Why You Should Never Paint Over Wallpaper

Sure, removing wallpaper isn’t our idea of fun, either.  But we would never paint over it!  And you shouldn’t either.  Although it may save you time now, in the long run, you’ll have a lot more headaches from taking the easy route.  In case you don’t believe us, we’ll share some more details about why you should always remove this layer first.

Unwanted Texture Issues

With wallpaper—especially older versions—you very rarely get a smooth surface.  It may look uniform on your walls, but once you apply a layer of paint, you’re going to emphasize every imperfection.  Every seam, every bubble, every speck of dust.  It’s just a challenge—even for the professionals.  Additionally, the process of painting the wallpaper can create more problems with texture that weren’t there in the beginning.

After all, you have to thoroughly clean the wallpaper, just as you would your walls, before applying primer or paint.  If it’s noncoated, then you’re limited to dusting and vacuuming to keep moisture from absorbing into the material.  With coated wallpaper, you can use a damp (not wet) cloth to remove dust and dirt. Still, no matter how careful you are, paint contains moisture!  This can seep into your wallpaper causing bubbling, peeling, and an overall mess of textures.

A Matter of Time

Many people try to paint over wallpaper simply to save time.  Unfortunately, that’s rarely what happens.  It can take just as long to prepare wallpaper-covered walls for this process, between the cleaning, the sanding, and/or the application of products like wallpaper dough that help to create a smooth surface.  Yet, after putting in all of this work, many homeowners are disappointed by how long the effects of this project last.  Eventually, the wallpaper underneath will start to wear and peel—ruining the look you were hoping to achieve.

If you think removing wallpaper is difficult normally, then you’ve never tried removing it with an extra layer of paint on top.  Because of the additional adhesive, you’re more likely to remove parts of drywall or plaster along with it. After the additional expense of removing and repairing this mess, you’ll likely wish you had tackled this problem long before.


To help make this decision a little easier for you, we can help with your wallpaper removal!  No matter what we uncover, we can create the perfect backdrop in the color palette of your choice. Just remember, don’t try to paint over your wallpaper!  Call the professionals at D & L Enterprises instead.