We often get asked if someone should either paint over wallpaper, or just remove it. The short, simple answer is that; it’s just fine, and even preferred to simply paint over wallpaper (in most cases). Odds are, that most people that are thinking about painting over their wallpaper, are doing so because they are looking for a fresh, clean new look, to remove the unsightly look of that old, dingy, passe wallpaper that has most likely been in their home for longer than they care to remember. Some people do choose to remove it, however this route can cause costly, unexpected damage to the walls beneath. In some cases, the wallpaper that has adorned some people walls is in such fair condition, that the time and effort that it would take to remove it, may prove to be a better route. Although when dealing with clients who would like something to be done about their wallpaper, the majority of the time these requests come from people who either moved into a home in which the wallpaper was already up on the walls, or they have lived in the house with it for quite some time. In either case, the wallpaper is noticeably tearing, and deteriorating from such a long time of being up on the walls, in which case the less expensive and less time-consuming route to take, is simply to paint over it.
When deciding to paint over deteriorating wallpaper, homeowners save themselves the trouble and expenses of fixing and replacing costly wall repairs. However, it is critical that the homeowner takes the necessary precautions before painting to ensure the best results. When beginning to paint a home interior that is beneath a layer of wallpaper, be sure to look for any places where the wallpaper is peeling or falling. The best way to fix this is simply to add some adhesive to the other side of the wallpaper to keep it in place. This helps the interior painting of the wallpapered walls stay fixed and in place, and provide a long lasting solution to the problem.
Adding a small, thin layer of caulk to the seam where the wallpaper meets the walls is a great way to ensure that the wallpaper doesn’t start peeling after you are done painting the walls. This method is generally used when painting any surface, as it seals the crack which prevents the paint from leaking through. Caulk is easy to use, and inexpensive, thus making it an ideal choice for painters who want clean, smooth lines with essentially no additional cost.
When dealing with wallpaper with very heavy texture, one may find that a solution to painting over the surface, without the end result resulting in a heavily textured appearance is by simply covering the heavily textured wallpaper with a thin, narrow coating of Spackle (or other similar putty). When one does apply a think coat of Spackle, or wall putty to a heavily textured surface and paints over it, they will find that the outcome is thin, sleek and desirable. No one will notice more flaws in a painted wall than the one who actually painted it. So if someone don’t do a great job the first time around, they will be the ones who will notice the mistakes more than anyone else. Coating a wall with a thin layer of putty may seem too time consuming for some, but the end result will be appreciated more than if they didn’t.
Finally, before beginning to apply that first, fresh coat of paint to your prepped, and ready-to-go wallpaper, be sure to check the wall surface for seams that connect one layer of wallpaper to another. Seems are sometimes hard to notice, and barely distinguishable, but when applying a solid coat of fresh paint to its surface, you may find yourself surprised at how much you notice the seam after it is painted.