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How To Paint Wall Paper? [Best Techniques from Experts in 2023]

A brushstroke or roller to paint wallpaper? To begin with, is the operation possible? How to prepare your wallpaper for painting? How to choose the right paint? Yes, there are many things that go into painting your wallpaper and there are many questions as well. 

To give a room a youthful look, painting over the wallpaper can be a practical solution. But to avoid unpleasant surprises, it is best to take a few precautions. 

Material, color, general condition, all these details must be taken into account to obtain the best possible result before painting wallpaper. Here is the guide on how to paint wall paper.

Can I paint over wallpaper?

Can we paint on tapestry?

It is possible to repaint any type of wallpaper without too many problems. First of all, it should be checked that it is in good condition. However, it is advisable to avoid painting on very old wallpaper or printed patterns.

The paper could rub off when the roller passes it. Painting on too thin wallpaper is also to be avoided as it could peel off under the weight of the paint. 

To ensure the result, the surface of your wall must be clean, smooth and dry before starting the work, so that the paint adheres well to the surface. Then the characteristics of your wallpaper will involve specific preparation and execution. 

Especially if it is a ready-to-hang, antique wallpaper. There are also types of wallpaper to paint such as white wallpaper paint, fiberglass, etc. In this case, wall paper painting is simpler. 

There Are Many Different Kinds Of Wallpaper That Need Different Techniques To Paint

  • Dark-Colored Wallpapers – It will be necessary to apply several coats to obtain a perfect result. You can apply a coat of primer a bit lighter in color than your wallpaper to limit the number of passes. Here are some of the best paint and primer in one reviews. It will help in choosing primer to paint over wallpaper that too a decent one.
  • Relief Wallpapers – It will be very difficult or even impossible to hide the reliefs. You can attempt sanding, always on a hidden area, but the result is not guaranteed. It will take many coats of paint to reduce the relief, but they will remain visible no matter what.
  • Vinyl Wallpapers – They can also be painted. For this, it will be necessary to use glycerophtalic paint, and not acrylic paint. Another side of the coin is that this paint dries very slowly and smells very strongly.  

5 Tips For Painting A Wallpaper

However, since the wallpaper is not recommended in the bathroom, it is advisable not to paint over wallpaper or tapestry in a damp room.

1. Think Before Painting Your Wallpaper

Before grabbing your brush or paint roller, look at the wallpaper to be repainted with a professional eye. Several elements must be taken into account. For example, the darker the color of the wallpaper, the more layers you will need.

The condition of the paper is also to be noted as well as its cleanliness. If the surface is not sound, it must be corrected. The material (velvet, vinyl …) also determines the rest of the steps. Check to see if the wallpaper is flat or embossed and has blisters. So many elements to consider.

2. Prepare Your Wallpaper Before Painting It

The surface of the wallpaper to be painted must be impeccable. In other words clean, smooth, and dry. Depending on the material, brush over it or wash off the wallpaper using a slightly damp sponge then wipe with a dry cloth.

The brush of the vacuum cleaner also helps to get rid of encrusted dust. Particular attention should be paid to the edges of the strips and to the connections which must be very clean.

Once the surface is clean, then cover any edges that could lift with a smoothing compound. If one of the strips comes off, it’s time to put it back on.

3. We Don’t Skimp On Painting

On an ordinary wall, two coats of paint are often necessary. This is especially true for repainting on wallpaper. For a correct result, count at least two coats, or even three if the nature of the paper requires it. The quality of the paint is important because it will allow better adhesion.

Moreover, the undercoats must be thin to allow the adhesion of the paint afterward. If it is too thick, dilute the paint with a little water. Finally, respect the indicated drying time and check that the wall is dry before each coat.

4. Acrylic Or Glycerol: Which Paint To Choose On Wallpaper

Between acrylic paint (water-based) and glycerol paint (white spirit), a real match is played out. Acrylic paint has the advantage of masking imperfections and reducing relief if the wallpaper is not smooth.

However, it may be less suitable for wallpaper because the water in the paint could dissolve the glue from the paper and peel it off. Glycerol paint has a longer drying time but adheres better.

It is therefore recommended for washable wallpaper materials such as vinyl. Again, consider the quality of the wallpaper before you decide.

5. Test The Paint On A Small Piece Of Wallpaper

As each situation is different and the success of the operation depends on the wall, the wallpaper, the glue used, etc. The most prudent is to carry out a test before starting to repaint all your wallpaper.

In a corner of the wall to be repainted or behind a piece of furniture, apply a minimum of two coats of paint. Blisters can appear but also quickly disappear with drying. On the other hand, if the wallpaper comes off or if it rubs off on the paint, you just have to tear everything off.

Preparation For Painting Your Wallpaper

  • To Paint On The Wallpaper, You Must First Prepare The Surface To Be Painted – To do this, the wall must be dry, clean and smooth. You should start by re-gluing the places where the wallpaper may have been damaged with wallpaper paste, letting the retouched places dry well.
  • Depending On The Surface – Now run a brush, vacuum, or damp sponge all over the wallpaper to remove dust or any other particles that might get in your way when painting. Also, consider protecting window frames or removing electrical outlets for the perfect finish. You will also need to lay masking tape along with the ceiling and complaints so you don’t paint them by mistake. 

Which Paint To Choose For Wallpaper?

  1. It is not necessary to use wallpaper paint to complete these renovations. It is possible, for example, to cover your wallpaper with plaster or decorative paint. However, not all types of paint and finishes are suitable for media such as wallpaper and upholstery.
  1. You can choose acrylic or glycerophtalic paint.  The first has the advantage of drying very quickly, so you can go through several coats in a day. It also erases most imperfections. Be careful with its composition, however, it may contain water, which could peel off the wallpaper, and its quick-drying leaves little room for error. Glycerophtalic paint must be used for painting over vinyl wallpaper. It has a long drying time and a strong smell, but you can choose your type of finish such as matte, satin, or gloss.


3. All information on the composition of the paints is written on the jars, do not hesitate to inquire well. Whatever happens, always remember to test it on an inconspicuous part of your wall to check the result, and if it meets your expectations.

How To Paint Wall Paper?

So, now you have made up your mind to paint over your wallpaper. But like any other painting work, this also requires some preparations and planning.

You Will Need Few Tools Such As :

  • Paint Brushes – You will need two different sized paintbrushes, one smaller in size for the tough edges and one slightly bigger for areas where the roller won’t be able to reach.
  • Paint Roller – Having a roller can make your work easier as it will paint most of the surface with fewer efforts.
  • Joint Compound – It is needed to hide the joints where the sheets of the wallpaper is visible.
  • Caulk And Caulking Gun – It is needed to seal the areas around the corners and ceilings.
  • Sandpaper – You will need a smooth surface before painting and this helps in smoothing the areas to be painted easily.
  • Oil-Based Primers – It is needed to seal the wallpapers before the painting has begun.
  • Paint – Both oil-based and water-based can be used.
  • Drop Sheets – To protect the items which are near the wallpapers.
  • Wallpaper Glue – Needed for fixing any kind of peeling in the wallpaper.


  1. For best results, you can start by applying the first undercoat of tack primer, to facilitate adhesion and make the surface to be painted uniform. You can also apply a colored undercoat, for better results in the case of dark wallpaper at the base.
  1. Then apply one or two coats of paint, depending on the quality of the paint and the desired effect, while respecting the drying times. On a wall, it is advisable to apply two coats of paint. On wallpaper, three coats may be necessary to achieve a perfect result.
  1. Start by clearing the angles along with the ceiling, recesses, and doors or windows with a paintbrush. Then preferably use a medium nap roller for a smooth surface to paint the entire surface. 
  1. Alternate horizontal and vertical movements to distribute the paint as well as possible and obtain a uniform result. Do not forget to test your paint in an inconspicuous place first to estimate the result before starting the entire area to be repainted. This test verifies that the wallpaper is suitable for the paint applied.

Painting Vinyl Wallpapers

Any Vinyl wallpaper which has got quite old can be easily painted using the methods above. But, if it is a new wallpaper with a fresh surface then it’s hard to paint it with normal Acrylic paint as it will not stick properly. You can use glycerol paint for painting Vinyl wallpapers smoothly.

Wallpaper Paint Prices

The price of paint to paint your wallpaper can vary widely, depending on the type of paint you choose. Make sure you buy a good quality paint to paint your wallpaper as it will hold better, and this may limit the number of coats to be applied.

Also, buying inexpensive paint is strongly discouraged when we are buying paint to cover wallpaper. Life and colors degrade quickly, forcing you to repaint the media frequently.

It is thus necessary to count between 15$ for a first price acrylic painting and 60$ for a high-quality acrylic painting. With a two-litre pot, you can cover an area of ​​20m² on average. Please note that the purchase price and the performance of the paint may vary depending on the type of paint and the finish.

Regarding the price of a glycerophtalic paint, to cover the same surface it will take an average of 40 $ for a 1.25L pot. Depending on the surface of the wallpaper to be painted, the overall cost of the work will be more or less.

You just need to calculate the number of paint cans needed to cover your wallpaper and then multiply by the unit price of each pot. You will thus have the price of your painting work.


Painting on wallpaper is quick and easy as long as you prepare your wall mount properly and use the correct painting techniques, roller or brush. Wallpaper and tapestry are fragile media that need to be painted correctly.

You should also make sure that the wallpaper is in good condition before painting it as any flaws will be visible once the paint has dried. It is best to repaint a thick, covering, and resistant wallpaper.

Painting over wallpaper also has the advantage that you avoid having to peel off the wallpaper. Removing wallpaper is often a long and complex task. If your wallpaper is in good condition, then it’s in your best interest to renovate it with a coat of paint. So, this was all from our side on how to paint wall paper. Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

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