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How to Paint over Wallpaper

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Painting over Wallpaper


There are going to be times when removing the existing wallpaper simply is not practical.. Unfortunately too often we see where the paper was applied directly to new unprimed wallboard and removing it results in drywall damaged beyond repair. Time to breakout the paint brush.

You will first have to pull off any areas that are easily removed like edges that lifted and seams that have curled up.
Using a latex primer can often result in a bigger mess as the water in the paint starts to lift the paper wherever it is poorly bonded. I always use an oil base primer like KILZ as it bonds very well to the wallpaper face and does not cause any of the spot lifting. Kilz comes ready mixed and is a very thick coating so I suggest you reduce it about 20% with paint thinner. This allows you to spread it easier and more evenly.

Allow the primer to dry and remove any small areas of the wallpaper that may have curled up. Spackle any seams that are showing, rough areas left from removing efforts and other imperfections. When dry sand lightly with 120 grit sandpaper, spotprime those areas and proceed with your new finish, new wallpaper or a coat of finish paint.

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