There are many reasons why you may want to paint over wallpaper, and no matter what type of wallpaper or situation you'll find an answer here. Is there another solution? Could you paint over your wallpaper directly? What about lining paper? What's the best way to paint over the wallpaper? Let's find out!

When It's a Good Idea To Paint Over Wallpaper

Before learning how to paint over wallpaper, we first need to look at when it's a good idea to do so, to avoid any costly mistakes or makeover nightmares. If you have wallpaper that doesn't fit into the "avoid" category (see below), then most certainly, painting over your wallpaper is a viable option.Textured WallpaperCredit:

Painting over textured wallpaper such as anaglypta, or wood chip, works particularly well. The beauty of painting over these wallpapers is that you still have textured interest on the walls, but can create a completely new look by painting over it in a different color, whilst keeping within your home decorating budget.

Painting over any wallpaper means that you have a sound background on which to paint, you don't have the hassle of stripping the walls, and a room can be made to look very different for little hassle and financial outlay.

What Wallpaper Shouldn't You Paint?

Whilst most wallpapers are fine to paint over, there are certain situations and types of wallpaper that will not take kindly to be invaded by the paintbrush. You should avoid painting:

  • Wallpaper that is in a state of disrepair, or is worn away in certain areas. Paint will only emphasize these points, and if the wallpaper is torn, or exposed, paint will drink it up, giving an unnatural finish. Large Design Curtain FabricCredit:
  • Wallpaper with any kind of metallic element or sheen to it, will not allow the paint to adhere to the surface.
  • Wallpaper with a dark background, is also not a good option for painting over, as it will take many coats of paint to successfully "defeat" the background. The wallpaper will suffer in soaking up so much paint, which could result in puckering, or lifting the wallpaper from the wall.
  • Some wallpapers, may have a coating on them, meaning that the paint wouldn't adhere to its surface. If you are unsure if your wallpaper has a coating then do a patch test with a tester pot of paint, in an unobtrusive area of the room and revisit, when the patch is dry. If you can easily scrape it off with a fingernail, then the wallpaper is not suitable to be painted over.

When To Put Up Wallpaper Especially

Create an Even Surface with Lining Paper

There are occasions when you may wish to put up a plain wallpaper, with the sole intention of painting over it. Lining paper is designed for this purpose, and is a great option for giving a sound, even surface to be painted on.

This works particularly well if your walls are blemished, or have small hairline cracks (obviously papering over big cracks is not recommended as it could hide a bigger problem). If your wall has been filled in on several occasions then the use of lining paper is an ideal solution.

When hanging lining paper to be painted over, you should hang it vertically, just as you would any other wallpaper.

Method For Best Application

Now we've established that your wallpaper is fine to paint over, or you've hung lining paper especially, it's time to learn how to paint over wallpaper successfully. This simple procedure can vary, depending on the type of paper you are painting over.

  • Painting over lining paper will need a primer basecoat, and then maybe 2-3 coats on top of that, to get the solid color you are after. Do not worry if this sounds a lot, lining papers are designed to be painted over and can withstand this many coats.
  • On patterned paper, you will need to apply an undercoat to seal the paper before you start painting, otherwise the pattern will always start to show through subsequent coats of paint.
  • Highly textured paper is best painted over using a dabbing painting motion, rather than a smooth brushstroke, to make sure all areas of the texture are covered with paint - a painting pad or roller is ideal for this procedure too.

Take care when painting near the seams, where strips of wallpaper join, not to sweep paint over these areas in a horizontal motion. Other than that, this is all you need to know about how to paint over wallpaper - makeover complete!

Did You Know?

Wallpaper is making a huge comeback in the world of interior decor, so are you sure you really want to paint over it? If you have large prints or a metallic-look wallpaper then you'd keep bang on trend by keeping it as it is, or adding your own touches.