two people painting wall

How to Paint Over Wallpaper

Are you thinking of redecorating walls previously covered with wallpaper? If you were not the one to put up the existing layer of wallpaper, chances are you may not be a huge fan of it, and you may want to get rid of it asap. By the looks of it, tearing down the wallpaper may seem like an easy thing to do. However, you may not be aware of the several layers of application that you have to deal with underneath. Stripping off one wallpaper layer is challenging enough, let alone the many other layers.

If you’re not planning on moving anytime soon, you could consider starting from scratch and removing the wallpapers. However, if you need a quick hack, you can get terrific results if you paint on TOP of your wallpaper.

Skeptical? Follow these five steps on how you can paint your already wallpapered walls.

1. Clean the Wallpapers

It would help if you prepared your walls before you can get on to painting. Get rid of any loose pieces of the wallpaper and when you have a smooth canvas to begin with, get on to cleaning. Clean the walls with chemicals like TSP (trisodium phosphate). TSP is quite strong and requires dilution with water. Follow the instructions mentioned at the back of the packaging, including safety precautions. Wear proper gear and ventilate/disinfect the room that requires painting. Use a sponge to apply the TSP, dry, and then wipe down with a damp cloth to wipe off excess chemicals.

2. Use Extra Adhesive

The last thing you would want to see is peeling layers of wallpaper after you’ve finished painting. Use a strong adhesive in places where the wallpaper has edges sticking out. Press down on all the seams firmly. You can also use an oil-based primer-sealer to lock in your paint and a better alternative to the adhesive. It leaves no doubts.

3. Wait to Dry

Allow walls to dry. Check the manufacturer’s instructions on how long you should wait for the walls to dry after cleaning, gluing/priming.

4. Apply Your Paint

It’s time to paint. Regardless of choosing primer beforehand, ideally, you should choose an oil-based paint when your walls are ready for their first coat. Use a roller for larger spaces and a paintbrush for the small corners and edges. For bold wallpapers underneath or for a solid color, you probably will need a couple of coats.

5. Dry and Move on to a Second Coat

After the first coat fully dries, it’s a good idea to sand the wall before moving on to the next layer as it adds to the final product. Lastly, apply the second coat, allow it to dry, and you’re all done, Viola!

Step back and admire your brand new, freshly painted wall! Contact American Wallpaper for all of your interior design needs.