Save time and paint over wallpaper

It’s been two weeks since my last post on our porch makeover. Would you believe me if I said my silence is because I’ve been extremely busy with house projects? Well it’s true! In the last two weeks we’ve been working on projects in the backyard, laundry room, and nautical half bath. Everything is looking amazing but because we’ve been splitting out time on multiple projects, nothing is quite done enough to show off to you yet. Bummer….

So, I decided that instead of maintaining radio silence, I’d give you a quick update on one of the projects: the half bath makeover! Here’s what we started with:

paint over wallpaperThe wonderful 80’s wallpaper was one of the selling features of this house…..said no one ever! About a month ago, I decided to start ripping the wallpaper down. About 30 mins into it I had about 1 sq inch cleared. That’s when I decided that the wallpaper would stay up, and I would paint over it. You may remember that when were adding the wainscoting to our foyer we found put that the previous owners had actually just painted over the existing wallpaper. We were shocked because we had no idea the foyer had ever even been wallpapered, but it look great and was holding up well.

So, if you have a full room of wallpaper and you don’t feel like scraping it off then here are some tips for painting over the wallpaper.

Tip 1: Make sure your wallpaper is a contender

Before you start slopping paint all over the walls check to make sure the wallpaper you have is a good candidate for painting.  Peeling paper and noticeable seams are immediate red flags.  Find an edge of the paper and try pulling it off the wall. If you get a small rip you are in good shape. If you can easily pull off large sheets then your going to need to strip off all the wallpaper. Painting over wallpaper that will easily come off the walls may lead to the wallpaper bubbling or peeling after the paint dries.

Tip 2: Patch up holes and seams.

Using joint compound or spackle, fill in any holes or noticeable rips or seams in the paper just like would would do on dry wall.  If you tried to rip some paper off make sure to use joint compound to smooth out the spot.

Tip 3: Prime

Priming the wallpaper is going to do two things for you: hide the pattern and create a grippable surface for the paint to adhere to.  Because wallpaper is so smooth painting on it without priming first may cause the paint to run or peel.

how to paint over wallpaperEven with a dark color and pattern, I only needed one coat of primer before I started painting the wallpaper.

Tip 4: Paint that wallpaper

Once your primer is dry you can start painting over your wallpaper. I applied two coats of Behr Vermont Cream in semi gloss using a foam roller.

can you paint over wallpaperThe difference is pretty amazing isn’t it? And no wallpaper stripping involved. As you can see the bathroom is still completely torn apart. I am currently stenciling the walls with Cutting Edge’s Perfect Catch (one of my affiliates) in metallic gold. In the bottom right of the picture you can also see a sneak peak of the bathroom vanity getting a green paint job.

Hopefully, I’ll be back soon with some more pictures of the bathroom. It’s coming together so well that I am giddy to show you!

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