You Can Paint Over Wallpaper. It's No Prob and Easy! Here's How!
There are a few home chores that I detest. Removing old wallpaper is one of them. I have used scrapers and steamers and rollers that perforate the paper and had nothing but one big mess! Some pieces came off beautifully in large sections while most tore leaving endless strips reminding me of hanging chads of the Gore/Bush presidential elections. Each piece had to worked and scraped.
I once talked to a fellow painter when I was in the business as a handyman. He assured me it cold be done and gave me some helpful hints. I did my first test in my master bedroom. My wife, an artist and perfectionist when it comes to shape, colour and design watched me with a wary eye as I went through the process of refinishing our bedroom walls without removing the old wallpaper.
She was VERY pleased with the end result and I did the job in less time and with more ease than if I did try and remove the existing wallpaper.
The first step is to inspect the walls. Most paper will have a few weak spots that must be addressed. Perhaps a seam is opening or paper is curling off the wall. Seam sealers are available and hold very firm. To save time and effort I cut off the offending paper and then I give that area and all the seams a quick, lightly applied run over with joint compound using an eight inch drywall knife. I then sand the feathered edges making for invisible seams. Sometimes, when I want to keep dust down I use a wet sponge to do the same. I always have a light close top the wall so it shows off shadows of poorly sanded areas. I have used regular joint compound on all the paint over wall paper projects I have been involved with except one. While the other papers were "paper" finished one in my kitchen was vinyl. I used Zinsser's ready patch for some sightly tears but still used the joint compound for the seams. It's inexpensive, easy to work withand makes seams disappear completely. You would never know there was wall paper underneath the finished painted walls.
My next trick is using B-I-N a Zinsser primer sealer that sticks to all surfaces, covers the patches, any seam adhesives, kills stains, keeps any odors locked away and gives a great base coat for your finish paint. This rolls on white and does have a little bit of odor but it dissipates quickly and dries quickly too.
I have never had a problem with the paper loosening under the light coat of primer sealer that I apply with a 3/4" knap roller that doesn't hold too much product allowing for quicker drying. It's better to give two lighter coats than one heavy coat for this process. I have never had to use a second coat. I happen to use Behr brand Ultra Premium Paints with great success. It too has a built in primer. That I get at the Home Depot but everything else can be shopped on-line.
Once that is applied to the previously prepared walls you are ready to treat the wall surfaces like any other painting job. Water based or oil paint can be applied right over the B-I-N primer sealer and a good paint will cover in one coat.
I have had excellent success painting over wallpaper. Of course a paper with texture presents problems and aside from having to strip it down I can suggest textures paints as a quick fix only.
The walls where I have painted over paper in my home look great! One is over ten years old and you would never know there is a colourful bold print under the soft yellow paint that my wife has hand painted palm trees on to presenting the Caribbean in our bedroom. Much better thoughts than slaving while trying to remove wallpaper from walls and dealing with the problems that job brings.
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Joined:Aug 25, 2002
I have been an Epinions.com Member going on nine years. I am a Category Lead in Travel as well as being a Top Reviewer and Advisor there in Restaurants, Home & Garden and Books. I look forward to further growth of the new Epinions here at Shopping.com.At home I am a 61 year old husband, father, and grandfather of seven. My wife and I are dedicated to our Lord and our families. We both love snorkeling in the Caribbean. I'll also note that I never plan to grow up.
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