Photo of a partially dark-blue painted white wall, on the right is a red-handled paint roller brush

How to Paint Over Wallpaper

If you've ever tried to remove wallpaper, you know it isn't as easy as simply finding a seam and pulling it off the wall. Depending on how it was applied, quality, material and other factors, removing a wall covering can be a huge headache and result in an uneven mess when areas of the paper are left stuck on the wall. When you want to change things up and get rid of the old wallpaper that's dating your kitchen or bathroom and making your home look tired, why not apply a coat or two of paint? You can cut out a few steps and enjoy an updated new look.

How to Paint Wallpaper

Of course you want to smoothest surface possible before you start rolling on the paint, so a little prep work may be in order. You never want to paint over wallpaper that's peeling at the edges, so be sure to use adhesive on these areas. If the seams in your wallpaper are noticeable, sanding them with sandpaper will smooth things out. You will also want to clean the wallpaper with a damp (not dripping) rag and some dish soap to clean away dirt and grease buildup so your paint adheres well.

Once you've completed the prep work, you're ready to start transforming your walls!

  • If the wallpaper is textured, the next step is to coat it with spackle. You can skip this step for wallpaper that's smooth with no texture.
  • Before you put on the paint, use an oil-based primer. By applying a coat of oil-based primer, you're sealing the adhesive in the wallpaper in while keeping the moisture in the paint you will apply away from the adhesive. This step helps prevent future peeling of the wallpaper.
  • Once the primer is dry, it's time to paint. For the best results use an interior latex paint. One good coat of paint will probably be all you need, but if you can still see the wallpaper pattern after applying a coat of paint you'll want to apply a second coat after the first has time to dry.

Removing old wallpaper is a real chore, one that can leave the walls damaged if not done carefully. Who has the time or the energy to tackle this tedious task? Now you know how to paint over wallpaper so you can enjoy a fresh new look in your home in no time.

Depending on the size of the project it can be hard to know just how much paint you need. Five Star Painting has some information that will help you buy just the right amount of paint!

Are the electrical wires in your home as old or even older than your wallpaper? Old wiring can put your family's safety and your entire home at risk. Consider giving Mr. Electric a call to schedule a safety inspectionLink opens in a new tab and enjoy peace of mind.