Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

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sleepwell
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Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by sleepwell » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:51 pm

I recently had some updates made to my kitchen. Now I need to paint. However, the walls are covered in nice wallpaper which has been up for probably 20 years. The wallpaper was put on extremely well and there are no areas where the wallpaper is peeling away from the walls.

I never thought I would consider doing this but I had an estimate JUST to remove the wallpaper and prep the walls for painting, and it was close to $1800. This man has done work for me in the past and his fees are generally reasonable, but this amount of money is too much. I did some reading online and spoke to salespeople at two different paint stores. One told me that I needed to use an oil-based primer, then I could use regular paint; the other person said that I could use any type of primer. I know how to paint. I have painted almost every room in this house at least once over the years.

Has anyone here ever painted over wallpaper? Is it something you would recommend doing or would you never, ever repeat the experience? What types of products did you use?

Thanks for any input you can share.

Sleepwell

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JonnyDVM
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by JonnyDVM » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:22 pm

Did this in my first house about a decade ago. Used a regular primer and a couple coats of dark paint. If you were really studying the wall you could tell it was wallpapered as the seams were faintly visible. Otherwise it looked like a normal wall. I was turning it into a rental eventually and didn’t have much money, so I didn’t care too much about how a wall looked up close. If I was faced with the same situation today, I would pay to have the wallpaper taken down or DIY remove it.
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Teague
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by Teague » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:24 pm

Doing this will make it pretty near impossible for anyone to ever remove the wallpaper. Wallpaper is steamed off. Painting over it will make this essentially impossible.

On a home renovation site I once read that there is a special place in hell for those who paint over wallpaper.

Just sayin'.
Semper Augustus

runner3081
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by runner3081 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:26 pm

Yes, Kilz Primer for round 1 and then 2 coats of paint over that.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:29 pm

I recommend you go ahead and pay the $1800 to have the wallpaper removed.

mattfr
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by mattfr » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:35 pm

If you’re French, this is totally normal. The average apartment has at least 5 layers of wallpaper and paint on it.

Getting ready for a new tenant and traces of mold on the walls? Wallpaper over it! Paper looking dated or covered in tobacco residue? Nothing a fresh coat of paint won’t fix. :D

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Watty
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by Watty » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:36 pm

I have not used it but they make special thin drywall that is only a quarter of an inch thick that you can put over damaged drywall.

You could try painting it and if it does not work out then you could cover it with that drywall.

MathWizard
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by MathWizard » Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:48 pm

You likely will not be happy with painted wallpaper.

I would either hire it done it do it yourself.

We've removed wallpaper on 3 walls.

It is lot of work. There is a scorer made, and you can use a tool made for pulling off the wallpaper, or use a good putty knife.

It's was probably 8-10 hours with 2 people for each wall.
If you have 3 walls, like us, that would be around 50 person hours
Unless they can do it faster than we can..

$1800 for 3 days with a 2 person crew is cheaper that we can get work done. We also have problems getting someone form $1800 job.

We can usually get somebody to fit us in at about the $5k mark. That is why we do almost all work ourselves.

tibbitts
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by tibbitts » Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:52 pm

I did this - no issues so far. Sprayed on texture to match the rest of the house so there's no sign of the wallpaper underneath.

4nwestsaylng
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by 4nwestsaylng » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:05 am

Our family bought an old house years ago, every room had that horrible flowered wallpaper in it, and over the years, at least in a damp climate, it makes the house smell weird.

We steamed and scraped every room down to the bare plaster, Much cleaner, the paint goes on smoothly, and that wallpaper odor disappeared.
Steaming is a dirty job, if you don't have time, hire it done. We didn't have money so we did it ourselves. We worked in rooms literally full of steam. Maybe the process has improved.

I will never, never use wallpaper on walls after that experience.

sport
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by sport » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:15 am

Is the "wallpaper" actually made of paper? Some wall coverings are made of cloth.

Gnirk
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by Gnirk » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:53 am

Yes, I have, many years ago. And I would never do it again.

carolinaman
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by carolinaman » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:38 am

I removed wallpaper in both of our bathrooms and our dining room. I do not remember the process I used, but it is a slow tedious process. There are a few rough spots on the walls, but not really noticeable by anyone except me. You may want to research how to do this and try it yourself. Start with a small, less conspicuous area and see how it goes. You may find that you can do this and avoid an $1800 cost.

Personally, I would not paint over wall paper, but it is your house and I think it would not be very noticeable as long as the seams are all smooth.

Someone mentioned covering walls with 1/4" sheetrock. I did this with popcorn ceilings, but that was because of the asbestos issue with popcorn removal. It works but not sure if the cost will be much less when you consider materials, labor and finishing.

wilked
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by wilked » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:57 am

You know the right thing to do. Don’t paint over wallpaper if you at all care about a nice finished product

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:02 am

wilked wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:57 am
You know the right thing to do. Don’t paint over wallpaper if you at all care about a nice finished product
Something I learned in software development is that a kludge, reasonable at the time, has after effects that get worse over time. You need another kludge to circumvent the ill effects of the first kludge, and then . . .

Just do it right. I’m assuming $1800 isn’t that much relative to the value of the house.

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bottlecap
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by bottlecap » Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:44 am

Remove it yourself. It’s not rocket surgery.

Don’t paint over the wall paper. Do it right.

Good luck,

JT

Jill07
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by Jill07 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:49 am

Definitely remove the wallpaper. You need a wall paper steamer & putty knife to scrape. Check out Youtube for help. I have a Wagner steamer. It’s a messy job so protect your floors. The steamer will make a huge difference. Wallpaper that is only 20 years old shouldn’t be too difficult to remove once it is steamed. I think you will be surprised how easily it comes down after steaming. Be sure to wash the paste off the walls prior to painting.

Good luck with it!

pqwerty
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by pqwerty » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:15 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:02 am
wilked wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:57 am
You know the right thing to do. Don’t paint over wallpaper if you at all care about a nice finished product
Something I learned in software development is that a kludge, reasonable at the time, has after effects that get worse over time. You need another kludge to circumvent the ill effects of the first kludge, and then . . .

Just do it right. I’m assuming $1800 isn’t that much relative to the value of the house.
Technical debt... probably better known in housing projects as cutting-corners.

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fishandgolf
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by fishandgolf » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:25 am

We have painted over wallpaper in our bedroom. Spent much time researching how to properly do it..........so we did it. Results........so so. I would never do it again.

Removing wall paper is nothing short of a major PITA......but the results are worth it.

Do it the right the first time.......... :sharebeer

andypanda
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by andypanda » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:50 am

I have a house built in 1916. One bedroom - 15' x 16' with 10' ceilings - had 3 layers of painted wallpaper. Wallpaper, oil paint, wallpaper, oil paint, wallpaper, oil paint-latex-latex.

Oh yes, I got it all off. Even the two painted layers on the ceiling. The other rooms weren't as bad. I was a lot younger in 1980 and the house was only $41k. Now I live in an historic district instead of a fringe neighborhood and I didn't even have to move. :moneybag :moneybag :moneybag

Painted wallpaper? BAH, HUMBUG.

SimonJester
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by SimonJester » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:52 am

I removed wallpapaer from two room in my current house. Not sure the age of the paper when I removed it but it wasnt a hard job. I purchase a scorer and a adhesive dissolver made for wall paper removal. You scored the paper which put lots of little holes in it, then painted on the dissolver let is sit for a few minutes then scraped off the paper, most of which came off pretty easily. When there was patches that stayed behind I repeated the process.

Took only a few hours for each room...
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

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vineviz
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by vineviz » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:54 am

Teague wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:24 pm
On a home renovation site I once read that there is a special place in hell for those who paint over wallpaper.
This is the absolute truth. Painting over wallpaper is a cruel way to treat any respectable home.

But if painting over is the only option ....
sleepwell wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:51 pm
One told me that I needed to use an oil-based primer, then I could use regular paint; the other person said that I could use any type of primer. I know how to paint. I have painted almost every room in this house at least once over the years.
Don't go back to the store that told you that "any type of primer" will work. You MUST use an oil-based primer to cover wallpaper.

My favorite primer for this job is Sherwin Williams ProBlock Interior Oil-Based Primer, but others big box primers (e.g. Zinsser Cover Stain or KILZ Complete) can work too.

Even if the wallpaper LOOKS well adhered I recommend testing a small section with primer and paint: it's not unusual for the paint to loosen the wallpaper adhesive, or even for the weight of the paint to cause separation that wasn't apparent before.

Assuming it works, prime the entire wall and THEN inspect it for imperfections (like seams etc.) Fill them with joint compound or sparkling paste, sand, then spot prime those sections again. After that you can paint and hope for the best.
"Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections than has been lost in corrections themselves." ~~ Peter Lynch

sleepwell
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by sleepwell » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:20 am

Thanks, everyone, for all your comments/input. I guess I will cough up the money to have the wallpaper removed. Again, thanks.

Sleepwell

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legio XX
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by legio XX » Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:20 pm

mattfr wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:35 pm
If you’re French, this is totally normal. The average apartment has at least 5 layers of wallpaper and paint on it.

Getting ready for a new tenant and traces of mold on the walls? Wallpaper over it! Paper looking dated or covered in tobacco residue? Nothing a fresh coat of paint won’t fix. :D
Also has been observed in Manhattan. But with less wallpaper and more layers. . . . I re-did a built-in medicine cabinet because the standard size has changed over the decades and just buying a replacement wasn't possible. Counted 13 (!) layers. The top five were easy, but then it got serious . . . no idea what they put in old paint, but it didn't give up easily . . .

The result is pristine white and boring as hell - almost wish I'd left the cracked, curling layers . . . almost.

mrc
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by mrc » Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:35 pm

duplicate on edit
Last edited by mrc on Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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adamthesmythe
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by adamthesmythe » Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:50 pm

Wallpaper was truly an invention of the devil.

Anyway. Remove it yourself, unless (1) it is a rental or (2) it is a pretty cheap house. Annoying, time consuming, messy, but basically a low-skill job that is worth the trouble in the long run.

mrc
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by mrc » Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:54 pm

mrc wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:35 pm
runner3081 wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:26 pm
Yes, Kilz Primer for round 1 and then 2 coats of paint over that.
We did this too. Our house was papered over naked drywall. [Edit: which means removing the wallpaper takes the drywall paper with it.] In very bright light, if you look for the seams you can find them. You can also see a number of irregularities in ordinary painted drywall if you look for it.

We used two light coats of primer, and two top coats the first time we painted. The very dark, patterned wallpaper was in good condition to begin with.
If it’s not long term it’s small talk

Dottie57
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by Dottie57 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:58 pm

Teague wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:24 pm
Doing this will make it pretty near impossible for anyone to ever remove the wallpaper. Wallpaper is steamed off. Painting over it will make this essentially impossible.

On a home renovation site I once read that there is a special place in hell for those who paint over wallpaper.

Just sayin'.
+1

mrc
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by mrc » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:19 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:58 pm
Teague wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:24 pm
Doing this will make it pretty near impossible for anyone to ever remove the wallpaper. Wallpaper is steamed off. Painting over it will make this essentially impossible.

On a home renovation site I once read that there is a special place in hell for those who paint over wallpaper.

Just sayin'.
+1
Sorry, not going to happen. Hell is already full of people who painted brick. :annoyed
If it’s not long term it’s small talk

mariezzz
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by mariezzz » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:22 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:44 am
Remove it yourself. It’s not rocket surgery.

Don’t paint over the wall paper. Do it right.

Good luck,

JT
Agree. It's a decent amount of work, depending on how well the wall paper was applied originally. Think of it as a cheap alternative to a gym membership. It's a good workout.

If you paint, and don't like it, you could look into having someone do a skim coat over the entire wall (or do it yourself). I'm not sure how much that costs, but it's frequently done on high end houses. It would be an alternative to the 1/4" wallboard someone mentioned. See here, for example: https://www.familyhandyman.com/drywall/ ... /view-all/

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Bogle7
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wallpaper is evil

Post by Bogle7 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:37 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:50 pm
Wallpaper was truly an invention of the devil.
And, the "designers" who promote it on house porn TV shows are his disciples.

RedDog
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by RedDog » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:43 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:44 am
Remove it yourself. It’s not rocket surgery.

Don’t paint over the wall paper. Do it right.

Good luck,

JT
There are several good DIY videos on YouTube. Took me about 6hrs to remove the wall paper/paste in a 6 x 9 bathroom.

Bubbacat
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by Bubbacat » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:47 pm

We did this in January. The wallpaper was applied directly to the drywall incorrectly and was impossible to remove.

As a workaround we sanded and spakeled paper edges to make walls as smooth as possible. To ensure best coverage, the paint and primer colors were close to that of the wallpaper.

It turned out well - if you look very very closely you can see a few of the seams if you look closely but overall it's fine.

Bubbacat

JBTX
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by JBTX » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:58 pm

Had our house remodeled 2 years ago and they painted over some wallpaper places in the extra bathroom and kitchen. They did add some texture on surface (whatever you call that) before it was painted. No complaints so far.

Index24
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by Index24 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:07 pm

Currently doing two bathroom renovations. Both bathrooms were completely covered with wallpaper. In an effort to save money my wife and I removed the wallpaper ourselves in one bathroom using every trick in the book. As you can image we ended up damaging/destroying the walls in the meantime. The guys who are redoing our bathrooms had the wallpaper down in our other bathroom in what seemed 30 minutes using a steamer! I suggest using a steamer or paying someone to do it.

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celia
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by celia » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:09 pm

I would not do it in my house, but notice that the kitchen has the least visible wall space, since cabinets are hanging on all the walls (of our 3-sided kitchen--one wall removed). Working around existing cabinets will probably make it harder to remove paper and to paint since you have to be careful of the cabinets. But if the cabinets aren't up yet, it is easy to paint. (We painted the walls behind the cabinet to prevent moisture from getting in there--steam, condensation, spills, etc.)

Suggestion: Always use strippable wallpaper when putting a new wallpaper up, so it can later be removed.

ifish100
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by ifish100 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:39 pm

I would not paint over it.

Unless that is a huge room it should not cost $1800.

If you have some basic skill you can remove it yourself, I have done it several times. As people have said...
- Score it well with a scorer
- Then spray Zinzer on it, soak it well and let it sit, quite a while maybe 15 minutes. Work a 4 ft by 4 ft area at a time. Cover your floor. Then spray it again, take a sponge sprayed with Zinzer and wipe it again so the Zinzer gets into the scored holes.
- Then take a steamer and you should be able to take it right off, use a plastic or metal 6" drywall mud knife. We used a clothes hand steamer.

I think the biggest mistake is not letting it soak in well. Try a small area using this method and see if it does not work well for you.

PaleoWorx
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by PaleoWorx » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:43 pm

removing the wallpaper and [prepping the wall for painting takes a lot of time, hence the quote you received.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:59 pm

mrc wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:19 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:58 pm
Teague wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:24 pm
Doing this will make it pretty near impossible for anyone to ever remove the wallpaper. Wallpaper is steamed off. Painting over it will make this essentially impossible.

On a home renovation site I once read that there is a special place in hell for those who paint over wallpaper.

Just sayin'.
+1
Sorry, not going to happen. Hell is already full of people who painted brick. :annoyed
LOL, save me spot. I painted brick. And it looks 10x better than it was.

Ruger
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by Ruger » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:15 am

I rented a house with the wall paper painted over. Totally tacky looking and I would not do it. As mentioned above, it virtually makes it impossible to remove the wall paper later. Rent a steamer and remove it yourself.

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Info_Hound
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by Info_Hound » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:02 pm

I bought a house where the previous homeowner painted over their wallpaper...it was in every single room. :shock:

I spent years getting that mess off. In one room I had to just install new drywall over the existing drywall because the wallpaper and whatever they used as glue kept pulling out huge chunks of the drywall when it came off. Make sure you get ALL the glue off the drywall or when you paint you will see your nice paint job began to bubble wherever any glue was left on the wall.

Rented a steamer and scored the heck out of the paper so the steam could get underneath. Then used warm water and a large sponge to wipe down the walls to clean up the glue residue.

Just don't do it.

fposte
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by fposte » Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:38 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:59 pm
mrc wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:19 pm
Sorry, not going to happen. Hell is already full of people who painted brick. :annoyed
LOL, save me spot. I painted brick. And it looks 10x better than it was.
Yeah, there's a lot of brick that could stand to be blotted out, and I really like both the painted brick of my old home (sort of limewashed look--don't know how it was done, since it probably happened at my house's build in the 1920s) and the painted brick of my current fireplace (just a gloss white), which was that way when I bought the house.

But the problem with painting brick is that it's darn near irreversible, especially with the newer brick and brick veneers that tend to be a lot more porous than older materials. So I don't think I'd commit to it myself unless there was a real eyesore involved.

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Elsebet
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by Elsebet » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:52 pm

We did this in the kitchen and a half-bath in our current home when we moved in but only as a temporary measure. Both rooms will need to be remodeled down to the studs but we couldn't afford that at the time and are saving up now for that remodel.

We did as others suggested using Kilz primer and two coats of Behr paint. If you look closely it definitely looks terrible. :)

Housedoc
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by Housedoc » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:54 pm

Paper stuck to drywall without primer or sizing here also. I used a heavy coat of Kilz followed by a thinned down joint compound on all seams. Feather sanded seams. 2 coats of paint. Looks great. For all you experts that think you can remove wallpaper from unprimed drywall you are mistaken. I used several methods including steam and chemicals, and had a painter try also. Had to skim coat a wall with joint compound.

Golf maniac
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by Golf maniac » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:11 am

We were redoing a bath in our house and it had wallpaper. The contractor told us it is easier and cheaper to remove the drywall and replace instead of removing the wallpaper.

wilked
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by wilked » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:36 am

Golf maniac wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:11 am
We were redoing a bath in our house and it had wallpaper. The contractor told us it is easier and cheaper to remove the drywall and replace instead of removing the wallpaper.
were you also moving plumbing? Electrical changes / upgrades? That may have factored in the decision

iamblessed
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Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Post by iamblessed » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:12 am

Don't paint over it. We lived in a house in which that was done. It never looked at good. We just left it but I learned it was something I would not do.

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