Free UK mainland delivery on orders over £50*

Painting Over Wallpaper

Can You Paint Over Wallpaper?

If you’ve inherited a wallpaper or simply gone off a paper in your home, you might be considering painting over it rather than stripping the paper off the wall. With the right preparation, it is possible to paint over wallpaper but it isn’t always the best solution, there are a few things to consider before you decide to paint over it.

Things to Consider Before Painting Over Wallpaper

The first thing to consider before painting over wallpaper is the condition of the paper. If it’s ripped, peeling, chipped or in any way damaged, painting over it won’t fully hide this or solve the problem, especially if it’s a result of damp or moisture damage. If the paper is damaged, we recommend removing the paper completely and painting the wall underneath.

If painting over wallpaper is a short-term solution, we wouldn’t recommend it as painted wallpaper is notoriously difficult to remove. It’s not a quick fix and although it may seem it initially, it’s not a cost-saving either as the damage underneath when it’s removed at a later date, can be costly to fix.

If the paper is in good condition and it’s not a short-term solution, you can paint over wallpaper without any issues. Read on to find our top tips for achieving a flawless finish.


What Do You Need To Paint Over Wallpaper

We’ve collated a short list of items to get you started, here is what you’ll need to paint wallpaper:

Tips for Painting Over Wallpaper

As with any decorating, we recommend you use quality decorating tape to cover sockets and switches as well as to help create a straight edge when cutting in. 

Once taped up, ensure all flooring and furniture is covered with dust sheets to avoid any drips or spills. 

The first step to apply a primer to ensure the paint adheres properly to the wallpaper. This is especially important if you’re covering a heavy pattern or going from light to dark or vice versa. Most interior wall primers will do the job but if you’re painting over a vinyl wallpaper, we recommend Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 for best results.

Once the primer is dry, apply your chosen topcoat of paint using a roller and a brush to cut in around the edges. Apply two topcoats, allowing the first to fully dry before applying the next, in any finish or colour of your choice and voila, you’re paper will be covered!


Can you paint over vinyl wallpaper?

You can paint over vinyl wallpaper, it just requires a high-adhesion primer before painting unless it’s a blown vinyl wallpaper in which case, usually no primer is required.


Do you need to prime before painting over wallpaper?

Not always, if you’re not painting over a heavy pattern or making a drastic colour change, and the paper is in good condition, painting directly over it with your chosen paint finish should be okay but if you’re looking for a flawless finish, we think it’s always worth priming to get an even, smooth finish.


How do you remove wallpaper that has been painted?

Stripping wallpaper that has been previously painted is notoriously difficult. It can be time-consuming, hard work and depending on how many layers of paint and the wall surface underneath, can damage the wall and leave you with filling and sanding to do before you can paint over the wall again and achieve a smooth finish. We recommend using a wallpaper perforator tool, a wallpaper steamer and a strong wallpaper scraper or, calling a professional.