How to Paint a Room After Wallpaper Removal

Painting a room after the removal of wallpaper is not an easy DIY project, but it can be a rewarding activity. Be sure to ask for help when you are doing this project to speed up the process. You will need help with prepping the surface of the wall before painting.

Tools and Materials

  • No rinse Trisodium Phospate solution (TSP)
  • Vinegar
  • Sponge
  • 80-grit and 200-grit sandpaper
  • Mud or caulk or wall compound
  • Wall knife
  • 3 and 7-inch putty knife
  • Primer and paint
  • Paintbrush and paint roller

Step 1 – Remove Glue

Using TSP is the easiest way to remove adhesive off walls. In order to use, you will need to spray, or roll, it on with a paintbrush in a small area. Let it sit for a few minutes and then scrape off the loosened adhesive with a putty knife. Next, sand the wall with 80-grit sandpaper. Work on small area at a time to avoid TSP re-spraying on areas that have been sprayed on previously; if not, the wood or plaster may rot or crumble because of the absorbed chemical.

An alternative to TSP is a 'greener' solution. You can use a mixture of 1 cup of vinegar and 1 gallon of hot water. Spray the hot vinegar solution on the surface. Let it stay for a few minutes, scrape off adhesive and then sand afterwards. This technique may not always give the best results. You may have to sand the wall in order to achieve your desired results.

Step 2 – Fix any Damage and Smooth out Walls

Fill the holes with wall compound. Use the smaller putty knife when filling holes or cracks. Let the compound set. Sand the filled holes to level it on the wall’s surface. Use two putty knives when smoothening out the surface to have more control of the quantity that you will apply. Apply a thin coat on the wall, giving more attention to uneven areas and parts that have dents and cracks. With a steady hand, use the first putty knife to spread the compound onto the wall and even out the compound on the surface to create a smooth finish. Use the second knife to remove compound that the first knife has scraped from the wall. Allow the compound to harden. Next, sand the surface with finer grit sandpaper. The wall is now prepped for painting.

Step 3 – Paint

Apply the primer evenly first using a paint roller or a paintbrush. Brush several thin coats of primer and allow for it to dry. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended curing time. Next, apply the paint. You can use a roller or a paintbrush. The best application product would a compressor spray paint because it will provide a consistent paint application. Apply several thin coats of paint and let it dry for 48 hours before you move the furniture back into place.