home painters toronto logo

Call us NOW! (416) 494 9095

how to paint over wallpaper, pink paint with roller

There is a way to paint over wallpaper and have it turn out well

So you’re looking to bring new life into your house?  However, you want to get rid of this really old, dreary, outdated wallpaper that has been on those walls for decades! The problem is, you realize the cost of stripping the wallpaper is out of your budget. To make matters worse, you have 70-year-old plaster walls and are in danger of ruining them. What can you do?  There is a process to paint over wallpaper that will leave you with the best results.

Checking the Condition

Before starting to paint over wallpaper, take a look at the condition of the wallpaper. Are any seams sticking out? Are there air bubbles or torn pieces? These imperfections are going to stand out much more once the wall is painted, so it’s always good to make sure that they are taken care of before you begin to paint over wallpaper.

Plaster All Wall Seams

Wherever the wallpaper is joined and ends are meeting each other, there are tiny lines or seams that show in between the wallpaper. Make sure you plaster these seams from ceiling to floor. Once the plaster is dry, which may take hours, make sure you sand these seams smooth, so the surface is nice and flat enough for painting.

Hanging Wallpaper or Curling Seams

If certain areas of wallpaper are hanging or curling off, you need to repair these areas as well, before painting over the wallpaper. When the rips and tears are minor, then simply glue those areas back on with a wallpaper glue – which is a paste-like adhesive. For areas that are too big and starting to hang down, then you can rip off that particular area, and skim coat plaster along the entire seam to try and blend it in better. Once the plaster is dry, sand it down with a fine sand paper till it is smooth enough for painting.

Scan entire wallpaper area and continue this process until all wallpaper edges have been repaired.

Fixing Imperfections on Wallpaper

If you’ve found any imperfections, go over the imperfections with a layer of spackle, plaster, or joint compound. Once this is done, go over the filler with a 120-grit sandpaper to ensure a smooth wall before painting over wallpaper.

how to remove wallpaper, interior painters, interior painting services, house painters toronto

Prepping Wall For Painting

You’ve taken care of all the major imperfections, so it’s time to prep the wall to paint over the wallpaper. Go over the entire wall with an oil-based primer. It’s crucial to stay away from latex based primers as they may cause the wallpaper to come loose from the wall by soaking through it.

After this is done, check the wall for imperfections again. If any are found, repeat these steps until the wall is smooth.

Get Ready to Paint Over Wallpaper!

Apply your wall paint according to the manufacturer’s specifications. See our blog on “how to paint a wall” for more details. Almost always, use the standard of two coats, but read the label and apply more if necessary.

Home Painters  Toronto TIP:

We usually discourage using oil based paints, but it may be in your best interest to use an oil-based paint instead of latex-based for some projects. Despite the entire wall being oil primed, latex based paints can sometimes find their way through the prime to cause the wallpaper to come loose from the wall.

Latex paints can work, but keep in mind if bubbling occurs, you just need to repeat the preparation and repair steps until all the bubbles are gone.

wallpaper removal before and after home painters toronto


In summation, if the budget and time are there, and the walls aren’t too old with plaster issues, it’s always better to strip wallpaper when you can.  Stripping wallpaper properly makes for a cleaner and more consistent finish. But painting on top of wallpaper is definitely a possible option when the existing conditions are right for it.

At Home Painters Toronto, we can paint over wallpaper for you. Please call us at (416) 494-9095 or email us at [email protected] to get a free quote on removing or painting your wallpaper. We look forward to meeting you!

Brian Young - Home Painters Toronto

From The Owner & Founder


Hello and welcome!

I’m both deeply honoured and flattered you are considering using our services.

Since 1987 when I was at York University simply earning my way through school, I’ve had the privilege to meet and work with thousands of amazing homeowners like yourself.

Besides the birth of my daughter, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a homeowner’s life change when we have transformed their dream home into a masterpiece. For that reason, we take our jobs very seriously and are committed to our cause.

At Home Painters our mission is to paint homeowners’ dreams, and make your painting experience last a lifetime!
I look forward to hopefully meeting you one day, as it brings me tremendous joy to make homeowner’s dreams come true.