Paint over wallpaper question

The wallpaper is flat and adhered well to the wall. Will painting over result in a nice look? This was apparently when blue and mauve were all the rage.
q paint over wallpaper
  10 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jun 11, 2018
    Some will say yes,I will say not a recommended idea, down the road the wall paper will bubble and peel.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jun 11, 2018
    Yes you can. just do not over saturate it or it may loosen from the wall...just paint it lightly and let each coat dry for a couple of days before you go over it with the second...and maybe even third...coat. Don't overload your roller.
  • Linda Linda on Jun 11, 2018
    I would bite the bullet now while it is easiest to remove. Once painted its at least three times harder to remove and damage underneath will be spotty and impossible to avoid. Takes a lot more scraping to remove once painted. And much harder to penetrate surface to wet glue to scrape off. Now you can likely peel top layer, score second layer, spray to wet it and scrape off. Good luck
  • William William on Jun 21, 2018
    Always better to remove. There is always the chance that moisture from the paint can cause it to bubble and lift. Seams may even show. Future removal will pose a problem as Linda states. The only time I recommend painting over wallpaper is if it was put on directly over drywall with no primer or sizing. If you must paint use a good stain blocking primer like Kilz. Then your paint. I use a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and hot water in a spray bottle. Lay some towels on the floor. Saturate the wallpaper and let set for a while. Every so often check if it will scrape off with a putty knife. Don't let it dry out. The paper backing may remain on the wall which will need to be scraped off. Use the same mixture to wash off the glue residue. Prime and paint when dry.
  • Jds257311 Jds257311 on Jun 22, 2018
    It's always better to remove. Depending on the paper, how old it is and how it was applied, the removal could take an hour or several. First, try loosening a corner or joint of the paper. Get a grip and try lifting and removing. If it doesn't come off, try scoring the paper andctry not going through to the wall. Scoring can damage the sheetrock underneath but it has to be done to get water to the backside. Use hot water and saturate the wall. A spray bottle helps with this. Let it soak and see if that works. If not, there is a product called DIF which I have always found success with. It's a concentrate that mixes with hot water and disolves the glue. Use a scraper and it should come off without to much effort. There are also wallpaper steamers that you can rent at tool stores. I have used all these methods. Only once have I papered over old paper. We moved into an older home and I removed the wallpaper only to find another layer underneath. The previous owners had used a varnish or shellac over that wall paper and it wasn't coming off. I scrubbed it with TSP and then rinsed it well. The paper I used was prepasted but I pasted it again and put it up. And, I hoped for the best. 20 yrs later, the paper is still in almost perfect shape and I still love the pattern. Good luck with your project. :)
  • Billy Billy on Jun 22, 2018
    Thank you. It is original from 89 like everything in this house  and directly to unfinished drywall. This is a paper with no sheen and seems adhered well. I was lucky upstairs in that is was an almost contact paper type and came right down ... it was original directly to unfinished drywall.
  • Joan Joan on Jun 22, 2018
    I would remove the wallpaper. But before you make any investment, try this. It worked perfectly for me. You need a spray bottle filled with hot water. Spray about 3 panels of the wallpaper very liberally, walk away for 30 minutes, come back and spray again two more times (spray and walk away for 30 minutes x 2). FROM THE BOTTOM UP, start tearing the paper up very slowly, jerking as you go. If the paper tears, just scrape it up with your fingernail and continue jerking the paper up. Continue on in the room the same way doing 3 panels at time. To remove the glue left on the walls, you’ll need a bucket of warm water and an old broom. Wet the broom in the hot water and start washing the wall with the broom which will break up the remaining glue. Then wipe the walls down with a soft cloth dipped in warm water. The broom will be shot when you’re done so you’ll have to pitch it. This worked for me and I removed 3 rooms of wallpaper that were 25-30 years old. Good luck and let me know how it turns out!
  • Patricia Q. Patterson Patricia Q. Patterson on Jun 22, 2018
    I never, ever paint over wallpaper. I know some people do but it just makes it more difficult to remove later on and trust me it will eventually need to be removed. I absolutely refuse to do this for my design clients. If you can't do it right then don't do it at all is my motto. A steamer can be purchased or rented or borrowed to remove the wallpaper. It is not a pleasant job but patience will get it done. Then, you may need to apply sheetrock mud and sand like crazy but the finished product will be worth it.
  • Maura White Maura White on Oct 19, 2019

    Check this out - this may help you want to paint:

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