Wallpaper, to paint or not to paint?

To Paint or Not To Paint

In this current market many homeowners are finding themselves updating their homes and in some cases they are dealing with wallpaper trends of the 80′s and 90′s, stripes and flowers are no longer in great demand. They find themselves having to decide whether to remove aging wallpaper or paint over it!

Many Experts Agree

There are pros and cons to both sides of the issue, many experts agree that removing the wallpaper is the better choice. Many times walls have layers of wallpaper, or have been “painted over” if this is the case it could very well be time to contact the experts.

Painting Over Wallpaper

It is possible to paint over wallpaper, this is not necessarily recommended. There are several things to consider before painting. The seams should be covered with a coat of wallboard compound to hide them. Next, an oil-based primer may be needed to seal the paper, as latex paint could soften the paste on the wallpaper, which would cause it to bubble. In addition, the wallpapers sometimes have a slight texture that would be more noticeable when painted. Finally, if you paint over wallpaper and then decide to remove it later, the process could be more tedious as the paper may become stiffer over time.

If you are not sure of the correct course of action, talk to us.

Removing the Wallpaper

Removing the wallpaper before painting may be time consuming and messy, but starting with fresh walls will create a finish that may not be possible with wallpaper underneath. Removing the wallpaper without damaging the walls is a slow, painstaking process and should be approached with great patience. There are several options available. While steamers were once popular to remove wallpaper, we prefer concentrated remover solutions that are mixed with water. The solutions dissolve the adhesive backing, making it easier to peel. Before beginning, remove outlet/light switch covers and gather necessary tools (scoring tool, sprayers and 6-inch broad knives for lifting corners of the paper). Mix the solution with hot water and begin by testing a small section of the paper. Work carefully, in small sections and do not force the paper off. If it will not come off easily, spray the solution on the area and allow it to soak into the wallpaper. Once the paper is removed, wash the wall with warm water and allow sufficient dry time before proceeding to the next step. Repair the walls and sand before painting.

If the process seems daunting, we are available to examine your walls and recommend the best procedures for each situation. Give us a call at 520-881-0542.