Painting over your wallpapered walls can be a great way to change the look of your room. In many older homes, the walls were covered with wallpaper; if it has been on the walls for a long period of time, the wallpaper can be very difficult and time-consuming to remove. Instead of taking the time to strip the walls, why not just paint over them? There is a little prep work that needs to go into this, but in the end you will have a great looking wall that nobody will ever know had wallpaper on it.
Things You'll Need
- Fast-drying shellac or alcohol-based primer
- Joint compound
- Wide drywall knife
- Sanding sponge
- Drywall primer
- Small paintbrush
Preparing the wall
Glue down any loose pieces of wallpaper or seams that have lifted. Wallpaper seam glue works very well for this. If you have large pieces that are peeling, pull those off rather than gluing them down.
Prime the entire wall with a fast-drying shellac or alcohol-based primer, using a roller. Be sure to ventilate the room very well or wear a respirator while working with the primer or shellac.
Apply joint compound to all the seams. Use a drywall knife or putty knife to lay down the joint compound. A wider knife is better because you want to spread the joint compound very wide, feathering in the edges to help hide those seams.
Allow the joint compound to dry for two to three hours before sanding. Thin coats of joint compound with dry a little faster with less shrinkage of the material, making this process faster.
Sand the joint compound with a sanding sponge, removing any high spots in the seam. These are available at most paint stores and create less dust and debris during the sanding process.
Painting the wall
Coat the entire wall in a coat of drywall primer. The primer can be applied just like paint with a roller or brush. This will seal and protect the wall, allowing the paint to adhere and not soak into the paper.
Paint the wall with a smooth roller, cutting in the corners with a small paintbrush to avoid getting paint in unwanted areas. It may take several coats depending on the color of the paint and the color of the paper below it.
Paint the wall with additional coats as required. This is completely cosmetic, so apply as many paint coats as needed until you are happy with the results.
Tips & Warnings
- Flat finishes do a better job of hiding imperfections in the wall or surface being painted.
How to Paint Over Wallpaper Like a Professional
Professional painters are almost unanimous in their recommendation to remove wallpaper rather than paint over it, but sometimes leaving the wallpaper is...
How to Paint Over Textured Wallpaper
Textured or anaglypta wallpaper can be painted like a regular wall and is an excellent option for adding texture without needing to...
How to Paint Over Wallpaper Glue
Removing wallpaper is often tricky, and eliminating all of the glue is sometimes impossible. Most wallpaper removal projects will leave some wallpaper...
How to Remove Wall Paper Backing
Removing wallpaper can be dreadful. You have heard the horror stories of taking down wallpaper. Sometimes it's not so much the actual...
How to Cover Wallpaper With Paint
You can change the decor in a room quickly by painting. However, if you have wallpaper on the wall, that's a different...
How to Easily Apply Paint Over Hard to Remove Wallpaper
Old wallpaper can be difficult to remove and can even destroy the wall beneath it, but you can easily paint over it...
How to Paint Over Wallpaper Liner
Wallpaper liner is very similar to wallpaper. It is installed on walls to help cover up flaws or other blemishes. Wallpaper liner...
Wallpaper Glue Is Stuck on the Walls
Some wallpapers peel away from the wall easily, taking their glue with them. These wallpapers are called strippable wallpaper. Other wallpaper types,...
Can You Texture & Paint Over Wallpaper Adhesive?
The short answer to the question is "Yes, but . . . ," so you know right away that there are pros...