How do you paint over wallpaper?

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What are the steps to painting over old dirty wallpaper?Do you have to wash it first if so with what?Also what kind of paint do you use?Do I USE A PRIMER so it don't let the pattern blead through or have the wallpaper peal off the wall?

  9 answers
  • Do yourself a favor and remove the wallpaper first. It will need to come off eventually, do it now. Removing wallpaper after it has been painted is 100 tomes harder. Plus your paint job will look far more professional if you remove, then wash, prime and paint. Score and steam. Any tool rental will have what you need!


  • Sara Effiong Sara Effiong on Jul 21, 2018
    At the hardware store they sell a special paint to use first then you can paint over wallpaper.

  • Fiddledd224 Fiddledd224 on Jul 21, 2018
    Edean, I don't recommend this at all (this is from experience). The reason is that after the paint dries, the seams can separate and then you'll have a huge crack. It is really worth the time and trouble to remove the wall paper and paint on a flat surface.

  • Ebbjdl Ebbjdl on Jul 21, 2018

    Hi Edean, Painting over wall paper is not wise. Once you paint, when the wall paper gets really (old), the wall paper will start to fall off, and so will your paint. When you paint over wall paper, the paint will absorb differently in certain areas. You will not have a clean look. Think about painting, and if you want to know how to remove the wall paper, let me know.

  • Shanethans Shanethans on Jul 21, 2018
    Painting over wall paper, clean the walls, use wall compound to skim coat the seams where the paper overlaps in order to hide the seams, also fill any holes and imperfections in the wall, they WILL show through the paint. Sand compound, prime with a good primer, sand lightly, wipe all dust, paint.
    I do this all the time and have great results. The trick is first to hide the seams, second, do not apply to much paint without drying in between coats, the paper can start to bubble.
    Take your time, proper preparation will give you excellent results.

  • William William on Jul 21, 2018

    Naomie is correct. There is always the chance moisture in the paint can bubble and lift the wallpaper off. Seams will show and hard to remove in the future. Will always look like painted wallpaper.

  • Emily Emily on Jul 21, 2018

    Please don't paint over wallpaper. The paper will show through and will be much harder to remove. Start with a nice clean surface.

  • Edean Edean on Jul 21, 2018
    Thank you all for your answers.Looks like I have a lot of work a head of me

  • Maureen McAteer Vasily Maureen McAteer Vasily on Jul 21, 2018

    As Naomie said, remove that old wallpaper first. As she stated, you can rent steamers at Home Depot, Lowes, Ace, etc. OR you can simply partially fill a pail with 2 cups of vinegar and really hot water. I used to apply water with a clean mop (easier to reach the ceiling). Soak a five to tn foot section. Using a scraper (get a couple) scrape the wet paper off. Re apply water when needed.


    One thing... it is messy... put down old sheets or drop clothes to catch the water and the gluey strips of paper. Clean the mess up before long as you don't want to deal with papered cloth. Wash the cleared wall down with vinegar/water mix using a large sponge. Good luck.