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PAINTING OVER WALLPAPER | By: Multiple Speaker(s)

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I cut corners every chance I get to save money on my rehab investments. One of the things that I do is to paint over wallpaper when possible. As long as you follow my steps below, you should have no problem getting a pro finish that will last for years to come.

STEP 1 : Make sure all the edges and seams are glued down tight. I have found that most pro’s in the business carry Elmer’s school glue to stick down and loose paper (or vinyl in most cases) and repair seams. This is the white glue that is non toxic and water clean up.

STEP 2 : Use blue tape, referred to as long mask and may be left on a surface up to a week without removal problems. Tape off all mirror frames, doorknobs, window and door trim as well as baseboards etc.

STEP 3 : If your wallpaper has a bright pattern, you may want to prime the surface with an oil based primer to kill the colors from bleeding through the paint. If you are painting a tinted color, you can have the paint dept. tint your primer to the color of your paint. This will eliminate painting multiple coats.

STEP 4 : This step is very important to make sure that you do not have a difference in color shade between the cut in portion and the roller portion. The biggest rule of painting with the best results is to always roll into a wet edge. Most of us will cut in the room with a brush and then roll the room. This is wrong…Cut in one wall, then roll that wall. Allowing the cut in to dry before you roll will give a color shade difference when you roll into it , basically being two coats where you overlapped with your roller. Doing one wall at a time will give you the wet edge you need for the brush and roll to dry at the same pace.

STEP 5 : Use a three speed fan, set on medium to blow at the wall as you paint each wall. Most wallpaper has a tendency to bubble up as the paint dries. Using the fan slows down the drying of the paint and it will stop the bubble effect on the wall. Even if it bubbles just a little at first, the fan will make the bubbles disappear when fully dry.

STEP 6 : Use a latex paint that is acrylic and water based whether you used a primer first or not. This way anytime you need to repaint, you can just use latex right over the previous paint. Also, your clean up will be easier and your paint tools will clean up with just soap and water.

STEP 7 : Allow the paint to dry totally before putting on a second coat (if needed) or before removing the tape from the protected areas. When you remove the tape, sometimes it is important to use a razor knife to cut along the line where the tape and paint meet. This way you will not pull any paint up as you remove the tape.

STEP 8 : This is my final step before cleaning up the area and moving on. I had removed the light switch cover plate before painting. Before I put it back, I will place a small piece of masking tape on the back. On this tape, I will smear a color sample of the paint I used for that room on it. I will also write the color code used for tinting and the store I got the paint from. Therefore, even if the paint can gets lost…I will always have the color code to have the same paint made for next time, or a sample that the store can computer match for me. This works great if you are as forgetful as I am sometimes. For more information on rehabbing houses for less, visit

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