How To Paint Over Wallpaper

Here are the steps to painting walls with textured wallpaper to achieve a smooth finish:

1. Protect all trim with painter’s tape.

2. Apply an odorless, oil-based primer to the walls. Make sure the room is well ventilated and that you wear a respirator. Do not use a latex- or water-based primer, as it will deactivate the glue under the wallpaper and create bubbles.

3. Once the primer is dry, apply the joint compound. Roll the joint compound onto an 8-by-4-foot area, then smooth it out with a trowel. Continue working around the room in sections until all the walls have been coated.

4. Allow the walls to dry for 24 hours.

5. Scrape the walls with a scraping tool to smooth out the joint compound.

6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for a second coat.

7. After the second coat has dried, it needs to be sanded using a 180-grit sandpaper or sanding sponge. Have a lot of light in the room during this step so you can see fine lines, scratches and nicks, which can easily be sanded out. Again, make sure the room is well ventilated and wear a respirator.

8. Clean up all the dust created by the sanding.

9. Now you apply one coat of primer and two coats of paint or more until full coverage is achieved.

Things you’ll need for painting over wallpaper

  • Ladder
  • Plastic
  • Drop cloths
  • Drywall pan and blades
  • Patching compound
  • Plastic snap off razor blades or utility knife
  • Odorless oil base primer
  • Blue tape
  • Sandpaper or sponges
  • 500 watt Halogen lights
  • Paint brushes
  • High quality non shedding solvent resistant sleeve for priming