A Complete Guide to Painting Over Wallpaper in Your Condo

It’s not always necessary to completely renovate your condo. A simple change in paint color can bring new life to your home. The walls of your condo are a major focus when you’re thinking about a new look.

If you already have wallpaper in your home, you may wonder if it’s something you will be stuck with forever. Wallpaper, once a mainstay of home décor, can feel like a commitment. Does it really have to be that way? This blog will debunk that myth by offering a step-by-step tutorial on how to paint over your existing wallpaper to give it more vibrancy and color. For assistance in Auckland, consider reaching out to interior house painters in Auckland for professional guidance and expertise.

Ben & Sons Painting is a professional painting company that can help you if you are not confident to paint yourself.

Can You Paint Over Wallpaper?

Under the right circumstances, painting wallpaper can not only be a feasible solution but also a very effective one. This method is a good alternative to wallpaper removal which can be time-consuming and damaging to the wall. It is important to evaluate the wallpaper’s adhesion to the wall as well as its material and surface texture.

Some wallpapers can be painted over more easily than others. Wallpapers that are firmly attached to the walls and show no signs of peeling, lifting or tearing edges are ideal candidates. If you see your wallpaper lifting or bubbling, simply painting it over without the proper treatment can exacerbate this problem. Wallpaper with a heavier texture may also require additional preparation in order to achieve the desired smooth finish. Ben & Sons Painting stresses the importance of a thorough inspection before painting to ensure your walls are ready for a transformation you can enjoy for years.

How to Paint Over Wallpaper

It’s easy to transform the aesthetic of your condo by simply painting over existing wallpaper. To achieve a perfect finish, you need to be precise and use the right technique.

This handy guide will walk you through the entire process, from initial preparation to final brush stroke. This method is a great alternative to wallpaper removal, whether you are dealing with old prints or simply want a change. You can create a stunning effect that will refresh your living area with careful preparation and attention. We’re going to embark on a creative journey that will ensure your walls look their best.

Step 1: Gather your Supplies

It is important to gather all the necessary materials before you begin your painting project. This phase of preparation involves choosing high-quality primers to seal the wallpaper effectively and prevent discoloration bleeding through. It is also important to choose the right type of paint. A satin or semi-gloss is recommended because it is easy to clean and durable. For a smoother finish, invest in high-quality paintbrushes or rollers. Drop cloths and other protective gear will protect your furniture from paint splashes. Painter’s taping is essential for achieving sharp edges and a professional appearance. Keep cleaning products on hand so you can clean up any spills as soon as possible.

Step 2: Remove the old paint from the walls

To ensure that the primer and paint adhere correctly, start with a clean surface. Use a mild, yet effective, detergent solution to clean the walls from any dust, dirt and oily residues. You can use a sponge or soft cloth to clean the walls without damaging their integrity. A specialized wallpaper cleanser may be needed for areas with stubborn stains. Rinse all the walls with clean water, and let them dry completely before continuing. This step will not only help to prolong the life of your paint job, but it also prepares the wall.

Step 3: Repair damaged wallpaper spots

Examine your wall carefully for damage. Check for air bubbles, loose edges or peeling corners. Reattach loose sections of wallpaper using glue or wallpaper adhesive. It may be better to remove damaged pieces that are not smoothed and then patch the wall with joint compound or spackling. To create an even exterior, sand down the repaired areas. These repairs are essential to prevent any imperfections which could ruin the freshly-painted surface.

Step 4: Tape over molding, trim, and other areas you don’t want painted

Painter’s Tape is an essential tool for painting. Tape the moldings and trims and fix the fixtures firmly. This will prevent paint from bleeding. This step takes patience and attention to details, but it pays off in the end by creating crisp, clean lines that protect your condo’s architectural elements.

Step 5: Prime and paint the wallpaper

You cannot skip the priming step in this type painting project. It is a protective coating that hides the patterns and colors in the wallpaper, but also creates a surface that will accept paint. Shellac primers or oil-based ones are often recommended because of their sealing abilities and ability to conceal any images underneath. Follow the instructions of the manufacturer and apply the primer evenly. This is the stage that sets the standard for your overall paint job.

Step 6: Paint your walls

It’s finally time to paint your walls. You can begin painting after the primer has dried. Use angled brushes for cutting in around edges, and rollers to cover larger areas. Ben & Sons Painting’s experts recommend applying two coats to achieve an opaque, even finish. According to the paint’s instructions, allow adequate time for drying between the first coat and the second. It is important to choose a semi-gloss or satin finish because they are easier to maintain and will withstand everyday wear and tear. Step back to admire your condo’s newly remodeled interiors.

Should you paint over wallpaper in your home, apartment, or condo?

Paint over wallpaper can be a multifaceted decision, depending on the quality of the wallpaper and the walls of your home. It also depends on what you want to achieve visually with the space. Painting over wallpaper is a quick and inexpensive way to update the look of a room without causing damage to the walls. Others use it to update their interiors.

It’s important to note that not all wallpaper can be painted over. It is important to carefully consider the consequences, as the longevity of the paint job and integrity of the walls are at risk. Ben & Sons Painting recommends that you carefully evaluate the wallpaper’s adhesion, the wall material behind it and the desired outcome before deciding if painting over wallpaper will be the best choice for your room.

Why You shouldn’t paint over wallpaper

In some cases, it is better to avoid painting wallpaper. Paint will show through textured wallpaper, resulting in an unattractive finish. Painting over wallpaper that is peeling off or lifting may be a temporary solution. Paint can crack or peel due to underlying problems, causing more serious issues for the wall below.

If your walls have multiple wallpapers on them, the extra thickness and the potential for uneven surfaces will make painting difficult and can affect the final result. It’s important to consider whether the wallpaper can be removed or if professional advice is needed before painting a new coat.

How do you paint over textured wallpaper?

It is possible to paint over textured wall paper, but it requires some extra steps in order to achieve the smooth and attractive finish you desire. It’s important to use a high-viscosity, premium primer that can fill in all the grooves and crevices in textured wallpapers. This will create a smoother surface which will allow paint to be applied more evenly. The texture can be reduced by applying a generous amount with a brush or roller designed for textured surfaces.

If the texture can still be seen, it is important to let the primer dry completely and apply several coats. Painting can begin as normal once the surface has been sufficiently smoothed. Ben & Sons Painting suggests consulting a professional to determine the right products and techniques to use when painting over textured surfaces. This will ensure that you get the desired result for your interiors.

Paint Over Wallpaper: Pros and Cons

Paint over wallpaper has both benefits and disadvantages depending on your project. Understanding them can help you decide if this method is right for your home improvement project.


  • Efficient Upgrade: Painting over wallpaper can be a great way to transform the atmosphere of a space without having to strip the walls. This is a quick and easy way to give a room a new look.
  • Saves Time and Energy: Removing wallpaper can be a difficult task. It is easier to paint over the wallpaper than scrape it. This saves you time and effort.
  • Imperfection Cover-up: Minor imperfections, such as small tears in wallpaper or seams, can be concealed with a paint coat. It can refresh the look of your walls while maintaining their smooth texture.

You can also find out more about Cons

  • This is Not a Cure All: While painting can give a room a fresh look, it will not fix loose wallpaper or damaged wallpaper. These problems can worsen over time and even under paint. This could lead to bigger issues in the future.
  • Removing Wallpaper If you choose to remove wallpaper later, it may prove more difficult. Paint can make the wallpaper adhere more firmly to the wall and complicate its removal.
  • Transparency of texture: Textured wall coverings present their own challenges. After painting, the texture can still be seen. This creates an unattractive aesthetic. This is a problem if you want to paint a wall that’s perfectly smooth.

Understanding the pros and cons of your project is essential to making an informed decision. Ben & Sons Painting suggests careful preparation and consideration to ensure that the outcome of painting over wallpaper is what you want for your home.

Painting Over Wallpaper FAQs

What is the best way to paint over wallpaper?

The suitability of paint over wallpaper depends on a number of variables. Painting can be a quick, easy and attractive update if the wallpaper is still firmly adhered to the wall. To achieve the best possible results, it is important to prepare the surface properly. Surfaces need to be repaired, cleaned and primed precisely. Painting is a good alternative for those who are short on time or want to avoid the mess of wallpaper removal. Consider the long-term consequences and if you are prepared to deal with the difficulties if you decide to remove the wall paper in the future.

What kind of paint do you use to paint over wallpaper?

When covering wallpaper, the choice of paint is crucial. Oil-based paints are not as durable or flexible as acrylic or latex. It is best to choose a satin or semi-gloss paint finish, because they are durable and easier to clean. The finish also reflects light subtly to help hide minor imperfections. Paint quality will affect the longevity and coverage of the job. Selecting high-quality paint is essential to ensure that the new paint remains vibrant over the wallpaper.

Do you need a special primer to paint over wallpaper?

A specific primer is required to paint successfully over wallpaper. Shellac or oil primers will seal wallpaper more effectively than water primers, and provide a solid base for paint. These primers work well to prevent any color or pattern from bleeding through into the new paint layer. They also help the paint adhere to the wallpaper better, which reduces the risk of flaking or peeling. This is a crucial step in ensuring the durability and final look of your paint job.

Call Ben & Sons Painting

Ben & Sons Painting is ready to help you if you want to give your condo a new look by painting the wallpaper.

Our painting experts have years of experience in Auckland, and are dedicated to quality craftsmanship. They can help you create walls that reflect your style while maintaining an elegant finish that will last a lifetime.


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