Painting Over Wallpaper

painting over wallpaper Painting Over Wallpaper
Why do people paint over wallpaper? We’d guess they’re just plain lazy because no one in their right mind who cares about the presentation of their wall would ever choose to paint over wallpaper, but we can agree that removing wallpaper is one of the most arduous tasks known to man.
Heating elements, toxic chemicals and elbow grease are all it takes to remove wallpaper which is always easier said than done.
But even if you aren’t lazy is there ever a time to when its acceptable to paint over wallpaper? We say yes and here’s why.


1. Rental home – If your landlord allows it and has confirmed the color and you won’t have to put the wall back to its original condition then we say go for it. Why live with an ugly wallpapered wall in a home you don’t own, just get something in writing.
2. Old home/old wallpaper – Over time wallpaper bonds to the underlying structure and removing it can damage an already fragile wall. If you can properly sand and prep the wall then just do that and paint.
3. Time’s a wasting – If the wallpaper is smooth and you are short on time and want immediate results then start painting. Prep the wall first and we recommend oil based paint as the sheen of wallpaper could cause water based paints to run.
4. Too damn hard – As we said before the job of removing wallpaper is intense and if you’re not up for it then don’t do it and get to decorating. You may pay for this decision down the line but hey, you’ve got a pretty wall for now.
photo: prettyinprint

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timothy dahl profile Painting Over Wallpaper

Timothy Dahl

Founder/EIC at Charles & Hudson
Timothy’s background includes stints at This Old House, ELLE DECOR, Metropolitan Home and Woman’s Day. His work has been published on Wired Design, Bob Vila, DIY Network, The Family Handyman and Popular Mechanics and he has been featured on the Martha Stewart radio show and as a speaker at the ALT Design Summit, K/BIS and the National Hardware Show.