Wallpaper is a classic home decorating element that can add personality and character to any room. But if you’re not satisfied with the look of your wallpaper, whether it’s too old or just in need of an update, there are two ways for you to change the design without having to replace it: texturing over wallpaper or painting over wallpaper. This article will discuss what these methods entail and how they will impact your home decor.

We’ll discuss and answer the following questions, what these methods entail, and how they will impact your home decor.

  • Can you paint over the wallpaper?
  • How to paint over wallpaper?
  • Can you wall texture over wallpaper?
  • How to texture over wallpaper?

Can You Paint Over The Wallpaper?

Yes! But if you ask, paint experts will advise you against it and opt to have the wallpaper removed first and clean the wall for any adhesive residues.

That’s why while it might seem like their advice is the best idea to get rid of those old papers that no longer suit your style, you should know there are a few downsides. You may be removing part of unfinished drywall or plastered walls which can ruin them if they were too fragile for the wallpaper in the first place, and removing multiple layers of wallpaper could add to this damage exponentially.

But there are exceptions to the rule, and it’s important to know that there are wallpapers that shouldn’t be painted over. Some types of wallpaper may need special precautions when it comes time to paint. For example, fabric-backed vinyl wallpapers usually don’t have an adhesive backing anymore, so painting them will likely cause bubbles on top. This can never be fixed because these types of sheets often do not allow paint through their pores, no matter how many layers you add on top.

Now that you know the basics, how do you proceed with the process?

How To Paint Over Wallpaper

Following the same steps as painting any other surface, you will need to prepare the wallpaper first:

  1. Clean the wall. Make sure that all dust and dirt are wiped off. A dusty wall will not help the primer do its job.
  2. Check for damages and repair.
    • Option 1: scan for peeling edges and seams, then reattach them using a wallpaper adhesive.
    • Option 2: Cut the loose edges, apply thin putty, and sand it to level the surface.
    • Option 3: If the wallpaper is textured, smoothen it using a sander.
  3. Prime the wall. You may also want to paint primer over just a portion of it for more control when using colors later on–or if your wall is textured and some areas are not covered with vinyl (this would be determined by whether or not there’s an adhesive backing).

After priming, we recommend two coats of topcoats before moving onto adding color. Depending on how much prep work has been done beforehand, this process can take anywhere from one day to weeks, depending on the drying time between each coat and the size of the room.

For example, in small rooms like bathrooms where water is often present, the moisture content inside these spaces varies significantly throughout the day. It is best to move onto the next coat of paint soon after painting one area before dry time has elapsed.

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Remember, the quality of the output will depend on how tedious you are with the details. The more attention you give, the higher the quality of the finished product.

Read on to answer the following question: can you wall texture over wallpaper, and how?

Can You Wall Texture Over Wallpaper?

Wall texture is a process that can be both aesthetically pleasing or simply functional. There are two primary methods of texturing: spraying the surface with material like sandblasting rock abrasion or using an adhesive to spread the material onto the wall and then applying it in layers by hand or power tools. The latter option offers more control over the texture pattern. It requires a longer drying time between coats.

Read the next section to learn the process of texturing over wallpaper. 

How To Texture Over Wallpaper

If you’re interested in texturing over wallpaper, several different textures can be combined. This method is often used to give an old or outdated wallpaper the illusion of being new again. There are many types of wallpapers and surfaces out on the market these days, so we’ll offer some general tips for how to texture over successfully:

  1. Walls need to be clean and dry before texturing.
  2. Remove old wallpaper by scraping off excess material, then apply a thin coat of joint compound or fine sanding followed by dusting with wood flour, talc powder, or other such product that will prevent the adhesive from sticking to the surface.
  3. Apply the substrate material over walls using either two methods: spray textured paint on surfaces (this is not recommended for large areas) OR spread texture onto walls in layers. Use any type of brush to apply, but make sure it has enough bristles to avoid getting clogged. The tool can also be power tools like a belt sander, spackle knife, and trowel, which are more efficient than hand brushing.
  4. Use water-based paint – this will prevent any drying issues due to heat (which could result from using oil-based paints)
  5. Use a roller to apply the texture – this will allow you to distribute it evenly.
  6. Let dry completely before applying paint or wallpaper.

The process of texturing over a wall that already has an old paper pattern is similar, but with one additional step: using water-based primer instead of regular latex-based paints and primers. This prevents any chance of bubbling from heat exposure, which can become more likely as time goes on when working with oil-based materials.

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Don’t forget about your prep work! Make sure that you have deep-cleaned the walls before applying anything else. Consider whether you want a matte or shiny finish; if choosing glossy, make sure not to use too much water during preparation.

Is Painting and Texturing Over Wallpaper a Bad Idea?

There’s no definite answer to this question, and even professionals have divided opinions about the matter – sometimes it is better to remove the wallpaper first before painting. Others would argue that removing the wallpaper would damage the drywall, especially when multiple layers are present, so painting is the best solution.

But generally speaking, it’s not recommended that you paint over any type of wallpaper. Wallpaper paste is water-soluble, and if a wall has been painted with latex-based primer before texturing on top, the adhesive will come off, making it very difficult to apply new paper in the future or remove the old paper without damaging drywall underneath. 

Suppose there are only small sections of an already textured surface where you need to make repairs. This process can be done using two coats of different paints: oil for the original paint soaks into the paper fibers. In contrast, acrylics coat them from above, preventing peeling when retexturing.

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It is also essential to practice care when removing textured surfaces as some techniques involve sanding, which may lead to scratching of the wall surface, and scraping, which can also weaken drywall. 

The main benefit is that you don’t need to strip off existing textured walls first, but these techniques also come with their own set of drawbacks, mainly durability and water resistance.

Is It All Worth The Effort: Painting or Texture Over Wallpaper? 

Again, there is no one answer to whether or not it’s a good idea to paint or texture over wallpaper. It largely depends on what you’re trying to accomplish with your wall and how much time, money, and effort you want to invest in that project. 

If you need something quick and cheap because you don’t plan on staying at this home for long, then painting over your existing paper may be an option worth considering. On the other hand, if you’ve invested heavily into decorating your walls with textures like stucco or plaster before putting up wallpaper, then chances are it won’t look very nice when the old pattern peeks through underneath fresh paint colors – even if they’re different than those used in the original design.

We recommend that you consult with a professional before taking any action to know whether this is possible for you!

Editorial Contributors
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Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield is an experienced writer specializing in home improvement topics. He has a passion for educating and empowering homeowners to make informed decisions about their properties. Matt's writing focuses on a range of topics, including windows, flooring, HVAC, and construction materials. With a background in construction and home renovation, Matt is well-versed in the latest trends and techniques in the industry. His articles offer practical advice and expert insights that help readers tackle their home improvement projects with confidence. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a seasoned professional, Matt's writing is sure to provide valuable guidance and inspiration.

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