Hanging wallpaper over paint

Can I hang wallpaper over painted walls? How do I hang wallpaper over painted walls? 

Wallpapering over a tired-looking painted wall is a great way to give your room a new lease on life. But when papering over a previously painted wall, there a few things to beware of: 

  • Enamel Glossy paints: Wallpaper doesn’t stick well to walls painted with enamel glossy paints.  The paint creates a smooth, fully-sealed surface leaving nothing for the paste to adhere to – in extreme cases, wallpaper can fall off the wall.  
  • Bright, dark or two-toned walls: Strong and/or contrasting colours can show through your new wallpaper. They call this bleed through or ghosting and it can spoil the effect of your new wallpaper. 
  • Weak paint: As the wallpaper dries, it creates a lot of pressure that can literally pull weak paint off the wall. 

Tips: 

  • Remove/scrape off any loose or cracking paint 
  • Wash wall with sugarsoap solution
  • Wash wall with clean water and let dry
  • Sand entire wall with 60 – 80 grit sandpaper if enamel paint or 120 grit sandpaper if acrylic paint 
  • Dust thorough
  • Apply an oil based, pigmented sealer. 
  • Apply size 

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