Bob Vila Radio: Painting Over Wallpaper

Wallpaper is even harder to remove than it is to apply. The good news is that if you've grown tired of your wallpaper, you can probably paint right over it. Here's how.

Getting tired of the floral wallpaper in your dining room or the Stewart plaid in the den? If you’re daunted by the prospect of removing wallpaper, don’t despair—you may be able to paint right over it.

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Listen to BOB VILA ON PAINTING OVER WALLPAPER or read the text below:

Painting Over Wallpaper

Photo: featheringnest.blogspot.com

First, a few caveats: You’re more likely to achieve satisfactory, long-lasting results if you just bite the bullet and remove the wallpaper first. If, however, you have cause to be concerned about the integrity of the drywall or plaster under your wallpaper, painting over it may be your best bet (so long as the paper is in good condition).

Before you begin, make sure that the wallpaper is securely adhered to the wall; repair any loose or damaged paper. Run a thin bead of caulk along the line where the paper meets the walls, at the ceiling and the base. If the paper is textured, lightly spackle and sand to get a smooth surface, and gently sand the wallpaper seams so they won’t show through the paint.

Once the wall has been prepped, apply a coat of oil-based primer to seal the adhesive and to protect the paper from the paint’s moisture. After the primer has dried, paint the walls the color of your choice, sticking with an oil-based product.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.