Grandma’s wallpaper is an unappealing and unwanted style these days. Many have tried and failed to accomplish a shortcut method of painting over wallpaper. Cringing at your walls can be avoided with these five steps and extra elbow grease.

Select Painting can get your home painted without the hassle of prep and cleanup; not to mention the daunting responsibility of actually painting. For anyone who has taken the responsibility of painting just a room, the realization of the amount of work comes after it’s too late. If the job ends up being too much, give Select Painting a call for a quote and put your mind at ease with their variety of services

We are not all in a financial position to have the pro’s come in. Like testing in school, read throughout the steps before acting to ensure a full understanding of the project. Each step is essential in painting over wallpaper. 

Preparing for painting, pouring paint in a tray.

1. Salvation in Preparation.

Prepping the surface of your substrate before painting over wallpaper is the most critical and time-consuming undertaking and well worth it. Take an in-depth look at the wallpaper condition. There may be noticeably peeling paper, dirt or grime, texture, remaining nails, switch covers, and electrical outlets. 

Start by placing a drop cloth on the floor of the room. For less frustration, you may want to tape the drop cloth down. Your efforts begin by cleaning the surface as best as you can. Cutting away peeling wallpaper and sanding the edges flush with the drywall. Remove furniture, tape off outlets, switches, door frames, and baseboard. 

The substrate needs to be free of dust and debris before primer and paint can be applied. If you were to paint over unidentified materials, the color is likely to fail. Stripping paint is delicate, requires special protection, and takes several passes. 

Preparing your surface should and will take a good deal of time relative to the area you have to paint. Dominos is an excellent example as to what would happen if one piece is out of place you have to start over.

2. First Primer

Coat your prepped wall with an oil-based primer or shellac. Why oil-based and not water-based? Water-based primer has the same effect as water on paper, not a great look for your wall. Latex primer is a water-based primer and the cheapest type of paint available.

Shellac primer would cover any stains or odors but does not hold up to high temps. Shellac primer is the only primer up to freezing temperatures as it hardens throughout its life. Your walls will still have patchwork to be done, do not fret at its appearance yet. 

Oil-based primers will leave you with a few hours to kill after the first coat. Wait a full 24 hours after your last coat of primer to paint. It is best to keep your bases the same, oil with oil and water with water. 

man painting wall with paint roller

3. Heal

The oil-based primer coat will revile defects and uneven surfaces. Mix drywall compound to fill holes, erase wallpaper seams and even out any missed sections. A drywall trowel is handy for this step. There are many differently shaped trowels, choose one or two based on the angles you have. 

Once you patch the drywall sections, sand flush with the wall. Eliminate the drywall dust and use primer over the repaired parts. Standard sandpaper tends to fill up with drywall dust fast. Use a unique, open grid-like sanding tool for the best results.

The ceiling and all the trim where the wallpaper meets the edge will need to be caulked to secure the borders of your wallpaper. Wipe off drywall dust as best as you can, or the paint over your wallpaper may not bond well enough. 

Woman Getting Ready To Paint Walls In A Home

4. Got Texture?

Why would we add texture when we worked so hard for a smooth look? If you want textured walls, and most people do, then you will need to know your options. The most common is orange peel due to its cleanability factor. Others include Knockdown and popcorn, which will be familiar to most as the god awful ceiling texture. 

Textured walls are great to hide imperfections due to patching and painting mistakes and the evil dust bunnies. Popcorn ceiling texture was commonly used to keep the acoustics down and is always unwanted. 

When you believe full heartedly, you are ready to paint, wait a full day to see imperfections throughout the different light of the day and night. This one step can fix little issues you may not notice until a family member decides to be an inspector. 

5. Paint Time!

We all have our opinions on where to start painting, the edges, or the middle? Either way, touch-ups are always needed. Cut in the sides to meet seamlessly with the center or Reversed. If you have to replace tape around frames, do so before it is an unnecessary frustration.

Investing in a paint sprayer may be the way to go if you have several rooms to paint. If there is just one room, the mighty paint roller will do the trick. Disposable paint trays are an excellent buy for the once in a while painter. Whole house painting requires sturdier tools and a whole lot more time. 

Painting over wallpaper is not an easy task. There will be frustrations, mistakes, and altogether, chaos if kids are lending a tiny helping hand. Removing the tape will reveal leaked paint in some cases, as well as paint splatter. Remove with a paint solvent and a throwaway rag. 

Wall with floral wallpaper

Call Select Painting

Essentially, the more you put in, the more you get. There will always be that one spot missed and future repairs, it is part of the journey. Always take precautions in any home renovation regardless of expertise.

 Life happens to us all; the experts at Select Painting can get it done right, on time, and in the budget. Whether you need a little help with a small project or lots of help with a big one, Select Painting wants to be your go-to painting partner.