There may come a time when you decide that the wallpaper in your house needs to be covered up. It could be that you are looking for a change of pace and want a different color on your walls. It could be that the wallpaper is old and falling apart. No matter what the reasoning is, there are going to be a few people who begin to wonder if they can simply paint over wallpaper. After all, it would get the job done. The truth is, as long as you make certain preparations, you absolutely can paint over wallpaper. The trick is to properly prepare the wallpaper for it so that it will not affect the future paint job.
Preparing the Wallpaper
If you want the paint layer to turn out as good as it would if there wasn’t wallpaper to worry about, there are a few things to do and consider. For one, you are going to need to clean up the wallpaper and even replace loose and missing sections. While this might be a pain at first, it will ensure that the paint job comes out smooth and even. At the very least, washing the wallpaper is a must. You will want to use a chemical solution known as trisodium phosphate, otherwise known as TSP. Remember to dilute the TSP. You will want to aim for a ratio of one half-cup of TSP for every two gallons of water. Always remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions as well, ventilate the room, and wear protective gear. Once it has been applied to the wall and you have waited a bit, you will want to use a damp rag to remove the chemical. Now your wallpaper has been prepped for the paint.
Preventing the Worst
One of the most troublesome problems that people encounter with painting over a wallpaper is peeling paint at the top and bottom edges of the wall. To prevent this, you can do one of two things. You can choose to use an adhesive compound in the seams where the wall meets the ceiling and where the wall meets the floor. This is often the easiest and least time-consuming way to go about doing things.
You can also consider coating the wall with a combination of primer-sealer. While it is more tedious and more expensive, it will be well worth it in the end because of its benefits. Not only will you not have to fret about the paint surface peeling off as time goes on, but it also provides a surface where the paint can readily stick. If you choose to go down this route, remember that only an oil-based sealer will work with wallpaper. Make sure to wait for the primer-sealer to dry before you begin painting.
Painting the Walls
Now begins the fun part: painting the wall. Make sure that you choose an oil-based paint, as water-based paints do not mix well with wallpapers, no matter if there is a primer-sealer layer or not. Generally, this process is straightforward. You should approach it as you would with any other painting project. This includes getting the variety of brushes you will need, the tape to make sure the paint stays where it should, and any floor and furniture coverings to keep things safe. One thing you will want to keep in mind is that if the patterns are particularly vibrant, you are going to need additional layers of paint. You can apply a second coat if you want to after the first coat has dried completely, and it is almost always recommended that you apply it.