Tips for painting wallpaper??


Old 08-04-13, 04:16 PM
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Location: Boulder, CO
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Tips for painting wallpaper??

I replaced a bath tub in an apt, so quite a bit of drywall had to be removed. The old walls are slick wallpaper and I'd like to paint over that and the new drywall. I am trying to minimize cost, so I don't want to strip the wallpaper. Can I get away with rough sanding the wallpaper (40 grit) and then prime and paint over it? This is a student rental, so the quality of the finish doesn't have to be first class. The paint just has to stick. Thanks for any advice.
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Old 08-05-13, 03:34 AM
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#1 tip - don't paint over wallpaper it really complicates removal at a future date

When you must paint over wallpaper it's important to use a solvent based primer! The oil primer prevents the water in latex primer/paint from softening the wallpaper adhesive which can make the wallpaper loose it's bond with the wall. Once the paper has been primed you can use your choice of latex top coat [should be latex enamel in a bath rm]

40 grit will leave scratches in the wall that paint won't cover. 80-120 grit should be ok.
Old 08-05-13, 05:44 AM
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Thanks Mark

I fully understand rule #1 and have to hold my breath and tongue when working in low end rentals. I'll scuff with some milder paper and prime with Zinnser. I can't imagine what someone was thinking when they hung wallpaper in the first place.
Old 08-05-13, 10:37 AM
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Personally, I would remove the wallpaper. You say for cost reasons you're leaving it there but I think the long term cost could be higher by leaving it - any issues down the road and you're probably going to have to remove it then anyway.
Old 08-07-13, 04:54 PM
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Thanks to both

It wasn't just a cost issue but time. I primed today with Zinnser, applied a light texture, and it looks good and I think stable. You never know what stripping wallpaper entails until you try it. In this case the new tenant is coming tomorrow and we couldn't risk opening an unknown can of worms. There are others of you in college towns, but the math amazes me. Studios going for $900-1200/mo.
Old 08-07-13, 05:09 PM
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Painting over wall paper, a texture in a bathroom over wall paper.
I can see this coming back to bite you on the butt.
So how do you plan on fixing it with people living in the apartment when it fails?

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