Can I paint over vinyl wall paper?

Leslie Allison
by Leslie Allison
I want to try using an enamel paint to cover some ugly vinyl wallpaper. Any tips other than to clean thoroughly first?
  17 answers
  • KatAych KatAych on Feb 15, 2016
    I'd suggest using a good primer, but you should definitely be able to paint over it. Maybe give the seams a good sanding if they're noticeable at all.
  • Jim L Jim L on Feb 15, 2016
    Don't! If you do this, you are asking for a "boat load" of trouble! Go to the extra trouble of removing the paper...then prime the walls...please, save yourself some trouble by not painting over the paper...
  • Nancy Nancy on Feb 15, 2016
    DON'T PAINT. You will never be happy with results. Most vinyl wallpaper can be removed in sheets if the wall was properly primed first before the paste was applied. Often, only the paper backing remains. It's a messy job to remove the paper backing but it looks fine as long as you don't try to rush or use sharp tools to remove it. Be sure to us a good primer like KILZ before you paint your final color. This entire job takes some time, but if you have the energy and are up for the task, the results will make you smile every time you brush your teeth. Been there-did it myself-and I smile every morning when I look into the bathroom mirror and compliment myself. A job well done is a job worth doing. Good Luck.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Feb 15, 2016
    It generally is not recommended to paint over the wall paper.I would remove it and proceed to paint making sure all the residue is off the walls and then use a good primer.
  • Danielle.thomas1 Danielle.thomas1 on Feb 15, 2016
    I painted over the wallpaper in my kitchen and dining room with absolutely no problem. it worked for me.
  • In days gone by when someone wallpapered they actually prepped the walls with sizing that helped the wallpaper adhere to and also helped in the removal of wallpaper. As some have suggested do not paint over vinyl wallpaper- it is vinyl and will require you to do a lot of prep, priming with oil based primer, then if you do not prime and paint it well you will have peeling and bubbling later. I have seen it and it is a mess when it is done. plus you will see the seems and the texture of the wallpaper and most people will know you painted over it. Plus you do not use enamel paint on walls- enamel paint cannot be painted over again with latex paint so if you ever tire of what you did it will be an even bigger mess and expense. To remove wallpaper is messy but it is well worth it especially for resale value of your home. You will need hot water in a spray bottle and a scoring tool for vinyl wallpaper. White vinegar to remove the glue and residue after peeling off the vinyl top layer. Fabric softner and hot water in a spray bottle is another option. Yes it takes time to do this but the results will be worth it. good luck
  • Int2363025 Int2363025 on Feb 15, 2016
    I totally agree with the above post from the 'The Garden Frog'...... Do it right to begin with, even if it takes a long time. What is your hurry? You have from now on to do it right. One problem with painting over paper is seeing the seams of the paper. If you do paint over the paper part of the prep must be to sand the seams, prime with oil and float them out with dry-wall mud and Prime again before you attempt to paint. Been there done that!
  • Shari Shari on Feb 15, 2016
    I 100% agree with the "DON'T" answers. While I have painted over wallpaper (but not vinyl) on 2 occasions when I was not able to remove the paper using any method, it is not recommended. Spend the extra time to remove the paper. You'll be much happier with the end result.
  • Mary Barber Mary Barber on Feb 15, 2016
    Yes you can, but you must prime first with an oil based primer. I've done this and it works but of course, the seams may still show if they are not really tight.
  • Jenny Jenny on Feb 15, 2016
    I've hung and removed wallpaper for over 30 years. Messy but easy. First peel the vinyl off the wall. The backing will stay on the wall. Take a paint roller and water, soak a strip. Give the water a minute to soak into the glue. It should remove in strips from the wall. While you are waiting for the glue to soak wet the next strip. Remember keep it wet is the secret. It will come off in large strips. Now if your wall has not been primed or painted you have a big problem. The back has become part of the sheetrock. In this case call a professional sheetrock finisher.
  • Jenny Jenny on Feb 15, 2016
    If you are going to paint over wallpaper, you will have bubbles that has loosen the glue from the backing. Use Shield first. It will adhere the wallpaper to the wall.
  • Mary E. Sines Mary E. Sines on Feb 15, 2016
    I painted that exact vinyl wallpaper in my basement seven years ago. It still looks great. There was no choice as whoever put it up did so over drywall that was not primed. I used Behr paint and primer in one from the home depot. The trick is to not saturate the seams and also make sure yours is adhered everywhere. Eventually I will put up new drywall, but for now, it has worked beautifully. Good luck!
  • Leslie Leslie on Feb 19, 2016
    Agree with Mary E......If it doesn't work then pull it off and start over.
  • Jenny Jenny on Feb 19, 2016
    I've hung that wallpaper. It's a heavy vinyl. Strips so easy.
  • Dawn Gagnon Dawn Gagnon on Jun 04, 2016
    I have painted over wall paper many many times. I never used enamel paint over it, but I have used high gloss and semi gloss and even flat paint over it. You may be told a lot that you shouldn't or can't but I have done it many times. They actually make paint with a special primer just for going over existing wall paper. I have been doing this for more years than I can count. :D
  • NancyMaria NancyMaria on Jul 17, 2016
    I have also painted over wall paper and I just used the same paint I was using on the other walls. But it took 4 coats. Next time I think I would use a primer coat first, otherwise no worries.
    • Sscogbill Sscogbill on Aug 08, 2016
      Do the seams show when painted? I live in a doublewide & my bath room's have the same vinyl wallpaper & the kitchen & living rooms have been papered, don't know if its sheet rock or more vinyl behind the wallpaper but would like to paint but experience in the past was that painting over vinyl just peeled off in big sheets & painting over wallpaper caused the seams to really show Don't want that to happen.
  • Danielle.thomas1 Danielle.thomas1 on Nov 24, 2017

    I did not use enamel and I don't remember the product name, but buy a GOOD grade of paint. I used flat in my dining room etc. because imperfections in the sheetrock don't show as bad. I am happy with the way mine turned out. It has been about 7 yrs. ago.