July 28th, 2016

Pro Tip: Painting Over Wallpaper


Not long ago, I gave my bathroom and powder room a style update. Both rooms had the same peach and scallop-shell wallpaper and I found out the hard way that removing wallpaper can cause unexpected damage—especially if it’s been on the wall for years. That’s when I decided that painting over wallpaper might just be a better way to go.

If the wallpaper is in good condition and shows no signs of wear or adhesion failure, painting over it is perfectly OK. Plus, it will save a lot of time since you won’t have to remove it or deal with any unexpected damage.


How to paint over wallpaper on a wall


Here is a before shot of the powder room. It’s a tiny dark room that gets no natural light. I started this project because I felt it was time to lighten it up…


Glidden Diamond Interior Paint + Prime


…and did so using the new Glidden Diamond Interior Paint + Primer in Fossil Grey with a satin finish.


Fossil Grey


Diamond covered exceptionally well. I only needed one rolled-on coat, a cutting-in coat and a few final touch-ups around the ceiling line, door and baseboards.

Alright, so you’re ready to start painting over wallpaper? Here’s what you’ll need to know.

How to Paint Over Wallpaper

Make sure the wallpaper is secure. If there are any seams, you must first apply wallpaper paste or an adhesive and let it dry before painting.

Supplies you’ll need:

  • Glidden Diamond Interior Paint + Primer
  • Paint roller (3/8″ or 1/2″ work best), roller cover and a 2″ angled paint brush
  • 100-grit sand paper and sanding block
  • TSP cleaner, rag and a bucket of warm water
  • Optional: Spackle and putty knife (to patch any holes)


Painting over wallpaper on a wall prep work


1. Spackle any holes in the walls and secure any peeling wallpaper with adhesive. Let it dry completely before moving on to the next step.


How to paint over wallpaper


2. Run the sanding block over entire surface of wall to smooth out the Spackle and sand over seams lightly so they will look less noticeable when painted over.


Paint over wallpaper tips


3. Wash your wall with a mixture of TSP cleaner and warm water. Let it dry completely.


Paint to use to paint over wallpaper


4. Stir paint well and pour into a paint tray.


Rolling paint over wallpaper


5. Start the job by cutting-in around the ceiling line, doorways and baseboards. You’ll want to use an angled brush to do this.

6. Next, use your paint roller to roll paint on the wall in a big “W” or “M” shaped pattern until you have covered the wallpaper. Be sure to roll over the cut-in areas so they blend together.


Painting over wallpaper tutorial


One coat rolled on is all I needed. I used a 2″ angled brush to paint along the ceiling, baseboards, and corners and needed to touch up the areas that the roller couldn’t reach.


Fossil Grey painted over wallpaper


To complete the makeover, I planked the wall and painted it with Glidden Diamond in white. I also added new vanity lighting and flooring to the room.


Glidden Fossil Grey painted over wallpaper


Painting over wallpaper saved me a lot of time, effort and frustration. And using Diamond made the process even faster since it covered in only one coat with a few touch-ups.

If you have been hesitant to remove wallpaper, now you know all you need to do is paint right over it and you can have a great look in a fraction of the time.


This post is sponsored by Glidden® paint, a PPG brand. All thoughts, opinions and paintbrushes are my own.