Anyone who has bought an older home can vouch for the fact that while the charm factor can be high, the need for interior and exterior painting, maintenance, and updating is right up there too. There is always something that needs a little bit of attention. One of the most common headaches related to an older place is the issue of just what to do with wallpaper, and the task of wallpaper removal. More often than not, the old prints and floral styles that may have been the best thing going at one point in time just, well, don’t quite cut it for us today.
Can I Just Remove My Wallpaper?
Wallpaper is difficult stuff to deal with. It was originally a roll of paper that was literally pasted onto the wall, so by its own nature and because it more than likely was put on a long time ago, it is quite difficult to remove. Depending on the specific kind you are dealing with, your options lie with either using a wallpaper removal solution or steaming it to loosen the paste, then scraping it off. Either way, the process must be gentle so as not to damage and gouge the walls.
Can I Simply Paint Over My Wallpaper?
Provided your wallpaper is stuck well to the wall (you obviously don’t want to paint sagging wallpaper), you can paint over it. The trick, though, is to be careful to use the proper techniques. The first step, much like with any interior painting project, is to lightly sand the walls. Next, you need to apply a blocking primer over the walls. Here is a key point, though: use an oil-based primer (if you use a water-based, the water will kick the wallpaper’s adhesive back into gear). At this point, you have a couple of choices:
Skim coating: Put together a wet mix of drywall compound, arm yourself with a wide-bladed puddy knife, and spread a thin coat over the wall. After you’re done, let it dry and then sand it with a drywall sanding pad. As you sand, watch out for rough or uneven spots. Now would be the time to fix them! When all is done, you’re ready for paint.
Texturing over your wallpaper: Use a similar wet mix of drywall compound, but this time apply it with a texturing “stomp brush.” Put a good amount on the brush, then move carefully out from one corner and cover your wall.
Both these techniques require some practice, but don’t worry if you’re a novice. Mistakes are correctable!
Need a Professional Hand?
There IS another option, and that is to call in a professional painting service. If you live in the New Jersey,Philadelphia, or Northern Delaware area we hope you’ll consider giving us at Brennan’s Custom Painting a call. We can absolutely tackle your wall paper removal project and transform it into exactly what you’ve always hoped it might be. We offer a variety of services, and would love to put our 30 years of experience to work for you!