How do you paint over wallpaper?


I have a small bathroom with wallpaper. I know that you are not supposed to paint over wallpaper, but I am older and do not have the stamina to strip it away, then paint. What are the best methods of painting over wallpaper and what kind of paint works best? Thank you.

  7 answers
  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Apr 02, 2019

    I'm sorry, but in a bath room you may have issues with it bubbling and peeling if you don't strip it. The paint lots,of time will loosen the paper and cause peeling. If you want to try the best way would be to prime with oil based primer and paint with oil based paint. The oil paint has less chance of peeling the paper. Just know, once you paint wallpaper, it will be very difficult to remove.

    • Valleycat1 Valleycat1 on Apr 04, 2019

      As long as you use an

      oil based primer you do not have to try to find oil based interior paint or deal with the fumes. Some brands make a latex bathroom paint that resists mold and mildew and holds up to damp.

  • Dfm Dfm on Apr 02, 2019

    do a test with the paint in a not so visible area. you may need a stain blocking primmer. then paint a small area, is the wall paper peeking through? or is it coming off the wall? if the wall paper is coming loose wet it down and scrape it off. your county extension office may know of a few painters that could help you. if I remember correctly it's income based.

  • Our house is super old. There is paint over wallpaper in every room. The walls will not be perfect and we've opted for flat paint since it catches less of the light and shows less of the seams, etc. There are some very good flat washable paints today. Honestly, I would speak to the people at the paint store for their recommendations regarding primers and paints since it's in a bathroom with moisture.

  • Oliva Oliva on Apr 02, 2019

    Hi, Suzanne,

    Is there no one from your church or a neighbor to help you? If the bath is small, stripping the paper shouldn't take much time, nor should any touch up work. This effort will seriously repay itself, should you need to move.

    You can always find a means to repay the kindness of others!

  • You’re right, painting over wallpaper isn’t a great idea but I understand where you’re coming from. You might try spritzing the paper with warm water and let it sit for a while, see if the paper will then peel right off.

  • Ellis Ellis on Apr 05, 2019

    I've seen do-it-yourself TV hosts use water with fabric softener in it to remove wall paper. Just sponge it on the wallpaper, wait, and then scrape off. It the paper has a coating on it (likely in a bathroom) score it with a little tool sold for the purpose, then apply the water/fabric softener.