Tips on Painting over Wallpaper


It can be a difficult task removing wallpaper. It never just peels off. Wallpaper removers are messy and don’t always work. So you start thinking, maybe I can just paint over it. Well you might be able to, but there are things to consider.

First think about how well the paper is attached to the wall. If it is hanging off or bubbled in sections, you need to glue it back onto the wall. If it is peeling or falling off in many areas, you should probably remove the paper entirely.

After you have glued any loose areas, you must apply a joint compound to the seams. This will keep it from unraveling at a later date. After the joint compound has dried, you will need to sand it to give you a smooth wall. If the wallpaper you are covering is textured or scratched, you may have to apply a coat of joint compound or float the entire wall.

If the paper was of a dark color, you will now need to apply a sealer like Kilz to the area. This will keep the color from bleeding through. If necessary, apply 2 coats of the sealer.

Now it’s time to apply the texture and paint. You have many different options here. You can apply a plaster like texture, orange peel, knockdown etc., etc. Visit your local home improvement store to view your options. Let the texture dry thoroughly and then paint your walls. Remember, you get what you pay for with paint so choose a quality product.

Sound like a lot of work? It can be. Consider calling a local painter in to give you an estimate. You might be surprised at how affordable it can be.


Painting FAQ


Do I need to use paint primer?

If you have a previously painted surface in good shape, you probably do not need to apply primer. If you have a porous surface or are using a paint that is incompatible with the previous paint (like latex paint over an oil based paint), then you should use a primer.

Should I paint the trim or the wall first?

Paint the trim first. Chances are that you will need to sand the trim to get it perfect. It will be easier to do this first. After you have finished painting the trim, mask it off and paint the walls.


Which is better a brush or a roller?

Use a roller as much as possible. It will put down a more even and smooth finish than a brush.


How do I fix a run in the paint?

If the paint is dry, the only way to fix it is to sand the paint run off and repaint it. Use caution to avoid ruining the texture or sanding too far down.


What type of finish should I buy?


  • If you have many defects on your walls, go with a flat finish. Its lack of gloss will mask imperfections.
  • Satin and Eggshell finishes will have a light sheen and are washable
  • Semi-gloss will have slightly more shine and hold up well in bathrooms and those areas subject to moisture.


What is Alkyd paint?

Alkyd paints are also known as oil based paints.