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How to Deal with Old Wallpaper

There are certain things we love to have passed on to us from previous generations; wallpaper is not one of them! What options are there for dealing with this? Can you paint over wallpaper? How do you remove old wallpaper? We will discuss these questions, and more, below.

Of all the ways to handle old wallpaper, the least desirable is just to live with it. Fortunately, there are better options! Let’s take a look at them, one at a time, in the order of least preferable to most.

Can You Put New Wallpaper over Old Wallpaper?

If you are a fan of wallpaper, but you just want to update the look, it is possible to put new wallpaper over the previous paper, in many cases. You need to make sure that…

  • The paper underneath is not peeling or coming loose.
  • There is not a glossy sheen on it that would prevent the adhesion of the new paper.
  • There are no ridges or textures on the paper that would “telegraph” through to the next layer of wallpaper.

As stated, this is the least desirable option and there are no guarantees that there will not be problems.

Is it Possible to Paint over Old Wallpaper?

Because wallpaper removal is a challenging process, many homeowners ask if you can paint over it. This can be done as long as the paper is not peeling off, it is not a fabric-based wall hanging, and it does not have a raised pattern or texture.

To paint over wallpaper, you need to clean it first with TSP and repair any spots where it is torn or peeled. Next, prime it with a Low VOC compliant oil-based primer, patch any seams or defects as you would if you were painting, and then apply your interior paint. If this process is followed closely, it can lead to positive results.

Now, let’s look at the best option: removing the wallpaper.

Removing Old Wallpaper

In most cases, the best plan is to remove your old wallpaper. Depending on the type of paper and glue, this process can be helped by perforating the paper and sponging water onto it, or with a chemical wallpaper stripping liquid. After that, the main ingredient is elbow grease! Use a three or four inch putty knife to scrape and peel the paper away until all scraps are removed, always using caution not to dig into the drywall paper. Once the wallpaper is removed, there is still a glue residue that must come off. A high quality wall covering/paste remover is the key to removing this pesky substance.

Next in the process comes wall repair. The scraping and peeling of the previous steps will generally leave some scratches and gouges behind. This is the step where you fill in any holes or dents, and sand off anything that stands out from the surface.

Finally, it is time to prime and paint the walls. Use quality paints and apply at least two topcoats. The results will be magnificent!

The Easiest, Surest Way to Deal with Old Wallpaper

If all of these options sound like a lot of work, then you are hearing us correctly! However, there is a better way. When you hire a professional painting company, the work is all done for you, and the results are guaranteed!

For homeowners in Connecticut, the name you can trust is Southington Painting. Since 1979, we have been serving Connecticut with high-quality interior and exterior painting services. In addition to wallpaper removal, we also offer drywall services, epoxy floor coatings, kitchen cabinet painting, deck maintenance, and much more! Call our office or use our calendar tool to schedule a free, no-pressure estimate. The sooner you act, the sooner that wallpaper will be a distant memory!

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