DIY Network

How to Paint Over Wallpaper

When wallpaper becomes outdated, give your room a fresh new look by painting over . Learn how with these simple step-by-step instructions from DIY Network.

More in Painting

wallpaper with holes can not be painted over
  • Time


  • Price Range

    $50 - $100

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Prepare the Wallpaper

Prepare the wallpaper for painting by securely gluing down loose edges. Wallpaper with holes and peeling patches can't be painted over (Image 1), but if the wallpaper's secure except for a few loose edges at the seams, seal each seam with a very strong glue (Image 2) and press down securely.

Step 2: Apply the Paint

Apply two coats of stain-killing paint to completely cover the wallpaper pattern. Let dry between coats.

Note that painting over wallpaper is suitable only for wallpaper that's in good condition and securely in place.

Step 3: File the Seam

If the wallpaper seam is visible after two coats of paint, lightly file the seam smooth with a very fine emery board.

lightly file seam smooth with emery board

Courtesy of James Calloway

Step 4: Apply the Top Coat

Apply the top coat of paint. Our top coat of yellow paint shows no hint of the wallpaper pattern beneath.

apply final top coat of paint to wallpaper

Courtesy of James Calloway