choice.
  • One reality check – painting over wallpaper can never equal painting over walls, there are bound to be some undesirable blobs or mistakes that you made while priming, applying drywall mud or painting. Look at all the nooks and crannies before you proceed to cover your wall with another coat of the paint.

Here are a few things you should be sure about when progressing to paint anything:

  • Make sure everything that could catch paint and get spoilt is covered in plastic sheets, so that they are not ruined by paint.
  • Try faux finishes on your walls so that the prints and textures of the wall paper do not bleed out, since you will be using water based colours
  • If your switchboards become dirty with paint, you may clean them, but it is advisable to remove them and buy new ones; they are extremely inexpensive.

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