Are you tired of your outdated wallpaper but don’t want to go through the hassle of removing it? You’re not alone. Luckily, painting over wallpaper is a viable option that can save both time and money. However, it’s crucial to follow the right steps and use the proper supplies to ensure that the finished product looks professional. In this article, we’ll walk you through the dos and don’ts and provide a step-by-step guide to help you get it right the first time.

The Dos and Don’ts of Painting Over Wallpaper

Before you begin, it’s essential to understand what you should and shouldn’t do when painting over wallpaper. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind:


  • Check for loose edges of the wallpaper and use glue to secure them before proceeding with the painting process.
  • Clean the wallpaper thoroughly before painting to eliminate any dirt, dust, or grease that can interfere with the paint’s adhesion.
  • Apply primer to the wallpaper surface before painting. The primer helps the paint adhere to the wallpaper and prevents the wallpaper pattern from bleeding through the paint.
  • Use a high-quality paint that adheres well to surfaces such as wallpaper. The paint should be durable and long-lasting to prevent cracking or chipping in the future.


  • Paint over wallpaper that has peeling or bubbling. This will cause the paint to adhere unevenly or peel off over time.
  • Skip the priming process, as it can lead to poor adhesion of the paint and cause the wallpaper pattern to show through the paint.
  • Use oil-based paints, as they don’t work well on wallpaper surfaces and can result in cracking and peeling.
  • Use wallpaper as a base coat for your paint, as it can cause the paint to bubble and peel over time.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Painting Over Your Existing Wallpaper

Now that you know the dos and don’ts let’s dive into the step-by-step process of painting over your wallpaper.

Step 1: Prepping the Room and Surfaces

The first step is to prepare your room for painting. Remove any furniture, cover the floors with a drop cloth or plastic to prevent paint stains, and tape off any areas that you don’t want to paint. Once you’ve prepped the room, it’s time to prepare the wallpaper for painting.

Step 2: Filling any Holes or Cracks

Fill any holes, cracks, or dents in the wallpaper using spackle and a putty knife. Once you’ve filled the areas, smooth them out using sandpaper to ensure the surface is even and ready for the next steps.

Step 3: Priming the Walls

Before painting, you’ll need to prime the wallpaper. Apply a coat of primer to the surface of the wallpaper using a paint roller or brush. Priming the wallpaper will help the paint adhere to the surface better and prevent the wallpaper pattern from bleeding through the paint. Allow the primer to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 4: Painting the Walls

Once the primer has dried, you’re ready to paint. Use a high-quality paint that adheres well to wallpaper surfaces, such as latex paint. Apply two coats of paint, allowing the first coat to dry completely before applying the second coat. Use a paintbrush to cut in around the edges of the wall and a paint roller for larger areas.

Tips and Tricks

  • Choose a paint color that complements the existing wallpaper to create a cohesive look.
  • Invest in a high-quality paintbrush to ensure a smooth and even coat of paint.
  • Use a paint roller with a medium nap to cover large areas quickly and efficiently.
  • Plan your painting in sections to ensure you don’t miss any areas or overlap paint.

Why Painting Over Wallpaper Might Be the Solution You Need

Painting over wallpaper is an excellent option for homeowners who want to update their walls without the hassle of removing wallpaper. Here are a few benefits of painting over wallpaper:

  • Save time. Removing wallpaper can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. Painting over wallpaper is a much faster way to update your walls.
  • Save money. Removing wallpaper can be expensive, requiring professional help. Painting over wallpaper is a more cost-effective option, as it requires less time and material.
  • Eco-friendly. Removing wallpaper can generate a lot of waste and mess. Painting over wallpaper is a more environmentally-friendly option, as it generates less waste and requires fewer materials.

Addressing Potential Concerns

While painting over wallpaper can save time and money, there are a few potential concerns to keep in mind.

  • Wallpaper patterns may show through the paint. To avoid this, choose a paint color that complements the wallpaper pattern or use a coat of primer to block the pattern before painting.
  • Durability may be an issue. If the wallpaper is damaged or peeling, it may not be a good base for painting. Also, the paint may not adhere well to the wallpaper surface, causing cracking or peeling in the future.

How to Paint Over Wallpaper Without Damaging Your Walls

To ensure that the wallpaper doesn’t get damaged while painting, it’s essential to use the right tools and techniques. Here’s how:

  • Use a high-quality paint that adheres well to surfaces, such as latex paint.
  • Use a primer to block the wallpaper pattern and prevent bleeding.
  • Avoid using excessive amounts of water, as it can damage the wallpaper adhesive.
  • Use a paintbrush with soft bristles to avoid damaging the wallpaper surface.

The Pros and Cons of Painting Over Wallpaper: Is it Worth the Effort?

While painting over wallpaper can be a great solution for updating your walls, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons to determine if it’s worth the effort.


  • It’s cost-effective.
  • It’s time-saving.
  • It’s eco-friendly.
  • It can create a cohesive look with the existing wallpaper.


  • The wallpaper pattern may show through.
  • The paint may not adhere well to the wallpaper surface, causing peeling or cracking in the future.
  • It may not be a viable option if the wallpaper is damaged or peeling.

When It’s Worth the Effort

Consider painting over wallpaper in the following situations:

  • If the wallpaper is in good condition and hasn’t peeled or bubbled.
  • If you want to update your walls quickly and cost-effectively.
  • If you want to create a cohesive look with the existing wallpaper pattern.


Painting over wallpaper can be an effective way to update your walls quickly and cost-effectively. However, it’s essential to follow the proper steps and use the right tools to ensure a professional finish. Remember to prepare the room thoroughly, prime the wallpaper, and choose the right paint for the job. If you’re still unsure if painting over wallpaper is right for you, consider consulting a professional or additional resources.

By Riddle Reviewer

Hi, I'm Riddle Reviewer. I curate fascinating insights across fields in this blog, hoping to illuminate and inspire. Join me on this journey of discovery as we explore the wonders of the world together.

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