Painting Over Wallpaper

Questions & AnswersCategory: Wallpaper QuestionsPainting Over Wallpaper
David V. asked 10 years ago

We have a raised relief wallpaper which we like a great deal but over time, parts of the relief have been gouged out. I understand I could use wallboard mud to fill in these gouges but wish to retain the raised relief the paper provides. There are seams which have come away and would need resealing.

Would I be able to paint over the paper so as to retain the relief? This covers a huge area and I really don’t want to strip the paper and have a smooth surface.

1 Answers
Crowder Painting answered.

Yes, this type of wallpaper is paintable. There are specific raised panel wallpapers that are designed for painting. This type has a very dull appearance (no sheen) and doesn't need any priming. All other types will need priming before painting.

It is possible that a primer could cause some bubbling or curled seams. This is from the primer reacting with and dissolving the glue. I would try a water based universal primer first and see what happens. You can test this by priming a small area, 2×4 feet.

If the paper shows signs of loosening then try an oil based primer instead. After the wall paper is primed it can be painted with any type of paint.