Painting over wallpaper

I just purchased a house I'm planning on renting out. The previous owners painted over the wallpaper in the kitchen. Is it possible to put a thin coat of plaster over it instead of trying to strip it all off? I'm just concerned that it may peel away. It actually looks like it's in pretty good's just an ugly shade of green! Below are the worse seams.....
painting over wallpaper, Seam over pantry door
Seam over pantry door
painting over wallpaper, Apparently they patched the wallpaper here
Apparently they patched the wallpaper here.
  13 answers
  • William William on Aug 27, 2016
    It would have to be removed. Moisture from the plaster can permeate the wallpaper and break down the adhesive. Also the plaster may not take hold properly.
  • Nancy Nancy on Aug 27, 2016
    It should be removed completely. Plaster has a lot of moisture in it. Your walls will eventually bubble and the paper will come away from the wall. Plaster needs to be applied to a solid surface.
  • Nancy Nancy on Aug 27, 2016
    If you do NOT want to remove the wallpaper, you might be able to paint over the surface but only if the seams are tightly adhered to the wall. Consult a paint specialist. I like Sherwin Williams stores. The staff is very knowledgeable and professional. I am an antique dealer and live in an older home. I have many friends who have restored older homes. Some Victorian homes have as many as six layers of wallpaper on the walls. But please note, wallpaper NOT plaster or paint was applied over old wallpaper.
  • CK CK on Aug 27, 2016
    You didn't mention if the walls are drywall or plaster. IF they're drywall you can do this: In areas where the wallpaper is coming loose, put a little Elmer's glue under it using a toothpick. Rub gently back and forth to create a little heat. This will help the paste adhere better. Press it down the best you can. After the glue is dry, paint over with the color of your choice. I painted over wallpaper twice in one room in our former home. It looked very nice. Yes, the seams may show but it's preferable to trying to remove the paper and ruining the walls....if you're concerned with that. If the walls are plaster, I'd just keep painting them or repapering as Nancy mentioned. There are some beautiful very contemporary papers out there these days....though once again, I'm not sure how well they'd adhere to painted over wallpaper...... Kinda looks like your best bet (and the least work and expense) will be paint.
  • Wanda.ll Wanda.ll on Aug 28, 2016
    I'm with Connie just depends if these are drywall are not. I've painted over and had no problems. Just put a light coat of plaster maybe even a light texture called orange peel to break the flat service. But you must get joints glued down first. Maybe also turn on the fans to help dry faster too.
  • Lze10466374 Lze10466374 on Aug 28, 2016
    Glue down any loose paper. Then skim coat seams and other areas that show flaws with sheetrock mud. Then sand and paint over mud with a good quality primer. Walls are now ready for paint.
  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Aug 28, 2016
    I like all of the suggestions. I'd like to offer mine: purchase a few boxes of flooring at Habitat, sand, prime, paint and attach to your walls for a ship lap look. It will cover a lot of flaws and look awesome. Best of luck.
  • Pam Foster Pam Foster on Aug 28, 2016
    Someone skim coated and texturized over wall paper in my new house bathroom. It's a nightmare!! All the seams are splitting. Now I have to remove all sheet rock and replace it with new. I suggest you remove it.
  • Ann Smitt Ann Smitt on Aug 29, 2016
    Remove all the wallpaper by first scoring it with a wallpaper tool called a scorer (Home Depot); mix Fabric Softener with water (3/4 to 1/4) in a bucket of warm water; apply softener solution to walls; peel. Repeat until all paper and backing are gone. Not done yet. Wash the walls. Let dry for a few days. If you have plaster walls, skim them (see YouTube Plaster Skimming Video for How-To) let skim dry for at least a week. Then prime and paint. You're a NEW LANDLORD you'll be happy you removed the painted wallpaper, repaired the walls or skim coated them and put on primer and new paint. As a landlord you need to make your household finishes clean, smooth and easy to care for. Good luck on your new endeavor.
  • S S on Aug 29, 2016
    drywall or plaster is irrelevant. if you paint it - some where down the road (one hour to years ?) it will come back to bite you in the butt and be A lot more work than removing the paper now.
  • Pam Foster Pam Foster on Aug 30, 2016
    I was told to cover with 1/4 inch drywall and retexture and paint.
  • Helen Helen on Aug 30, 2016
    S is correct! My husband helped his Dad do papering and painting (his Dad is a contractor). We NEVER paint over paper. It is your worst nightmare to remove and worse if you keep painting over it. It's not that hard to remove unless you've bought an expensive paper that requires a mastic which you have to apply. Scraping and adding softener won't do it. It has to be steamed off. You can get a wallpaper steamer at Home Depot for little money or you may be able to rent one. We have an inexpensive one ourselves and have used it over the years.
  • Libbie B Libbie B on Jun 30, 2021

    We ended up sanded the peeling edges of ours. Then repiainted.