How to paint over striped wallpaper

Written by valerie anders
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How to paint over striped wallpaper
Most wallpaper, no matter the design, can be painted. (floral wallpaper image by sanyal from

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.

Skill level:

Things you 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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  1. 1

    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.

    How to paint over striped wallpaper
    Repair walls before you begin. (drywall worker image by Sherri Camp from
  2. 2

    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.

    How to paint over striped wallpaper
    A variety of brush sizes will be useful. (les pinceaux image by richard villalon from
  3. 3

    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.

  4. 4

    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.

    How to paint over striped wallpaper
    Painter's tape helps you achieve clean, neat edges. (blue painters tape image by Jim Mills from
  5. 5

    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.

    How to paint over striped wallpaper
    Large areas can be covered quickly with paint rollers. (roller cream image by Nicemonkey from
  6. 6

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

Tips and warnings

  • 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.

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