Redecorating with Wallpaper: Can You Paint Over it?

FCI Painting Tips for Decorating with Wallpaper

Looking for an easy way to modernize your dated home décor? Consider getting some new paint on those walls. Wallpaper that was the height of elegance 15 years ago is only dragging down your style aesthetic today, so opting for a fresh coat of paint will go a long ways towards transforming your space. But is taking down wallpaper worth the effort? Most people dread the idea of spending hours stripping old wallpaper off their walls, so they delay home improvement projects for years on end. However, this is hardly necessary. Prepping wallpaper to paint over it is possible, so long as you take the time to do it right.

You Can Paint Wallpaper, But Strip When You Can

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not always a décor faux pas to paint over wallpaper. Sometimes, it even makes sense. Not only can painting over wallpaper save you money and hours of prep work, it’s sometimes a smart choice for the durability of your walls. However, most homeowners shouldn’t paint over their wallpaper, so keep reading to learn if layering paint onto preexisting paper is a smart choice for your situation.

You should always attempt to strip your wallpaper before deciding to paint over it. The reasons for this are simple. First, paint usually looks better when put on a stripped wall. Otherwise, you risk seams from the wallpaper showing though, and raised designs may be emphasized with a coat of paint. Painting over wallpaper may also pose problems in the long run, as peeling paper will take your paint job off with it too and make frequent touchups a necessity. This means that it’s important to strip your paper before painting when you can, as the process of stripping painted over wallpaper is much more difficult.

When to Paint Over Wallpaper

Sometimes, stripping wallpaper won’t work for your walls. If any of the following conditions describe your home, you might be better off painting over your paper instead.

    • Too many paper layers: If your walls have multiple layers of paper on them, stripping off every layer yourself might be impossible and leave the walls an uneven texture in the process.
    • Minimal Time: Stripping wallpaper can be a drag, so if you’re on a tight renovation schedule, painting over the paper is a time saving option.
    • Crumbling drywall:  Taking wallpaper off drywall sometimes leaves it damaged and crumbling, so keeping it in place on older walls will ensure they stay intact.

How to Paint Over Wallpaper

If you decide to paint over your wallpaper, it is crucial that you carefully prepare your walls to prevent the result from looking shabby. Look over your walls, remove any loose paper in sight, and restore damage spots from nail holes. By taking the time to get your wall is as smooth as possible, you will get the best result.

Next, add a thin line of clear caulk around the edges of your wall, paying special attention to the places were the paper meets the floor and ceiling. This seals the edges and prevents the paper from peeling after it’s been painted.

After the wallpaper is secured, cover it in a coat of oil-based primer. This seals the adhesive in the paper and keeps it away from the moisture in the paint, which is otherwise likely to cause it to bubble or peel.

Once the primer is fully dry, inspect for gaps in the wallpaper seams these may need to be skimmed with drywall compound, sanded and re primed then you can paint your walls like normal.

 

When it’s time to call a professional painter

Feeling overwhelmed with the scope of your painting project? It might be time to call in some professional help and use the services of a painting company like FCI Painting. FCI Painting will never take the easy route on your renovation project and will strip off years of old wallpaper to give your walls a fresh look. You can find us online at https://fcipainting.com/ or by calling (239) 435-1001.

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