Can I Paint Over Wallpaper?
In short, the answer is a solid YES!
Removing that old, outdated wallpaper that’s been glued to the walls for eons can be one heck of a chore – especially when you’re trying not to damage your walls in the process! As long as there’s no signs of the glue giving out (paper bubbling or leaving the wall) then you should just leave that paper stuck to the wall and paint right over it.
Actually, by leaving the wallpaper on the wall, the wall itself will stay in better condition and you can start painting on it immediately!
Do some prep work before you start painting.
If you don’t prep the wall before you paint, you’re in for a world of trouble! Follow these quick and easy steps to get the best results:
· Clean the entire surface with tri-sodium phosphate (TSP or a TSP alternative). Sometimes it’s used after mineral spirits but can be used on its own.
· Rinse the wall with water and a clean cloth to get rid of the cleaner.
· Let it dry after rinsing and wiping.
· Replace any damaged areas and add adhesive to pieces of wallpaper that aren’t holding on as tight as they once did. This will minimize the chances of the wallpaper falling.
· Caulk around the perimeter of the walls (just a thin line will do). Do this at the seam where the paper meets the ceiling and floor to help seal the edges and keep the paper from peeling after you’ve painted.
· Have some heavy textured paper? No problem! Cover it with a thin coat of joint compound (spackle). This will aid in smoothing it out so it won’t show through the paint.
· Sand (120 grit will do) down the seams of the wallpaper gently so they’re not too noticeable.
o Paint and primer stick to a sanded area better than a smooth area. If you didn’t sand enough you’ll see some small air bubbles on the wall.
o After your final sanding, wipe off the dust with tack cloth; you don’t want that dust to mess up your paint job!
· Apply a coat of an oil-based primer to all surfaces that you’re about to paint (before you paint them). This will help seal the glue within the paper and keep it away from the moisture of the paint.
· Tape off the areas that you’re not looking to paint (windows, baseboards… ). Paint may bleed through so make sure there’s no space in between what you want painted and what you don’t want painted.
· Now that you’ve done all of this, you’re ready to paint! Make sure to use an oil-based paint so that it doesn’t loosen the wallpaper adhesive (the moisture in latex paint can sometimes do that).
o Applying two coats usually works best depending on the design and color of the wallpaper you’re painting over.
o Wait a full day before applying the second coat and lightly sand the first coat for best results.
Now that you’re a wallpaper- painting guru, go out there and get colorful!