Can you Paint Over Wallpaper?

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Have you ever looked at your tired, old wallpaper and wondered, “Can I just paint over this?” It’s a common dilemma faced by many homeowners.

Paint Over Wallpaper

This article aims to walk you through the critical steps of successfully completing this DIY project. So grab your brushes, let’s dive into turning that drab wall into something fab!

When to Paint Over Wallpaper

Knowing when it’s appropriate to paint over wallpaper is important in order to achieve the desired results.

Knowing When it’s appropriate to Paint over Wallpaper

It is okay to paint over wallpaper in some cases. Check the state of your wall first. If the paper is tight on the wall with no loose ends or bumps, you can think about painting. A smooth surface will help make a good job.

But if the wallpaper has tears, rolls at its edges or air bubbles under it, painting may not be best. The wet paint could peel off bits of torn wallpaper and ruin your work. Also, moisture from new paint might loosen glued corners and edges of old paper.

Avoid painting bathroom walls that have wallpaper because dampness can spoil this kind of work. You should also know what your wallpaper is made out of before you start to paint it.

Potential Issues and Drawbacks

Painting over wallpaper can come with some problems. The moisture from the paint may make wallpaper loose. This will give a bad look to your walls. Also, no matter how good your wallpaper looks now, it might get hurt during the painting.

Bubbles under the paper or edges that stick out can mess up the final look too. These issues are key in deciding whether to paint over wallpapers or not. So you must take care and prepare well before starting to paint on any type of old wallpaper.

Related Article: Can you Paint Shower Tile?

Steps for Painting Over Wallpaper

To paint over wallpaper, start by cleaning the walls thoroughly and repairing any damages. Then, tape off the molding and trim before applying a primer to ensure proper paint adherence.

Finally, begin the painting process by carefully applying multiple coats of paint for a smooth finish.

Cleaning the Walls

Before painting, clean the walls well. Use warm water and mild soap for this job. Dirt or grease on the wall might stop the paint from sticking right. Also, try to take off loose bits of wallpaper if you find any.

If there are spots where it’s hard to remove old paper, smooth them down with sandpaper. This part takes time but will give your paint job a better look in the end.

Repairing any Damages

Before painting over wallpaper, it’s important to assess the condition of the walls and make any necessary repairs. Check for any loose or peeling wallpaper edges and gently remove them.

Use a putty knife to smooth out any air bubbles or wrinkles in the wallpaper. If there are any holes or cracks in the wall, fill them with spackling compound and sand it down until smooth.

This will ensure that your painted surface looks clean and professional. Taking these steps to repair any damages before painting will help you achieve a better end result.

Taping off Molding and Trim

To ensure a clean and professional-looking paint job, it’s important to tape off the molding and trim before you start painting over wallpaper. This step helps protect these areas from accidental paint splatters or smudges.

Use painter’s tape to carefully cover the edges of the molding and trim, making sure it adheres well to create a sharp barrier between them and the walls. This will save you time on touch-ups later.

By taping off these areas, you can focus on painting without worrying about getting paint where you don’t want it.

Remember that removing wallpaper requires careful surface preparation. It is advisable to take your time during this process as rushing may cause damage to both the wallpaper and your walls.

Make sure that your walls are clean and free from any dust or debris before applying the primer. Using an oil-based primer is recommended for painting over wallpaper as it helps with better adhesion of the paint.

Priming the Walls

Before you start painting over wallpaper, it’s important to prime the walls. Priming helps create a smooth and even surface for the paint to adhere to. Use an oil-based primer, as it will help seal the wallpaper and prevent any moisture from loosening it.

Apply the primer evenly using a roller or brush, making sure to cover all areas of the wall. Let the primer dry completely before moving on to the next step in your painting process.

Remember, taking your time during this step will ensure better results in the end.

Starting the Painting Process

To start the painting process over wallpaper, make sure the walls are clean and free from any dirt or grease. Repair any damages on the wallpaper surface before moving forward. Use tape to protect molding and trim from paint drips.

Apply a primer, especially an oil-based one, to help the paint adhere better to the wallpaper. Finally, begin painting using your chosen paint color. Take your time and be careful not to damage or create air bubbles in the wallpaper during this process.

Supplies Needed for Painting Over Wallpaper

To successfully paint over wallpaper, you will need the following supplies: a sponge or cloth for cleaning the walls, spackling paste and sandpaper for repairing any damages, painter’s tape for taping off molding and trim, primer to ensure proper adhesion of the paint, a high-quality paintbrush or roller for applying the paint, and drop cloths or plastic sheeting to protect your floors and furniture.

List of necessary Tools and Materials

To paint over wallpaper, you will need some tools and materials. Here is a list of what you will need:.

1. Paint: Choose a high-quality paint that is suitable for your wall surface.

2. Oil-based primer: This type of primer helps to seal the wallpaper and create a smooth base for painting.

3. Paint roller and tray: These are used to apply the paint to the walls.

4. Paintbrushes: You may need different sizes of brushes for edging and cutting in around corners.

5. Drop cloths or plastic sheets: Protect your floors and furniture from any paint splatters or drips.

6. Painter’s tape: Use this to mask off areas like trim, windows, and doors that you don’t want to get painted.

Alternative Solutions to Painting Over Wallpaper

Consider using tapestry as a unique and visually appealing alternative to traditional wallpaper, or try faux shiplap for a rustic and trendy look. Discover these creative solutions that can breathe new life into your walls!

Tapestry as a Wall Covering

Tapestry is another option to consider as a wall covering instead of painting over wallpaper. It can add texture, color, and style to your walls without the need for paint.

Tapestry comes in various designs and patterns, allowing you to choose one that suits your taste and complements the overall theme of your room.

Hanging a tapestry is relatively easy; all you need are some hooks or curtain rods. Plus, if you ever want to change it up, you can easily swap out the tapestry for a different design without much hassle.

Faux Shiplap as an Alternative to Wallpaper

Faux shiplap is a great alternative to wallpaper if you want to add texture and visual interest to your walls. Unlike traditional wallpaper, faux shiplap gives a rustic and charming look without the hassle of installation or removal.

It can be painted in any color you desire, allowing for customization that suits your style. With faux shiplap, you can achieve a trendy farmhouse or coastal vibe in your space. Plus, it’s relatively simple to install as long as you have the right tools and materials.

So, if you’re looking for an easy way to transform your walls, consider using faux shiplap instead of wallpaper.


Yes, you can paint over wallpaper if you prepare the surface properly. It’s important to clean the walls, repair any damage, and use oil-based primer before painting. However, it’s generally recommended to remove the wallpaper unless there are specific reasons not to do so.

Remember to take your time and choose the right paint for a successful result. Happy painting!


Can you paint over the wallpaper?

Yes, it is possible to paint over wallpaper as long as the wallpaper is in good condition and properly prepped.

Do I need to remove the wallpaper before painting?

It depends on the condition of the wallpaper. If it’s loose or damaged, it’s recommended to remove it before painting for a better result.

How do I prepare the wallpaper for painting?

To prepare the wallpaper for painting, clean it thoroughly with a mild detergent and water solution, then lightly sand any textured areas to create a smooth surface.

What type of paint should I use when painting over wallpaper?

It’s best to use a latex-based primer followed by a latex-based paint for painting over wallpaper as they adhere well and provide good coverage.

Will the texture or pattern of the wallpaper show through after painting?

In most cases, if you properly prep and prime the walls before applying paint, any texture or pattern from the underlying wallpaper should be minimized or hidden completely

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years of experience in the painting industry, Randy has become an expert in the field and is passionate about helping others learn more about painting. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to his readers.

Leave a Comment

nineteen + fourteen =