Wall cladding

Painting over wallpaper – useful tips & tricks for new wall design

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Do you want to give your home a whole new look and embellish the walls with a colorful, fresh coat of paint? If you have wallpaper on the wall in your home, you are probably wondering whether it is safe to paint over it. Paint over wallpaper goes well and the wallpaper walls quickly appear in a new shine. In the following we give you useful information and tips on the topic of painting over wallpaper.

Painting over wallpaper – what types are suitable for this

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Before you start painting over your walls, you should first check whether the texture of the attached wallpaper allows it to be painted over at all. Woodchip wallpapers, for example, are the perfect background for a wall paint and are therefore preferred by many from the outset. Almost all standard wall paints are suitable for this.

Painting over wallpaper – old non-woven wallpaper

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A non-woven wallpaper can also handle a new coat of paint. If the surface is relief-like, you have to use thick latex paint or liquid woodchip paint so that the structure disappears evenly. A normal emulsion paint is also suitable for smooth surfaces. If the non-woven wallpaper on the wall is covered with a layer of synthetic material, you must remove it before painting, otherwise the paint will not adhere.

Can you paint over textured wallpaper?

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You can also paint over textured wallpapers with a normal emulsion paint if you want to keep the texture of the wallpaper. If you are not satisfied with the result after painting and the pattern is not visible as desired, you should reapply a thicker latex paint.

Paint over sample wallpapers

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If the walls in the room are covered with a pattern wallpaper with a strong pattern, you are welcome to use a high-quality and solid wall paint. If you have decided on a light wall color, you should expect two coats of paint. Otherwise, the pattern may show through after the paint dries.

Only process vinyl wallpaper with special paint


If you’ve put vinyl wallpaper on the walls at home and have decided to paint over it, you need to be aware that vinyl wallpaper is moisture-repellent and not easy to paint over. It is advisable that you use a special paint for vinyl wallpaper, such as latex paint. You are also welcome to peel off the top layer of plastic and practically paint over the paper layer underneath. The next method you can resort to would be to first roughen the wallpaper so that normal wall paint can adhere as well.

Textile wallpapers are only partially suitable for painting over


Textile wallpapers are generally difficult to paint over. The fabric can absorb a lot of paint and there is a risk that the wallpaper will become too heavy and detach itself from the wall. Furthermore, you have to expect a higher color consumption.

Paint over textile wallpapers with solvent-based paint

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If you want to take the risk and still try to paint it over with wallpaper, it is best to use a solvent-based paint. In the case of water-based paints, on the other hand, the wallpaper may contract and develop a wrinkled surface.

Metal wallpaper – smooth wallpaper can be painted over

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If you have metal wallpaper on the wall in the living room, it is not advisable to paint over it, as the paint will not adhere to the smooth surface of the wallpaper. In this case, you need to remove the old wallpaper and apply a fresh coat of paint.

Elephant skin – special treatment necessary


If the wallpaper has been treated with water-repellent elephant skin, you must first test in an invisible place whether the paint will adhere at all. If the paint does not stick, you are welcome to try to remove the elephant skin with a mixture of water, vinegar and washing-up liquid. You are also welcome to apply a primer to the wallpaper.

Get high quality wall paint


If you have already decided to paint over the wallpaper, then you always have to choose a high quality one when choosing a color. If you use a cheaper wall paint, you may pay twice to paint over. Good wall paint has a higher opacity and no further coats are necessary. It is best to seek advice from a specialist before purchasing.

How many coats are necessary for an optimal result?


How many coats of paint you have to apply when painting over wallpaper depends on the color of the wallpaper. If the wallpaper is white, only a single, well-covering coat is usually sufficient. If the wallpaper is dark in color or has a noticeable pattern, you will have to be prepared for another coat of paint.

How often can you paint over wallpaper?


Have you already had experience painting over wallpaper, but this time would use a different color for the color scheme? Depending on the type of wallpaper you have on the wall, you can decide whether it is still possible to paint it again or whether it would be more sensible to wallpaper again.

Pay attention to the texture of the wallpaper


A woodchip wallpaper, for example, can withstand up to six coats. With the textured pattern wallpaper, a second coat depends on the thickness of the wallpaper.

Check wallpaper for defects


In order to decide whether painting over wallpaper still makes sense or removing and repainting is the better option, you have to take a close look at the wallpaper so that you save yourself duplication of work. If the seams of the individual strips are not exactly next to each other, but have been glued in an overlapping manner, a good result is not in sight.

 Avoid visual flaws


The overlapping seams will be visible after painting. Painting over wallpaper is useless if holes can be seen in the wallpaper or the previous paint is already cracked and is even peeling. In this case, the holes will later be visible in structure. If the wallpaper paste no longer holds in some places, you should use the adhesive for the first time.

Painting wallpaper – tips and tricks

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If the prerequisites are right, you can start painting over the wallpaper. So that nothing stands in the way of the perfect result, you must of course prepare the painting well. Cover all furniture and tape up door frames, sockets and the floor.

Proper preparation


Before starting the actual painting, you need to remove dust from the walls with a broom or, if the area is smaller, with a dry sponge. Then paint all corners, edges and borders with a round or flat brush. Apply a 10 cm wide strip and until the paint has not dried, a large area is then painted with a paint roller.

Work your way from wall to wall


When painting over wallpaper, this working method is called “wet on wet”. Start at the window and work your way from wall to wall. With the very first coat of paint, it is very important that you sweep from top to bottom. If you work across the running direction of the wallpaper, the seams can be damaged and peel off. For further painting, you can also swipe from left to right so that everything is covered with paint evenly.