If you’re considering updating the walls in your home, you may be wondering, “Can you paint over wallpaper”? Perhaps you’ve inherited wallpaper that doesn’t quite match your style, or maybe you’ve grown tired of a pattern that once seemed charming. Whatever the reason, the good news is that painting over wallpaper is often a viable solution for transforming a room’s look and feel without the need for a time-consuming removal process. However, before you start painting over your wallpaper, it’s essential to understand the pros and cons of this approach and learn some tips to ensure that your results are long-lasting and visually appealing. In this post, we’ll explore whether painting over wallpaper is a good idea, and offer some helpful advice to help you achieve a professional finish.
Matte vs Satin and Gloss Finish
When Not to Paint Over Wallpaper
While painting over wallpaper can be a convenient and cost-effective solution for updating your room’s decor, there are certain situations where it’s not advisable. Here are some instances where you should avoid painting over wallpaper:
- Damaged or peeling wallpaper: When your wallpaper is already damaged or peeling, painting over it will only exacerbate the problem. The paint may not adhere well to the damaged surface, leading to a patchy or uneven finish. In this case, it’s best to remove the wallpaper and repair the wall before applying new paint.
- Vinyl or glossy wallpaper: Wallpaper that has a vinyl or glossy finish is very difficult for paint to adhere to. This can result in peeling or bubbling over time, making your paint job look unsightly. If you have vinyl or glossy wallpaper, it’s best to remove it before painting.
- Textured or embossed wallpaper: If your wallpaper has a textured or embossed surface, painting over it may not be the best option. The texture or embossing may show through the paint, creating a bumpy or uneven appearance. In this case, it’s best to remove the wallpaper and apply paint directly to the wall.
- Outdated or unattractive wallpaper: If your wallpaper is outdated or unattractive, painting over it may not be enough to achieve the desired look. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective and visually appealing to remove the wallpaper and start fresh with a new coat of paint.
To sum it all up, if your wallpaper is damaged, has a vinyl or glossy finish, is textured or embossed, or is outdated or unattractive, it may not be a good idea to paint over it. Instead, you may need to remove the wallpaper and prepare the wall before applying new paint.
When to Paint Over Wallpaper
Now that we’ve discussed when you shouldn’t paint over your wallpaper, lets go over situations when it makes the most sense:
- The wallpaper is in good condition: If your wallpaper is in good condition with no signs of damage, peeling, or bubbling, you may be able to paint over it. This can be a convenient way to update the look of a room without having to go through the time-consuming and messy process of removing wallpaper.
- The wallpaper is a neutral color or pattern: When your wallpaper has a neutral color or pattern that complements the rest of the room’s decor, painting over it can be a great way to refresh the room’s look without making significant changes. A fresh coat of paint can help modernize the space and give it a new look and feel.
- The wallpaper is properly primed: Painting over wallpaper that has been properly primed can be a viable option. Proper priming ensures that the wallpaper’s surface is smooth and even, allowing paint to adhere well and providing a good base for a professional-looking finish.
- You don’t want to remove wallpaper: Sometimes you just don’t want to go through the time, effort, and expense of removing your old wallpaper. This is when painting over it looks increasingly appealing. This is especially true if you’re not planning to live in your current home for an extended period or want a quick, cost-effective solution.
If you do come to the conclusion that you want to move forward with painting over your current wallpaper, it’s essential to follow the proper preparation steps and use the right products to ensure a smooth finish.
How Long Should you Wait Between Coats of Paint?
Supplies You’ll Need to Paint Over Wallpaper
To be successful at any DIY project, it’s important to procure the proper supplies beforehand. We’ve compiled a list of the essentials when it comes to painting over wallpaper:
- Paintbrushes and rollers
- Painter’s tape
- Drop cloths
- Cleaning supplies
Remember to choose only high-quality products that are appropriate for the surface you’ll be painting. This will ensure that your finished product looks professional and lasts for years to come.
How to Remove Wallpaper
We have to warn you that removing wallpaper can be an extremely tedious task. However, it’s very necessary in many cases to achieve the smooth, professional look you’re wanting. Below are the steps to follow to properly remove wallpaper before repainting the surface:
- Remove the wallpaper’s top layer: Use a putty knife or scraper to loosen and remove the top layer of the wallpaper. This layer is usually made of vinyl or paper and should come off easily. If the wallpaper is particularly stubborn, you can score it with a wallpaper scoring tool to help the wallpaper removal solution penetrate it.
- Apply wallpaper removal solution: Apply a wallpaper removal solution to the wallpaper’s backing, following the manufacturer’s instructions. This will help soften the adhesive and make it easier to remove the wallpaper.
- Scrape off backing: Use a putty knife or scraper to remove the wallpaper backing. Work carefully to avoid damaging the wall surface underneath. If the backing is particularly stubborn, you can use a wallpaper steamer to help loosen it.
- Clean the wall surface: Once you’ve removed all the wallpaper, use a sponge and warm water to clean the wall surface thoroughly. If there’s any remaining adhesive, use a solution of warm water and vinegar to remove it.
- Sand the wall surface: Use sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots or imperfections on the wall surface.
- Apply primer: Once the wall surface is clean and dry, apply a high-quality primer.
How to Paint Over Wallpaper
Painting over existing wallpaper can be a quicker and easier alternative to removing it entirely. Below are the steps we recommend you follow for the best results:
- Clean the wallpaper surface: Before painting, make sure the wallpaper surface is clean and free of any dirt or debris. 2. Sand the wallpaper surface.
- Apply a wallpaper primer:
- Apply paint: Once the primer is dry, you can apply your paint of choice. Use a paint that’s suitable for the surface you’ll be painting and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application. Be sure to use a paint brush or roller that’s appropriate for the type of paint you’re using.
- Apply a second coat: Depending on the quality and coverage of the paint, you may need to apply a second coat. Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying the second coat.
- Clean up: After you’ve finished painting, clean up any spills or drips and remove the painter’s tape. Allow the paint to dry completely before moving any furniture back into the room.
Where to Buy Wallpaper Removal and Paint Supplies in Boise
There are several really great options for buying painting and wallpaper removal supplies in the Treasure Valley. We’ve put together a list of just a few of our top choices for your convenience:
- Sherwin-Williams: They have multiple locations in the Boise area, including a store on W Overland Rd and another on S Broadway Ave.
- Home Depot: There are multiple Home Depot locations in the Boise area, including one on W Franklin Rd and another on N Milwaukee St.
- Lowe’s: Lowe’s is another home improvement store that offers a variety of painting supplies, including paint, brushes, and rollers. There are multiple Lowe’s locations in the Boise area, including one on W Overland Rd and another on N Eagle Rd.
- Boise Paint and Glass: Boise Paint and Glass is a locally-owned paint supply store that carries a large variety of painting tools and supplies. They also have multiple locations in the Boise area, including a store on W Idaho St and another on E Fairview Ave.
Can You Paint Over Wallpaper Conclusion
While it’s certainly possible to paint over wallpaper, it’s best to recognize when that’s actually the best option and when it’s more appropriate to go in a different direction. If you live in the Boise area and you feel it’s time to refresh the interior or exterior of your home with a fresh coat of paint, look at Boise Home Painting. We are a family-owned business that has years of experience in the Treasure Valley. We will be happy to give you an estimate and free color consultation to make upgrading your paint as easy as possible.