How to paint over wallpaper?


We have 3 rooms, kitchen, dining and living room with this wallpaper. It is much darker in colour than photo. More Brick toned. It looks like it has already been painted. Maybe what we call anaglypta which is designed to be painted. Looking at using a soft light grey colour. Can we use a chalk paint to cover?

q how to paint over wallpaper
  13 answers
  • Cindy Cindy on Nov 01, 2018

    Hi Jean. My name is Cindy. Begin by sanding the wallpaper seams and removing the dust. Then apply an oil-based primer. Next paint over the primer with any kind of water based paint, including chalk paint. I hope this helps. Best wishes from Cindy.

  • You can certainly try.

    If it were me, I would paint one wall or one room and see what you think. How tidy is your household? Kids, pets, elderly? My concern would be washability. I have pets and visiting children. If I can't wash it I don't want it, but that is my household. You may not have the same concerns.

  • Our home is very old, almost every room has paint over wallpaper. We haven't used chalk paint, however, I think it would look great. The biggest concern would be the wall prep. Maybe this will help.

  • Brittany Bacon Brittany Bacon on Nov 02, 2018

    I noticed that the wall paper isn't flat, it has grooves. If you want flat walls you can you a skim coat of drywall mud which is watered down and you roll on the wall with a paint roller. I suggest you tubing videos before trying. I have done it is several areas of my home and it's not very complicated.

  • Terry Terry on Nov 02, 2018

    I was challenged by this very thing! I went online and learned that you remove any loose pieces, fill gouges if needed with spackle. This may be necessary particularly in corners if wallpaper is not tight into corners. Wash everything down with TSP. (Tri-sodium phosphate) Use OIL-BASED primer. This prevents absorption of the chalk paint into the wallpaper. It has held up wonderfully!

  • Gk Gk on Nov 02, 2018

    It would be quite expensive to paint walls with chalk paint. Plus you would also need to use a finish over the chalk paint--like wax or poly. I would stick to regular wall paint.

    • Penny Penny on Nov 02, 2018

      This is what I did on my dark wallpaper in my kitchen. A couple of coats of good paint (I use Benjamin Moore) and it turned out great.

  • Trangler2 Trangler2 on Nov 02, 2018

    Personally, I just used regular satin wall paint. But the paper (in kitchen and hallway) was very secure on the wall. So, if the paper is difficult to remove, try painting one wall and see how it looks and holds up over time. After 2 years, mine looks flawless and I'm glad I didn't spend hundreds to have the paper removed first.

  • 2dogal 2dogal on Nov 02, 2018

    I would be very cautious painting over wallpaper. As glue ages, it deteriorates and will eventually loosen. Unless you are able to reglue it without it showing at all, it will have to be removed. There goes all your work in painting over it. Although it's work, I'd remove the wallpaper and begin fresh.

    • Paula Ball Paula Ball on Nov 02, 2018

      As a retired professional paperhanger for over 25 years I would have to agree. These paint after hung papers gained popularity after I retired so don't know much about them. There's ways to remove paper that make it less work but if you've decided to paint over it I would seal it first. There's several products available for that.

  • Polly Fuller Polly Fuller on Nov 02, 2018

    if you use oil base primer or vinyl prep be very skimpy with the amount you put on your roller or brush. two thin coats--let the first dry well-- will assure you that the paint won't go through the paper and bubble. if it does, don't touch it, just let it dry and it will deflate on it's own.

  • Terrie Ramsey Terrie Ramsey on Nov 02, 2018

    Homax Roll On Texture (Sand) from Home Depot. It is a sandy texture paint that you roll on over any surface that displeases you until get a lovely finish that can be painted. I began with a disaster area, patched holes and rough places with spackling, then used the roll on sand texture, and finally painted. I got an A+ look.

  • Ginny Ginny on Nov 02, 2018

    I would not paint over wallpaper unless absolutely necessary. I purchased a home where the powder room and hallway had wallpaper. Hall had two layers, and we ended up installing real barn paneling. It is up to this day and still looks good. Powder room - did not realize it was papered and painted over it. What a mess. Ended up stripping the paper off the walls very carefully and papering again. It was difficult to do, but three layers of paper would not have worked.

  • Yammy Yammy on Nov 22, 2018

    I could not remove the wallpaper in the hallway, no matter what I tried, so I painted over it. In fact I just repainted over it again last summer. I have had no problems whatsoever. if it is very humid in the summer, I might get one or two bubbles in a couple of places, but as soon as the extensive heat subsides, they all disappear. You can also pop them by pricking with a pin. They simply deflate.