Do You Need to Prime Paintable Wallpaper?


Paintable wallpaper adds texture to walls while giving decorators unlimited color choices. Available in several varieties for papering walls or ceilings, paintable wallpaper requires little, if any, preparation to paint a solid color or in a faux finish. Use paintable wallpaper on bare walls or over paneling to help cover problem areas, and paint it as you would any other wall.

Paintable Wallpaper Techniques

  • After you have finished hanging paintable wallpaper, it can be painted once the paste has completely dried. As with any other paintable surface, whether or not to prime paintable wallpaper depends both on what material it is and what type of paint is being used. Companies manufacture paintable wallpapers using a variety of materials, including cotton and glass fibers.

    Glass-fiber paintable wallpapers such as Textra require very little preparation. Some glass-fiber paintable wallpapers come from the dealer pre-primed. After hanging, paint pre-prime paintable wallpaper with one or two coats of latex paint. If the glass fiber paintable wallpaper does not come primed, prime it with a latex primer before painting.

    Repaint paintable wallpaper to change the color of the room. Wash the painted wallpaper thoroughly. If you are drastically changing the color, paint the wall first with a high-hiding primer. Repaint paintable wallpaper 10-30 times without losing the texture, depending on the depth of the design. Patch damaged paintable wallpaper using a leftover scrap, and retouch the paint in that area.


  • A lighter-weight option in paintable wallpaper, Anaglypta, requires latex primer before painting the finish coat. Hang Anglalypta like traditional wallpaper, or apply it to the ceiling. Use glazes or highlight paint colors on Angalypta to highlight the texture. Avoid using oil-based paint and primer on Angalypta because they raise the grain.


  • One product made from linseed oil with a hard shell and sold under the trade name Lincrusta, contains deep texture and a very hard surface. Decorators use Lincrusta in historic restorations and when a homeowner desires an ornate carved appearance. After hanging Lincrusta, wipe it with mineral spirits and prime with an oil-based primer. Paint the LIncrusta with any interior paint. Glaze Lincrusta, apply varnish or enamel, or use a faux painting technique it to give it the look of wood, marble or finished metal.

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