Somebody Painted Over Old Wallpaper

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image


Instead of removing the wallpaper, a previous homeowner painted right over it. In the first photo, where the mounting bracket of the bar light fixture was removed, you can see a bit of the original floral wallpaper to the right of the uncovered area. The sponge-painted beige paint went on top of that. The bottom 1/3 of the walls were painted in just the beige paint, and a border separated the two patterns, as you see in the second photo. It all looked pretty good, and was right in style in the ’90’s.

The bad thing, though, was painting over the wallpaper. It wouldn’t have taken that much effort or time (3-4 hours) to strip off the paper. Painting over it instead was quicker, but there are drawbacks. The wallpaper seams show, if even just a little bit, through the new paint. Because most wallpapers have a vinyl coating, the paint will not stick really well to it. There is the potential for moisture from the latex paint to penetrate through the wallpaper underneath, causing it to swell and bubble. It adds more layers and thicknesses to the wall. And every one of those layers is a potential to loosen and peel up.

Best bet: Take the time to strip off the old wallpaper, and then properly prime the surface, before painting or re-wallpapering. Also, the mounting bracket should have been removed, so the wallpaper and / or paint could go behind it.

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