How to paint over striped wallpaper

Updated April 17, 2017

Are you tired of the wallpaper in your bathroom or kitchen but removing it is a task you just don't want to tackle? Well, have you thought about painting the wallpaper. There are several factors to consider before you begin, including the age of the wallpaper, the age of the home and the current texture and finish on the wallpaper. However, with proper preparation, almost any wallpaper can be painted.

Check for damaged areas or raised seams before you begin. Repair these with a joint compound, smoothing and levelling the surface with a trowel. Let dry and then sand with fine grit sandpaper.

Apply a test patch of your primer and paint in an area that will not easily be seen. Apply a coat of primer and allow to dry. Then apply a coat of paint over the primer. After it has dried, check for cracking and peeling, which may indicate that the wallpaper has deteriorated with age and may need to be removed.

Wash the walls with a damp sponge and mild, soapy water. This will remove residual dust and grime that might affect the quality of the paint job. Allow to dry completely.

Use blue painter's tape to protect baseboards and the ceiling where the walls adjoin. Remove switch plates and outlet covers and cover the areas with painter's tape. Use dust sheets to protect the floors.

Pour primer into a clean roller pan and use a napped roller to apply the primer. Allow to dry before painting. Pour paint into a clean roller pan and apply paint with a clean, napped roller. Use brushes to apply paint in corners and near the floor and ceiling. Allow to dry.

Remove blue tape and discard. Replace switch plates and outlet covers. Fold and store dust sheets.


Use a tinted primer similar to the colour of your paint. This will minimise the number of paint coats you need.


Do not use a latex-based primer. This can cause the wallpaper to bubble and pull away from the wall. Always work in a well-ventilated room. If you have sensitive skin, you should wear latex or rubber gloves.

Things You'll Need

  • Small container of joint compound
  • Drywall trowel
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Bucket and sponge
  • Mild liquid soap
  • Tinted oil-based primer
  • Latex-based paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Roller pans
  • Paint rollers
  • Dust sheets
  • Blue 2-inch painter's tape
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About the Author

After grading students' compositions for many years, Valerie Anders has retired from the classroom. She began writing professionally in 2010 with several articles published in the "Pender Post." Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science from Florida State University and graduate courses at Auburn University and Bob Jones University.