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Wallpaper: Paint Over or Remove?

Wallpaper: Paint Over or Remove?

You want to repaint your home interior, but some of your rooms are wallpapered. A little voice in your head may say “just paint over it”. But as a professional painting company, the Trico Painting team is here to warn you: painting over wallpaper is only going to cause more problems, and cost more money, than you bargained for.

Don’t Paint Over Wallpaper: Problems and Risks

Here are the biggest problems with painting over wallpaper:

  1. Paint Makes Wallpaper Harder to Remove: If you repainted over wallpaper now, only to decide you wanted to remove interior paint and wallpaper later, you’re in for a major headache. Removing wallpaper that has been painted over is far more difficult than straightforward wallpaper removal. You’ll need harsh dissolving chemicals, and a way to get those chemicals through the layer of paint, which has to be very thick to cover the wallpaper in the first place. Once that’s done, you’ll still need to strip all the wallpaper.
  2. Paint Can Loosen the Wallpaper: Moisture from paint often loosens the wallpaper you’re trying to paint over, damaging the paper and compromising the paint finish. Removing wallpaper before painting is the only way to prevent that unsightly bubbling and the accompanying maintenance issues. Some DIY sites might suggest priming with an oil-based primer-sealer. But even if that does work, you’ll still face a much harder task if you ever want to repaint or remove wallpaper.
  3. Wallpaper Color, Patterns, and Seams Might Show Through: Seams where wallpaper rows line up can easily be seen through most paint. Any textures on the paper will make paint finishes less smooth and less seamless. Most colors of wallpaper are very difficult to fully obscure because of the texture itself, which means even multiple repaints won’t actually completely cover up the wallpaper.
  4. Damage and Decay Could Be Hiding: If your walls have mold or moisture damage, rotting wood, or drywall damage, you need to know as soon as possible so the damage and decay don’t spread. You can only get an accurate assessment of surface damage if wallpaper is completely removed.

All these problems, and all these costs, can be avoided with one solution: wallpaper removal. Complete wallpaper removal allows you to assess the condition of the underlying surface, repair it as needed, smooth it out, and prepare it for paint.

Pro Tip: Avoid Removing Wallpaper Yourself

Even if you decide not to paint over wallpaper, removing wallpaper yourself can bring its own unexpected stress. Some of the most common DIY wallpaper removal mistakes our teams have seen includes:

  • Ripping Wallpaper Off: Simply grabbing a seam and ripping wallpaper off by hand does not guarantee it will be removed properly or evenly.
  • Poor Scraping Technique: Using a scraper with no prior experience might damage drywall underneath the wallpaper, leading to an additional project you didn’t plan on doing.
  • Incomplete Paper or Adhesive Removal: When wallpaper or adhesive is not completely removed, surface prep before painting will be more difficult, and there’s a chance that primer and paint will not properly adhere to the surface.

Even if none of these problems arise, wallpaper removal is very messy. Our clients tell us they’d much prefer a painting team, who can quickly cover a room before a project and clean it up after, handle a project the scope of wallpaper removal, especially since they also have the expertise necessary to properly prep and paint the walls.

Stress-Free Professional Wallpaper Removal

Hiring house painters for wallpaper removal means you have none of the stress of DIY, and you’re working with the same team to see your interior painting through from start to finish. Professional painting contractors know how to:

  • Completely remove wallpaper without scraping or damaging walls
  • Get rid of stubborn wallpaper adhesive
  • Repair any drywall damage underneath the wallpaper, and remediate wood rot
  • Apply new primer and paint correctly, to get the exact look and finish you want.

Trico Painting is your trusted partner for wallpaper removal. Whether you’re bringing an outdated room into the 21st century, or taking on a significant refresh for an HOA property, we’ll work with you to get your walls looking great and up-to-date. Schedule your wallpaper removal and interior painting services now. Contact our team for your custom interior painting estimate today.