Can I Paint Over Wallpaper?
Painting over wallpaper is one of the best examples of a quick fix. It’s the fastest possible way to go from wallpaper to paint covering your walls. However, it can be problematic in the long run. You will save time from removing wallpaper, but will the future cost be worth the immediate benefit? To determine that, ask yourself the following questions.
What Type of Wallpaper is It?
Before embarking on your brave painting expedition, it’s essential to determine the type of wallpaper you have. Certain types of wallpaper, even for the most audacious of painters, must be removed before painting a wall.
Fortunately, as a general rule of thumb, the harder a type of wallpaper is to remove, the less problematic it will be for you to paint over it. Heavy, fabric-backed, vinyl wallpaper, for example, should never be painted over but is a breeze to remove.
Will You Need to Remove it Later?
Another factor to consider before painting over wallpaper is whether you’re likely to have to remove it later on. Painting over wallpaper shortens the process, but it makes removing the wallpaper down the road more difficult. This is because it prevents the solution used for wallpaper removal from soaking through the wallpaper and dissolving the adhesive.
If you’re still reading, apparently you weren’t turned away by those questions. You’re a brazen, unstoppable force to be reckoned with. You will paint over that wallpaper, and there isn’t a soul that can stop you. We’re not looking to get in your way, so we might as well help you.
Once you’ve determined your wallpaper is okay to paint over, it’s time to get to painting. Or…not quite. To ensure that you’re newly painted wall looks fantastic, there are still a few more steps before you take your brush from the bucket to the wall.
You’ll first need to inspect your wallpaper for missing or damaged pieces. It might seem counterintuitive to add wallpaper to a wall before painting it, but doing so will assure you’re working with a flat, even canvas. If there are multiple rips and tears, it might be less time-consuming to remove the wallpaper rather than attempting to repair and paint over it.
Clean the Walls
The next step is to clean the walls. Use a chemical called trisodium phosphate to thoroughly clean the walls, adding a fourth-cup TSP for each gallon of water. Then use a damp rag to clean the walls of the TSP solution. Allow them to dry before continuing.
Sand and Prime
Consider sanding down the seams of the wallpaper gently, so they don’t show up after painting. When priming wallpaper, only use an oil-based primer. Latex primers can soak through the wallpaper, loosening its seal to the wall. This can cause it to come loose over time.
Now, it’s finally time to paint your wall. As long as you feel relatively sure you won’t have to remove the wallpaper later on down the road and you have the right type of wallpaper for painting over, go for it. Before you begin painting, just be sure you repaired any damage, cleaned the walls, sanded down any seams, and primed them with an oil-based primer.
While these projects are quick ways to refresh the look of your home, other projects may require professional help. For any painting and remodeling projects that you don’t want to take on alone, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at AHC Painting and Remodeling.