How do I paint this wall?


our upstairs bathroom is very old and outdated, but a remodel is not in the budget right now. I thought if I painted this wall it might help a little bit, but I don’t know what it is. Does anyone know what material this wall is and what kind of paint I can use? Thanks!!

q how do i paint this
q how do i paint this
  10 answers
  • Mary lu Mary lu on Nov 09, 2018

    can't really tell from picture. Is it wallpaper? or is it just old plastered walls? got a space that won't show and try some paint on it and see what happens

  • Kelly-n-Tony Kelly-n-Tony on Nov 09, 2018

    If it's a glossy paneling you will need to either sand or use 2 coats of primer before painting. Primer and paint has become amazingly costly and it's possible new paneling more suited to your tastes might rival the cost so check into that. Another option is is you check your Menards, or other places that sell paints they often have gallons of paint mixed to the wrong color they sell for $5 or so. It's rare to have more then 1 gallon identical though so keep that in mind as well.

  • Lizbeth Lizbeth on Nov 09, 2018

    Looks like it *could be* textured plaster. If so, be sure to use a roller with a thick naps to get into the crevices when priming & painting.

  • Chris Gignac Chris Gignac on Nov 10, 2018

    From the pictures I'm going to go with some kind of laminated formica board. In my opinion I would remove it and start over.

  • Tex11597626 Tex11597626 on Nov 10, 2018

    It looks like plastic coated Masonite board. The cardinal rule of painting is start with a clean surface. Use a bonding primer, then top coat with paint with a sheen. Sheens can be low luster, satin, eggshell etc. and can go up to semi gloss to high gloss. Paints with a sheen are easier to wipe clean after they are dry. For a smoother finish, spraying would be the best.

  • Kathleen Walker Kathleen Walker on Nov 10, 2018

    looks like Formica. I would sand it good to break down the shiny surface then paint a coat of primer. Let it dry according to directions on the can then you can paint. Good luck.


    I had this same horrible stuff in my old bathroom and was in the same situation of not having the money at the time to re-do. I wallpapered mine. I didn't size the surface because I knew I wouldn't be taking the paper off until I eventually had the bathroom gutted and completely done over. I also used a heavy duty wallpaper paste instead of the prepasted stuff. You can use paste over prepasted. You can sometimes get inexpensive paper in thrift stores, Habitat for Humanity Re-Stores, Craig's List etc. In the 5 or 6 years that my paper was on the walls it never steamed off even though I didn't have an exhaust fan. Good luck on your temp reno

  • Marcia Marcia on Nov 10, 2018

    I sanded then painted with water resistant ceiling paint mine

  • Jan Loehr Jan Loehr on Nov 11, 2018

    Agree that it looks like glossy Formica... another option to consider is removable wallpaper...look for it in home stores or find a wall paper place....

  • Robyn Robyn on Nov 18, 2018

    Thank you all for the tips!

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