Sunday, January 15, 2017

Wallpaper-Stay or Go?

Many projects we walk into, there is wallpaper on the walls and most of the time client wants to paint the walls. The question is always-remove the wallpaper or paint over the wallpaper? Today we will explore the pros and cons of each decision.

How do you decide if the wallpaper needs to come down? The best telltale sign of if it should come down is if the seams are coming apart and peeling. Are there air pockets underneath the wallpaper or does the wallpaper have a texture? Those will only be magnified once it is painted. Below are our recommended steps if you decide to paint over the wallpaper.

1.      Prime over the wallpaper with a quality primer.
2.      Any imperfections will be visible once you have primed the walls.
3.      Skim with sheetrock mud all seams, holes and imperfections.
4.      Sand smooth
5.      Remud and sand as needed
6.      Prime
7.      Paint

If care and attention is given to these steps, you will not be able to tell you have just painted over wallpaper. The most common mistake I see is people not mudding over the seams but rather just painting over the wallpaper. The seams are only magnified once the paint is on the wall. Take the extra time and expense that this step requires. You won’t regret it.

If you decide the wallpaper is not in good enough shape and needs to come down, consult a local paint store on the type of wallpaper you have and what the best way is to remove it. Once the wallpaper is off the walls, you will likely need to skim the walls with sheetrock mud and sand before priming and painting the walls.

Have you tried painting over wallpaper? Did you have good success? I’d love to hear how your project went. Email me at

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