Painting over wallpaper

The Do’s and Don’ts of Painting Over Wallpaper

Sick of your old wallpaper pattern, and wishing your wall were painted instead?

Well, it can be!

Painting over wallpaper is a quick fix for your wall color woes. But first, you’ll need some information and tips to ensure that you get the job done properly.

Read on to discover the do’s and don’ts of painting over wallpaper.


Where to Start

Here’s everything you need to know about painting over wallpaper to get started.

What You’ll Need

Here’s what you’ll need to paint your walls:

  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Tape
  • Paint brushes
  • Caulk
  • Drop cloth
  • Drywall

How to Prep

As tempting as it may be, don’t start right in with the paint brush. Go through these easy steps first:

  1. Survey your walls and fix any damaged wallpaper. Make sure that you add enough adhesive so that your wallpaper will not peel.
  2. Add a thin line of caulk around the edges of the wall where it meets the ceiling and floor.
  3. Attach tape to the baseboard.
  4. Put your drop cloth on the floor to protect it.
  5. Sand any wallpaper edges smooth.


  • Make sure the room is very well ventilated before you begin the painting process.
  • Put on protective gear.


  • Succumb to the instinct to tear off any peeling wallpaper. Instead, adhere it to the wall and add more paper where needed.

What’s Next

Here’s what to do and what not to do next when painting over wallpaper.

Apply the Primer

Make sure that the walls are clean and smooth before applying the primer. Apply evenly over the entire surface of the walls you are painting.

Make Necessary Repairs

Once the primer is dry, imperfections in the wall will reveal themselves.

Use your drywall to fix these imperfections. The drywall can also be used to seal the seams in between sheets of wallpaper.

Once the drywall is dry, sand it until it’s smooth and even.

Put primer over these freshly sanded areas and let it dry.



  • Use a water-based primer.
  • Be afraid to use more than one thin coat of drywall for maximum coverage.

Time to Paint

Now it’s time for the fun part- painting! Here’s everything you need to know about performing this specific kind of interior painting.

Use your brush around the edges of the walls first, and then the trim. Long strokes in a vertical direction will give you the best results in these sections.

Then, use long, even strokes for the rest of the wall.

Apply a second coat if needed, and voila! You’ll have a perfectly painted wall.


  • Fill in about six inches from the sides when painting the edges and trim.
  • Paint a second coat starting with the edges first, and work your way in.


  • Use any kind of paint other than a washable flat paint or eggshell paint.
  • Be afraid to apply texture before painting.

Painting over Wallpaper Is a Breeze Now!

If you use these do’s and don’ts to guide you, you’ll have beautifully painted walls in no time.

Want to know more about us? Find out here. Happy painting, and if you need help along the way, help is only a call or e-mail away.  Contact our Calgary interior painters today!