Now you need to decide what course you are going to take. Some wallpaper is not easy to paint over. The resulting look can be less than appealing. On the other hand, there are those stories you have probably heard about the never-ending layers of wallpaper. Peel one layer off only to find another and yet another under that one and so on.
Expect the Unexpected When Dealing with Wallpaper
Removing wallpaper can be risky and time-consuming. Particularly in old homes, there is no way of knowing what lies beneath that final layer. If you make the decision to remove the wallpaper, realize you may be in for more than you bargained for.
Wallpaper removal entails dealing with adhesives, some of which can be very challenging. When the wallpaper was applied, and the type of adhesive used will determine how difficult it will be to remove. Be prepared to spend a significant amount of time peeling it off before you get to the bare wall.
After you have removed all the wallpaper, you may find that the wall has damage that must be repaired or drywall that may need to be replaced. Realizing these things ahead of time can help alleviate the headache that you could get if you were not expecting any difficulties. Planning for the things that could go wrong may save you time and money. At least you can have a contingency plan in place if you should meet with a significant problem.
Painting Over Wallpaper
You don’t necessarily need to remove wallpaper to change the look of a room. Depending on the type of wallpaper, you could paint over it. In most instances, it is recommended to remove the wallpaper first, but that is not always the case.
The advantages of painting over the wallpaper are somewhat obvious. First, it is considerably easier to paint the wallpaper than to remove it. All those hours spent removing the wallpaper and prepping the wall for painting are yours to spend in a more enjoyable way when you decide to paint it instead. Another advantage of painting over the wallpaper is that you will not run the risk of damaging your walls; and if anything is underneath all that wallpaper that you do not want to deal with, it remains undisturbed until another time.
Even though it is easier to paint over it, unfortunately not all wallpaper lends itself to being painted. Some wallpaper has texture and many of these textured wallpapers also have patterns. If you are okay with a textured pattern showing through the paint then go for it, but if that is not your cup of tea, you probably will end up removing the wallpaper.
In addition to the texture, the seams where panels of wallpaper meet may show through the paint as well. This could make your paint job look less than professional. The other thing that you need to be aware of is peeling wallpaper. Because you are applying paint to the wallpaper, the moisture may cause the adhesive to lose its tackiness. If this happens the wallpaper will come off the wall. In some situations, the wallpaper will eventually completely peel off the wall.
If done correctly, you can paint over wallpaper without running into problems. The first thing you will want to do is make sure that the wallpaper is not peeling. Any seams or corners that have loose wallpaper will need to be addressed. Use a strong adhesive to glue these areas back onto the wall. Let the adhesive dry thoroughly before attempting to paint.
The next thing you need to do is make sure the wall is clean. You can vacuum the wall to remove all the dust particles from it. If the wallpaper is uncoated you can use wallpaper dough to knead out stains and residue that is on the wall. Coated wallpaper, on the other hand, can be easily cleaned with a damp sponge and a little dishwashing detergent. Be careful around the seams. You don’t want to get any moisture in these areas.
After you have cleaned the wall, paint a small test area. This serves two purposes. You will be able to see how the wallpaper accepts the paint. The test area will also allow you to find out how many coats of primer and paint will be needed to achieve the look you want.