A Common Painting Opinion

A recent project involving painting over wallpaper.

Believe it or not, there’s wallpaper underneath that new paint!

Over the past few weeks, the experts at LaffCo. Painting have worked on a collection of projects involving a transition from wallpaper to paint.

In most situations, homeowners want to have the wallpaper removed before painting. This myth – that wallpaper must be removed – has truly absorbed the painting world.

The Truth About Painting Over Wallpaper

Through years of experience, we’re confident sharing this answer on whether or not you can paint directly over wallpaper: it depends.

Here are some key factors we consider and discuss with homeowners on whether or not to remove old wallpaper:

  1. Was the wallpaper “sized” (properly primed)?
  2. Is there paint underneath the wallpaper?
  3. Is there drywall or plaster under the wallpaper?
  4. Are there multiple layers of wallpaper?
  5. What’s the overall “look” or goal with the finished project?
  6. What’s the most cost effective?

Steps To The Right Answer

Even as a certified, professional paint contractor, we have trouble answering some or all of the questions above. Homeowners do too! Wallpaper can be a tricky business.

The only real way to uncover the right answer is to begin to take the wallpaper down.

The only thing we ask homeowners is to be open to either leaving the wallpaper up or taking it down depending on what we find after starting the process.

On one hand, if LaffCo. Painting starts the process only to find three additional layers of wallpaper … it’s probably more cost effective to paint over it. On the other hand, if the wallpaper comes off with ease, we look to take it down.

Removing Wallpaper Is No Exact Science

Taking down wallpaper is not an exact science. Each project is different.

If we are able to paint over wallpaper, the process is straightforward:

  1. Sand down raised seams.
  2. Oil prime.
  3. Apply caulk and joint compound to all seams and imperfections.
  4. Sand & prime all joint compound (Latex primer is OK).
  5. Paint!

Deciding Fairly, Choosing Wisely

With wallpaper projects, LaffCo. works on an hourly rate to be most fair to customers. This pricing model gives homeowners the option of taking down or painting over wallpaper once LaffCo. has recommended the ideal solution.

Based on the steps outlined, painting over existing wallpaper still involves multiple steps and is labor intensive. The results, however, can be just as beautiful as completely taking down the paper.

Have a wallpapered room in your house that you’d like to remodel? Contact LaffCo. today for a free quote on the project!