Wall paper everywhere.....

Folks I need help. Bought the house in 95' when Santa Fe was all the rage, and well I went a bit nuts with wall paper. It's has got to either be painted over or the dreaded removal. How do you paint over wall paper, or is it better to go for the struggle of removing it. I did hire the best 20 years ago to put it up and well I got what I paid for, he rocked it. Please, please help, I got married after living in the house with my son as a single parent for 17 years, and now as a married Army wife we'll be putting the house up for rent while we move around with the military for a few years. Do we attempt to remove the wall paper, or can it be painted over and how do we do it?
  14 answers
  • Patty S Patty S on Oct 11, 2015
    Painting over may moisten it to the point of it falling off. I am afraid you are headed to the dreaded removal. Painting over will still show the seams.

    • Rosemary Rosemary on Oct 11, 2015
      @Patty S aughhhh....It looked so sharp when I had it done back then....Thank you..

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Oct 11, 2015
    Honestly even though you are going to rent the house I do not recommend you painting over the wall paper as the paint will make the paper peel. There are stripp.ers you can apply to aid the process. Try your local home improvement store

  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Oct 11, 2015
    It all depends on how smooth the wallpaper is. We have successfully painted over wallpaper. But if you have bubbles,uneven joints (between the strips of wallpaper) or lifts, then you will have to take it down. Good luck.

    • Rosemary Rosemary on Oct 11, 2015
      @Liliana Wells It was professionally done back then so it does look really good except for when my cat and dogs have decided it didn't look good. Thank you hon.

  • Carolyn Carolyn on Oct 11, 2015
    I had to do the dreaded removal but did find an easier way to remove in small sections and found that I needed a little patience. I used hot water with vinegar...then sprayed a workable section...waited about ten minutes and used a putty knife and it slide off in big sections. Hope this helps

    • See 1 previous
    • Rosemary Rosemary on Oct 11, 2015
      @Carolyn Thank you.....I'll try that in the bathroom in the master. If I can get it off then maybe just maybe it won't be so expensive.

  • How much water and how much vinegar?

  • Cindy Cindy on Oct 11, 2015
    you can drench it with hot water as hot you can stand on your hands let sit for about 5 minutes then the top layer should peel over rather easily then soak bottom layer and use a large putty knife or at the paint store you can buy a large blade with a long handle witch is fantastic its for wall paper you can also put a little bit of fabric softner in your water. painting over wall paper is not a good idea could be very awful if the paint starts to loosen it then your looking at removing the paper any ways and wasting the time and money you just spent on the paint

    • Rosemary Rosemary on Oct 11, 2015
      @Cindy Thank you Hon. I foresee having to hire a pro to deal with it......I'm so not excited about the cost of it, but as you said do it right the first time.

  • Lynda Lynda on Oct 11, 2015
    we bought an older house and it only had wallpaper on the walls and at least 3/4 layers at that. While I was able to pull off the top layer I was wrecking the wall trying to take off the other layers. Believe me when I say I tried everything. Then I tried to put a skim coat on the walls. Made a mess of that too. Ended hiring a painter who put a skim coat on,sanded and then painted over it. If you paint over wall paper always, always always use flat paint. I tried using semi in a small hallway. Every seam, every thing showed thru. The painter I hired used flat paint as it showed less imperfections even with the skim coat. It was costly, $1200.00 for two decent size rooms but in the end well worth every penny.

    • See 1 previous
    • Lynda Lynda on Oct 15, 2015
      @Rosemary You are more than welcome. My rooms looks pretty nice now. When I hung the pictures on the wall you can barely notice that maybe there is wall paper underneath the paint. Some say not to do it but you never know until you try. I lucked out with a painter with over 40 years experience.

  • Anna Anna on Oct 11, 2015
    If it is going to be a rental, why bother?

  • Rosemary Rosemary on Oct 11, 2015
    It's my house....that I'll be using it as a rental for a few years while we are traveling with the military. As a home that will be strictly rented to military it has to be in pres-teen condition. Which is why I am asking paint over the walk paper or bust my rear removing it....

    • Anna Anna on Oct 12, 2015
      @Rosemary That makes sense. It is not recommended to paint over wallpaper, but if you do so be sure to first use a BONDING primer.

  • Mimi Haywood Mimi Haywood on Oct 13, 2015
    Do not paint over, I am a retired paper hanger. You can expect every wallpaper to have a different reaction to remove, they are like fingerprints on a person and no two are alike when you want it to be an easy job to remove. My best tool for removing was a good sprayer with very warm water to melt underlying glue. Be careful not to dig into wet drywall with your scraper tool. Good luck.

  • Debi53 Debi53 on Oct 13, 2015
    I feel your pain. I, too, have removed an entire house of wallpaper. Here is a link to a product called Simple Strip that you might consider. There is a short video which shows the product being used. http://www.simplestrip.com/

  • Vicki Vicki on Oct 14, 2015
    I am told that fabric softener and water will dissolve the glue. 30 years ago I used specially formulated and expensive remover. Try fabric softener - it's at least a cheap trick.

  • Lyndal Bruns Lyndal Bruns on Oct 14, 2015
    I'm pretty sure you can buy wall paper now that will glue over your existing wall paper if it isn't embossed. Get a profession to hang it especially if it has a pattern. I've learnt to buy plain for everything. It depends if you'll allow the tenants to hang pictures as wall paper can be a bit tricky to fill in the holes left. There are so many beautiful wall papers now, I don't know whether you have Laura Ashley but they make beautiful wall papers and have great sales. At least renting to the Military you will have good tenants.

  • Lori Harmon Lori Harmon on Oct 16, 2015
    If the house was new when you papered it and it wasn't really well primed, you're going to have a really difficult time getting it off without wrecking the drywall and it might be better to at least try painting a wall or two to see how it looks and holds up.