Discussing Paint Techniques, Tools and Materials

Discussing Paint Techniques, Tools and Materials

Three Reasons Why You Should NEVER Paint Over Wallpaper

by Judd Barnett

People who buy and live in old houses often want to do their own wall painting and redecorating. Okay, that is great, but if it is done incorrectly, the next owners of the house could be paying the price to fix the previous owners' mistakes. If you recently bought an old house and it has a few walls with wallpaper on it, do not simply paint over the wallpaper. Here are some very good reasons why.

Wallpaper Is Not Meant to Absorb Anything

Wallpaper was designed to be liquid-proof on the decorative side and have glue plastered to the backside. The front kept the glue from seeping through and making a very sticky and unpleasant mess. It also prevents liquids from seeping in and staining the wallpaper. As such, wallpaper cannot absorb the moisture of fresh paint, and fresh paint will not readily adhere or bond to the old wallpaper.

Water Damage on Wallpaper Will Find Its Way Through Paint

Just because you cover some water damage or mold on the wallpaper with a layer of paint does not mean the problem is solved. On the contrary, the mold or water damage will eventually work its way through your paint layers, damaging the paint and causing both paint and underlying wallpaper to crack and crumble off in messy chunks. Even if it only cracks the paint, the water damage will continue to spread through the wallpaper underneath because of the organic composition of paper and glue.

As Wallpaper Lets Go, So Will the Paint

Finally, when wallpaper and its glue is so old that it just begins to let go, everything layered over the top of it (regardless of the number of layers of paint!) will let go as well. Some homeowners have even reported incidents where the underlying wallpaper just caved inward, while the paint cracked outward, finally dragging the caved-in wallpaper sections outward and down with it. Huge chunks just fall without warning. Of course, this usually only happens in exceptionally old houses or buildings where past owners failed to remove the wallpaper and just painted, plastered, and painted again over the top of the wallpaper.

What You Should Do Instead

It is a very tedious task, but you absolutely should remove the wallpaper first. This will not only prevent any of the paint-over-wallpaper disasters above, but also reveal any restorations you need to make to the walls that you could not see through the wallpaper. Thankfully, there are some really good wallpaper adhesive removers that make short work of this task. Then you can begin your wall painting job like you had planned.

Contact a company like Hemlock Painting to learn more.


About Me

Discussing Paint Techniques, Tools and Materials

Hello, my name is Barbara. I am here to talk to you about residential paint tools, techniques and materials. Each year, I redecorate a room in my home with a focus on changing the paint scheme. I never just paint my walls a plain color. I utilize accent walls and murals to create the design I wish to achieve. I also use tape to create intricate designs on my walls. I hope you can use the information on my site to dress up your living area with new paint designs. Thank you for coming to my site. See you again soon.