If you do not have the time or the money to strip your wallpaper then this blog about how to paint over wallpaper is for you!
The quality of the original wallpapering job will determine whether you can paint the wallpaper or not. If the wallpaper is completely tight on the wall, in the corners where it meets the ceiling and the skirting boards, then there should not be a problem. The paper may bubble up after painting but it will pull back when it dries. If this happens then only paint one coat in a day – this way the paper stays on the wall. You may have to fill the seams on the paper, depending on how well it was hung.
It may take a couple of coats to cover any patterned paper, more so than painting over any solid colour.
If the paper is vinyl paper a special primer or undercoat may be used. Also with vinyl paper that appears smooth, but has variations in the pattern, then the pattern may still be seen when viewed against the light.
Stripping paper is generally a better option, but sometimes painting over it is more suitable.
If it is an old house, the walls may be in very bad condition under the wallpaper. It may be a much cheaper option to paint over the paper. It is also far less time-consuming as the paper on the wall acts as a lining paper.
In some new builds, the builder may offer a “special deal” and you could get a great price on wallpaper. But in many cases (not all) this gives the builder the opportunity of not finishing the walls correctly. It allows them to just paper over the plasterboard. You can run into real problems when stripping this off a wall that has not been plastered or sealed. So in this instance, it may be a better option to leave the paper and paint over it.
So if you are not sure then ask a professional painter and decorator. They can guide you as to the best approach to take with your painting and decorating, wallpaper stripping, wallpaper hanging and, of course, whether to paint over the wallpaper or not.
Before photo of a hall where we painted over the wallpaper
After photo of a hall where we painted over the wallpaper