Can you paint over wallpaper? Questions and answers

Can you paint over wallpaper? Questions and answers

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Can you paint over wallpaper? Questions and answers

New to wallpaper and wondering how much of a commitment it would be? The most popular and lasting home decor choices are those that not only look great, but are also open to change. The ones that let you play around, edit, and repurpose as you see fit. Despite the freedom that comes with peel and stick wallpaper, people sometimes hesitate to take the next step, thinking it would be challenging to plaster or paint over wallpaper. Well, today we’ll clear all your doubts about what you can, or can’t, do with your wall covering.

The answers to most questions about whether you can paint, plaster or even wallpaper over wallpaper are actually quite easy to find. If you understand the basics of how peel and stick wallpaper works, you can figure quite a bit yourself. You need to take into account the surface on which you’ll be applying the wallpaper, its material and color tone, and its surface texture. Now let’s look at some frequently asked questions, keeping these aspects in mind.

Can you paint over wallpaper?

Professionals will typically advise against it, but there is some room for experimentation with wallpaper and paint. When you’re painting any wall, wallpapered or otherwise, what you need is a clean, dust-free, smooth surface. This is why walls are primed before painting. Now, when you have wallpaper already applied to a wall, you need to see what condition it’s in.

Can you paint over wallpaper

If it’s very old, traditional wallpaper that’s going to be difficult to remove, you can consider painting over it to save time. However, you need to ensure that you prime the surface first, otherwise the wallpaper could start lifting off at the seams. Priming also becomes necessary if a light colored paint is being applied over a dark colored wallpaper.

Speaking of priming, professionals will advise against using latex primers on your wallpaper. These may soak through and cause the wallpaper to start peeling off. If it’s possible (and not too time-consuming) to remove the wallpaper first, it’s always better to paint directly on a clean, primed wall. Good-quality removable wallpapers make this choice a no-brainer, because they can be taken down without damaging your wall, and can even be reused elsewhere.

Can you plaster a wall with wallpaper?

This is generally not recommended, because firstly, plaster needs a surface that it can hold on to, and most wallpapered surfaces will be too dry and smooth to support it. Secondly, if it’s a traditional paper wall covering applied using adhesive paste, the moisture in the plaster would soak through it and cause the wallpaper to come off. If you don’t want to deal with plaster that starts cracking and falling off, it’s better to avoid plastering over wallpaper.

Can you plaster a wall with wallpaper

Some situations may make it difficult to remove the wallpaper. This is typically the case in old houses with traditional wallpaper that has been up for many years. If you find yourself in such a situation and have no support to help you remove the wallpaper, there are some precautions that you should take before plastering over it. The most important precaution is to apply a coat of oil-based sealer on the surface. This will protect the paper and prevent water from soaking through.

Can you wallpaper over wallpaper?

This is a question that we have encountered countless times through our many years in the wallpaper business. There’s no simple answer, but the logic is fairly simple. The adhesive backing in our peel and stick wallpapers requires a smooth surface for maximum adhesion. So, if the existing wallpaper on your wall has a heavily textured or embossed finish, the new wallpaper may not stick well on it.

For the same reason, if the original wallpaper was directly applied on drywall or an unprimed surface with too many imperfections, the new wallpaper will have a hard time staying on. But, if it is a smooth wallpaper in a reasonable condition you should be fine. 

Can you wallpaper over wallpaper

Last but not the least, the material and color tones of both wallpapers have a role to play. A thin, light colored wallpaper will not be able to mask a darker print underneath it. At WallsByMe, our wall coverings are thick and durable, which gives you room to choose your favorite color palettes without worrying about the existing wall color. However, it’s better to be absolutely sure about the print you’re finalizing. This is why we offer you the option of buying a sample first, applying it to the wall in question, and taking a call based on how it fares in its actual setting.

How will you be experimenting with your wall decor this season? While it’s fun to try out DIY projects involving paint, plaster and wallpaper, we offer a hassle-free route to an ever-trendy home. Nothing beats the ease of installation and the wide range of design choices you’ll find here at WallsByMe. Check out our extensive collection of PVC-free, kids-safe, removable wallpapers and murals.