Ever wondered if you can paint over wallpaper? According to John B., our contractor/handyman (pictured above, in action), wallpaper needs only to be removed if it is sagging, torn, or “bubbling.” A coat of paint will only exaggerate these blemishes. On the other hand, if the paper is smooth and firmly glued to the wall, you can paint right over it. Since the paper in our kitchen was in near-perfect shape, John took the paint-over route. Check out John’s paper-preparation method, and see some photos of his priming job:
First, John glued any loose seams in the paper. Then he degreased the paper with “Formula 409.” Finally, and very importantly, too, he applied an oil-based primer to seal the adhesive within the paper, and away from the moisture in the finish paint. Without this moisture barrier, the paper could potentially bubble and peel after latex paint is applied.
Some before-and-after shots:
North wall before priming…
And after priming. John painted the radiator the easy way. He used a can of spray paint. Later, he used a very slender roller to paint behind the radiator.
Before: East wall, with an upper bank of 19th century cabinets (these will stay)…
Before: South and west walls (we are replacing these cabinets and moving the refrigerator)…
An old leak had damaged a small section of the south-east ceiling, so John had to remove sheet rock down to the lath.
That problem is mostly fixed now. The ceiling, of course, will be painted as well.
And why are we going through the trouble of painting the kitchen? Because new cabinets. And cooktop. And wall ovens. All these have been ordered, and are scheduled to be installed the first or second week in May. I figured we should get all of the repair work and painting accomplished before installation of the new stuff.
Anyway, if you papered walls and wish to paint them, you might be able to do so without first removing the paper — an odious job for sure. If the paper is mostly in good shape, no removal is necessary.
And that is the Gospel, at least According To John.
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