How to Paint Paintable Wallpaper

Updated February 21, 2017

Customise a wall's surface with texture and paint using paintable wallpaper. Paintable wallpaper comes in an assortment of different designs and textures--from linen and rice paper textures to embossed scrolls and flourishes. The paper is installed using the same technique as regular wallpaper. After installation, the paper is painted any colour using latex paint.

Make sure the walls have dried at least 24 hours after the initial wallpaper installation. Feel the wall and make certain the surface is dry.

Mask off any areas where paint should be avoided, such as moulding, trim, ceilings and door frames. Use 1-inch or larger painter's tape. Burnish the edge of the tape firmly to the surface by rubbing with a finger or plastic putty knife.

Move all furniture and accessories to the centre of the room and cover with plastic. Use masking tape to secure the plastic to the furniture; an air draft can cause the plastic to flip up, exposing furniture. Cover all carpets, wood floors and rugs with drop cloths. Spread the drop cloth evenly and smooth out any wrinkles.

Use a medium-nap roller to paint the wallpaper. Do not apply heavy coats of paint because they can oversaturate the paper. Lightly roll the paint in long, vertical strokes. Apply even pressure when rolling. Cover the entire surface with a solid coat of paint. Allow paint to dry four to six hours. Apply a second or possibly third coat, if necessary.

Trim out the edges of the wall. Use an angled trim brush to paint the perimeter of the wall that was not covered by the roller. Quickly glide the brush along the edge of the wall. Remember to use light, even strokes and do not apply paint very thick. Allow paint to dry.

Slowly peel away the painter's tape from attached surfaces. Cut away the tape using a razor blade if paint is stuck to the surface.


If you paint the wallpaper a dark colour, you need to first apply a coat of grey primer. The primer will decrease the amount of additional paint needed for solid, even coverage. This tip is extremely important when using red paint. Up to five coats of paint can be applied to embossed, paintable wallpaper before the texture becomes affected. Add a faux finish using glaze and paint over the wallpaper for a more custom and unique look. A colour wash and metallic paint can make the surface have an antique or metal appearance.

Things You'll Need

  • Painter's tape
  • Putty knife
  • Plastic protective sheeting
  • Masking tape
  • Drop cloths
  • Medium-nap roller
  • Roller frame
  • Paint tray
  • Latex paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Razor blade
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About the Author

Julie Hampton has worked as a professional freelance writer since 1999 for various newspapers and websites including "The Florida Sun" and "Pensacola News Journal." She served in the U.S. Army as a combat medic and nurse for over six years and recently worked as the Community Relations Director for a health center. Hampton studied journalism and communications at the University of West Florida.