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Old 07-05-2017, 10:09 AM   #1
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Comment on contractor's technique for painting over wallpaper


Hiring contractor to paint our newly purchased condo. The main bathroom has wallpaper; some of the wallpaper is peeling. Contractor said that removing the wallpaper is expensive. A less expensive technique is to paint over the wallpaper as follows:
(1) tape all wallpaper seams
(2) glue down any loose wallpaper ends
(3) apply skim coat over wallpaper
(4) apply 1 coat primer on hardened skim coat
(5) apply 2 coats paint

Will this technique work? What are the pros and cons of this technique? Will this last in the long term?
Anyone with experience with this technique?

Am I better off spending the money to remove the wallpaper?
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Old 07-05-2017, 02:11 PM   #2
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Re: Comment on contractor's technique for painting over wallpaper


I used to do the same thing. As far as I know, they have all turned out okay, but I've since gone to the 'always remove the wallpaper' method. In a bathroom especially, the moisture can cause bubbling down the line. It MAY be okay, but knowing what I know now, I dont think its a good idea. Theres strange things going on at the molecular level with moisture, and layers of paint, wallpaper paste and mud, that are too hard to explain. In a nutshell, you're risking getting the wallpaper paste wet, then sealing the moisture in.

Then again, I've seen walls where people have done this years before, and it wasnt that bad.

Also, in a bathroom where the walls are peeling anyway, its not going to be difficult to remove the paper.
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Old 07-05-2017, 02:56 PM   #3
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Re: Comment on contractor's technique for painting over wallpaper


I agree with removing the wallpaper. Am starting a job net week removing painted over wallpaper because it failed.
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Old 07-05-2017, 03:02 PM   #4
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Re: Comment on contractor's technique for painting over wallpaper


Vote # 3, for removing it.
Wall paper in a bathroom was just a really bad idea in the first place.
Shame on him for even suggesting painting over it.
Why not remove it yourself and save all that money, paint it yourself and save even more.
It's all DIY 101 level work.
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Old 07-05-2017, 03:04 PM   #5
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Re: Comment on contractor's technique for painting over wallpaper


I also agree with removing the wallpaper! Generally if you must paint over wallpaper you should use an oil primer first, that should prevent the wallpaper adhesive from turning loose. Since the paper is already peeling - remove it all!!
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Old 07-05-2017, 05:08 PM   #6
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Re: Comment on contractor's technique for painting over wallpaper


Find a new contactor, Painting over it is just lazy, unless there is absolutely no other way, which is rare. In fact I would think it would be cheaper than doing all that he wants too.
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:40 PM   #7
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Re: Comment on contractor's technique for painting over wallpaper


It is very rare that we paint over wallpaper, but on occasion you run across something that is so stuck to the wall that you have to. And when that happens you have to oil prime to create a moisture barrier between the paint and the wallpaper.
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:35 PM   #8
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Re: Comment on contractor's technique for painting over wallpaper


Can't imagine that removing wallpaper in a bathroom is expensive.......um, compared to oil-priming the paper, fixing the loose seams, skim coating, priming, then 2 coats of paint? Ditto on removing the paper.
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:35 PM   #9
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Re: Comment on contractor's technique for painting over wallpaper


Paining over the paper will make it harder to remove in the future should it ever be necessary. The entire second story of my house, including the ceilings, was papered and then painted over. You could see the seams. I've removed all of, but it took me over five years to get to all of it.

Whether the seams showed because the original painter did a poor skim job, or either the adhesive moved after the fact, I have no way of knowing. But if you remove the paper now, it will be far less likely that a future owner will try to hunt you down.
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Old 07-06-2017, 05:25 AM   #10
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Yeah... Nothing wrong with trying to save some money, but if you have to do all that, what the heck are you saving?
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:21 AM   #11
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Re: Comment on contractor's technique for painting over wallpaper


People who paint over wall paper should spend eternity scraping the painted stuff off the walls.

Someday I may share how I really feel.
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:48 AM   #12
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Re: Comment on contractor's technique for painting over wallpaper


Quote:
Originally Posted by getrex View Post
It is very rare that we paint over wallpaper, but on occasion you run across something that is so stuck to the wall that you have to. And when that happens you have to oil prime to create a moisture barrier between the paint and the wallpaper.
I had forgotten but in the 80's I painted a bunch of new houses where the builder had the kitchen and baths wallpapered without any primer under the paper When that is done it's basically impossible to remove the paper without completely destroying the drywall. That would be one of the rare times it would be recommended to prime and paint over the wallpaper.
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Old 07-06-2017, 08:44 AM   #13
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Re: Comment on contractor's technique for painting over wallpaper


Quote:
Originally Posted by mark sr View Post
I had forgotten but in the 80's I painted a bunch of new houses where the builder had the kitchen and baths wallpapered without any primer under the paper When that is done it's basically impossible to remove the paper without completely destroying the drywall. That would be one of the rare times it would be recommended to prime and paint over the wallpaper.


Yeah, I run into that fairly often. When the paper is hung like that with no primer or prep it bonds so thoroughly to the face paper of the drywall that it can't be removed without also tearing the drywall all to pieces. In those situations, we usually prime and paint it.


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Old 07-06-2017, 11:21 AM   #14
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Re: Comment on contractor's technique for painting over wallpaper


That would be the one.
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Old 07-13-2017, 08:30 PM   #15
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Re: Comment on contractor's technique for painting over wallpaper


With advice from everyone here I learned how to remove wallpaper that was put directly on drywall about 25 yrs ago. Its really not that hard. I just finished stripping one bathroom and immediately started on another.
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