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Can You Paint over Wallpaper?

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Can you paint over wallpaper? Technically, yes. You can also paint over bricks, but the texture of the bricks will show through. While wallpaper texture isn’t as obvious as bricks, it will still be there. In fact, it may take several coats of paint to wipe our that wallpaper texture. Worse still, when you get the wallpaper good and wet with paint, it may peel off, leaving you with even more rough texture.


One of the really tricky things about wallpaper that you didn’t hang is that you don’t know what kind of glue was used to put it up. Depending on the age of the paper, removal may be a simple process of applying the right treatment to break down the adhesive. However, if you’re working on a very old house, you may be facing a wide variety of adhesives or multiple layers of paper. Be sure you know what you’re doing if you remove wallpaper yourself since you can damage your walls if you’re not careful.


Any time you add moisture to wallpaper, you may be softening the paper on the sheetrock beneath. This makes the sheetrock more vulnerable to damage. Our process of paper removal actually breaks down the adhesive with enzymes that break the bonds of the glue. This breakdown means that the paper on your sheetrock is exposed to a minimum of moisture and will suffer less damage as the paper comes off.


Before putting up wallpaper, the walls of your home should have been sized to make sure that the wallpaper would be easy to remove. If you don’t know for certain that this was done, that bottom layer of wallpaper may be stuck directly to the exterior paper layer of your sheetrock.

This wallpaper can’t just be scraped off and trying to remove it with scraping tools may badly scar your walls. This is when you should definitely call in a professional to help you remove your wallpaper.


Removing wallpaper with water-based DIY removal tools will often leave you dealing with several million little pieces of wet, gooey wallpaper scraps. This glue doesn’t just quit when you get it off the wall. It will stick wherever it lands.

If you’re trying to remove your own wallpaper, you will need to carefully mask the floors in the room where you’re working and make sure you don’t track these little bits of goo through the rest of your house. The products we use breakdown the glue and lessen this mess.


Once we get the wallpaper off your walls, we’ll sand the sheetrock surface so it’s ready to paint and provides a smooth texture. Your painting project will be easy to start as the wall prep is done. Better still, no wallpaper texture showing up on your new paint job!

Ready to get started on adding new life to those wallpaper covered walls of your home or office in the Knoxville area? Contact Painters Knoxville to get your free painting quote today!

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