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Can You Paint Over Wallpaper? A Professional's Guide

Can You Paint Over Wallpaper? A Professional's Guide

Can You Paint Over Wallpaper? A Professional's Guide


Are you tired of the outdated wallpaper in your home or apartment? You may be wondering if it's possible to simply paint over it instead of going through the laborious process of removing it. The answer is yes, but there are some important steps and considerations to keep in mind to ensure a successful outcome. In this blog, we'll go over everything you need to know about painting over wallpaper and how to get started.

Prep Work

Before you apply any paint to the wallpaper, it's essential to make sure the wall is clean and smooth. Any bumps, tears, or peeling spots need to be addressed, or they'll show through the paint. Fill in any gaps or damaged areas with spackle or putty, and sand down the surface until it's even. Afterward, clean the wall with TSP (trisodium phosphate) or a similar cleaning solution to remove any dirt, grease or stains that could prevent the paint from adhering correctly.


The next step is to apply a primer to the wallpaper. Primer will help the paint adhere to the surface and prevent the wallpaper pattern from showing through. Look for a high-quality primer that's designed for use over wallpaper, as it will have better adhesion properties. Apply the primer liberally with a roller or brush, and give it at least 24 hours to dry before moving on to the paint.


When it comes to choosing paint, you'll want to select a high-quality brand that's suitable for the surface and finish you desire. To ensure the paint sticks, select a latex wall paint that is semi-gloss or gloss. You must use satin or eggshell finish paints in case you want to decorate with different colors.  Apply the paint in thin, even coats with a roller or brush, letting each layer dry before applying the next. It's important to not pile on a lot of paint on one surface. It will create sags and drips, which will be visible later on. It's also wise to consider applying a second coat of paint to give it an even finish.


Painting over wallpaper adheres in the same way painting on any surface does. As long as wallpaper is in good condition, paint will bond without difficulty; the bond may weaken, and peels over time, though. Keep an eye out for any areas where the wallpaper or paint is bubbling or peeling. In these situations, address the issue and smooth the paint out. It's best practice to avoid causing abrupt temperature or humidity shifts in the room where the wallpaper has been painted over.


It's typically best practice to remove (when necessary) wall coverings before painting to guarantee the utmost finish. Though it is possible, painting over wallpaper is a temporary fix. If you want to remove the wallpaper and paint your walls, it is essential to handle it properly, utilizing a paint scraper or a wallpaper steamer to remove wallpaper. After which you need to wash the walls, let it dry, and start the painting process.



In conclusion, painting over wallpaper is a viable option when done correctly; it might seem like a shortcut to revitalizing your space without the expense or effort of removing the paper. However, it's not a permanent solution and won't work in all scenarios. If done properly and maintained, painting over wallpaper can provide a stunning and budget-friendly upgrade to your living space. But, if you have your heart set on a different wall covering, it's best to remove the wallpaper altogether and start fresh. Invest in a professional for peace of mind if you're unclear on the process. When you're ready to make the change, contact skilled providers like Millennium Apartments in Fort Myers, Florida, who can introduce you to beautiful apartments for rent that are perfect for your lifestyle.

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