Painting over wallpaper

Most painters and decorators would probably advise removing wallpaper before applying a coat of paint to your walls, but this may not always be possible.

For example, the adhesive on the wallpaper may be particularly strong, making it difficult to tear it down without a considerable amount of effort.

In this case, it is often easier to just paint directly over the wallpaper, so here is a step-by-step guide on how to achieve the best results.

1/ Check your wallpaper for any loose edges. If you find some, make sure to glue these down with a PVA adhesive.

2/ Next, check for any dents, rips, defects or holes and plug them with PAL Contract Filler.

3/ Lightly sand down any irregularities that the filler produces using 220 grit zinc stearate sandpaper.

4/ Any pen marks and water stains should be tackled with Resene Sureseal.

5/ Good-quality wallpaper should be easy to paint, although small bubbles may form after the first coat of water borne paint. Allow the paint to dry and if bubbles remain then cross cut these with a sharp blade and glue the edges down using PVA adhesive.

6/ Paint the walls following the recommendations for application and drying time provided with the product, with two coats advised for the best outcome.

7/ When cutting in, there may be difficulties at the junction between the skirting board and the wall due to the wallpaper overlapping – therefore, painting the skirting the same colour as the wall will result in the most even finish.

Note: Some vinyl wallpapers may allow migration of plasticisers into the paint film, which will produce a tacky finish.

While a test spot can be used to overcome this problem, it can take up to three weeks for the stickiness to become apparent, so be prepared to wait.

If you have solid or paper-backed vinyl wallpapers, use Resene Vinyl Wallpaper Sealer to get the job done.

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