Painting directly on wallpaper: technique and advice

To save precious time or to avoid striving to try to peel off unremovable wallpaper, you may be tempted to paint directly on an old tapestry. This practice is indeed possible, provided you do not go about it anyhow, at the risk of missing its effect. If you’re bored of your wallpaper or want to freshen up your interior, you’ve come to the right place. Here are the steps to follow to succeed.

How to prepare your construction site?

Before you start, be aware that you will need to apply a lot of paint to completely hide the wallpaper and to obtain an aesthetic and harmonious result. Indeed, painting a wall previously covered with wallpaper is not as simple as repainting a bare wall, already painted or covered with paneling. If you can remove the wallpaper, that’s a preferable solution. Accordingly, we recommend that you only paint the wallpaper if you have no other choice.

To achieve this, equip yourself with clean rags, a damp sponge, wallpaper paste and smoothing compound. Choose your paint, preferably a glycero model that will hold better and be more durable. You will also need a repainting brush, a roller, a paint tray and a telescopic handle or a stepladder to paint the upper part. Finally, consider the necessary protection such as plastic sheeting and masking tape.

How to paint on wallpaper? The steps to follow

To make your project a success, here are the steps to follow.

Step 1: prepare your support

Wash your wallpaper with a slightly damp sponge and let it dry thoroughly. If some parts of the wallpaper come off, stick them back together with a suitable glue, then fill in any holes and cracks with a smoothing compound. Let it dry, lightly sand the coated surface, then dust off.

Be careful in this cleaning of the support, because any omission will be visible once the wallpaper is repainted.

Step 2: Apply a coat of primer

Using plastic sheeting and masking tape, protect your floor, ceiling and baseboards. For best results, turn off the electricity, remove sockets and switches, but also radiators.

Apply a coat of primer to promote paint adhesion. After delineating the borders with masking tape, start by marking the ends of the area to be painted with the repainting brush. Then apply a thin layer of primer with the roller, making a cross application. Make a first vertical pass then, without reloading the roller with paint, make a horizontal pass to smooth the whole thing. Do this in areas of around 1 m² for best results.

Step 3: apply the paint

When the primer coat is dry, you can apply your first coat of paint. To do this, clear the corners and edges with your brush. Then proceed in areas of 1 m² with the roller. Make a first vertical pass, then a second immediate horizontal pass to stretch the paint layer and harmonize the rendering.

Then let this first coat dry well, referring to the time indicated on the manufacturer’s instructions. Once it is dry, renew the operation in the same way until applying at least three coats. If needed, add an extra layer to fully cover the wallpaper patterns and colors.

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