Wallpapering Over Paint | Limitless Walls

Wallpapering Over Paint | Limitless Walls

Prepping to Wallpaper Over Paint

While many people are interested in the best way to paint over wallpaper, many homeowners are also interested in wallpapering over paint so they can add more diverse, longer-lasting wall decor to their space.

Why Wallpaper Instead of Paint?

Compared to paint, wallpaper and wall murals are longer-lasting and provide for a much wider variety of patterns and images. A coat of paint will begin to fade noticeably, beginning roughly 3 to 5 years after application. However, wallcoverings that are correctly applied can last indefinitely—properly applied being the key word. What constitutes proper application of wallpaper? A few things: using the right paint, primer, and properly cleaning the wall beforehand.

wallpaper with bubbles

Wall mural applied on matte paint wall that was neither cleaned nor coated with Zinsser Gardz. Bubbles are clearly visible.

What’s the Right Kind of Paint?

These paint finish types are suitable:

  • Satin
  • Silk
  • Glossy

These paint finishes will not work as well:

  • Matte or Flat
  • Eggshell

Why Does Paint Matter?

Having a proper surface on which to attach the wallcovering will provide for the greatest possible longevity. If you simply attach wallpaper to a painted wall, you run several risks. The wallcovering might not entirely adhere to the wall, meaning that difficult-to-remove bubbles will appear after application. Furthermore, improperly preparing a wall could potentially lead to wall damage when it’s time to remove your wallcovering.

surface of matte paint

Surface of matte paint is textured like so, which constitutes a poor surface to wallpaper on.

The issue with matte and flat paint has to do with their surface texture—flat paints, in order to minimize reflection, are slightly textured. This muted effect allows it to minimize the noticeability of cracks or other defects of the wall; however, the somewhat-textured effect also causes the wall to trap dirt.

glossy paint surface

The surface of glossy paints are perfectly flat, which is an easily cleanable surface to place a wallcovering on.

How Do I Prepare My Wall?

Before you do anything, make sure your wall is generally flat. Orange peel is generally the most textured wall surface that you are able to put wallpaper or a wall mural on. If you have highly textured walls or protrusions (nails, tacks, etc.), you’ll need to remove them and smooth down the area. Get some spackle and sandpaper and file the area down until smooth.

If you have one of the approved paint types, your job is quite easy! Simply wipe down your wall with warm water and a light soap. Allow the wall to dry entirely before putting your wallcovering up!

The manufacturer of your wallpaper or wall mural might have specific directions regarding installation, if they do, make sure you’re decorating within their specifications.

If you have matte, flat, or eggshell paint, never fear! There’s a solution.

  • First, try and wipe down the wall and let dry.
  • Second, apply a layer of Zinsser Gardz sealer. Follow the manufacturer’s directions and let dry.
  • Once dried, wipe down and dry the wall.
  • Finally, follow the manufacturer’s directions and apply wallpaper, wall mural, or other wallcovering!

Wallpapering Over Drywall

Want to apply wallpaper to drywall directly? You can use Zinsser Gardz for that too! It will seal the drywall and harden the surface, meaning you can directly apply your wallpaper to the surface of the drywall!

No matter what kind of surface you have, you’ll be able to adequately prepare your wall to hang wallpaper or a wall mural!

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