Can I Paint Over Wallpaper?

When you’re preparing to redecorate your walls, it’s easy to assume that you have to make a choice between wallpaper and paint. Both wall coverings have advantages and disadvantages, depending on your personal style and the state of your walls. But if you’re trying to renovate walls which already have wallpaper on them – or which are in particularly bad condition – you may be wondering whether it’s possible simply to paint over your wallpaper.

The answer to this question can depend on various factors. The style of wallpaper you wish to paint over, as well as the overall condition of your walls, will determine whether or not it’s a good idea for your project.

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know if you’re wondering how to paint over wallpaper. As a UK supplier of wall coverings, we can guide you through the entire process – from disguising damage to achieving your personal style. Read on to find out what happens when you paint over wallpaper.

How to paint over old wallpaper

One of the most common reasons why you might consider painting over wallpaper is if you wish to cover up the old décor that’s already in your home. Whether you’ve moved into a new property or simply want to spruce up the style of a room, old wallpaper can be notoriously tricky to strip away – especially if the walls beneath are in poor condition.

The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to strip off old wallpaper before getting out the paint. It is possible to paint over existing wallpaper, providing you follow the right process. This starts with preparing your walls and making sure that the wallpaper is smooth and well stuck down. Any lumps or loose corners will create problems when you come to paint over them, so this step is a crucial part of the process.

Once your wallpaper is smooth, you’ll need to wash your walls. You can do this with a mild detergent, water, and a wet sponge or cloth. Allow the walls to dry completely before – if necessary – applying an undercoat. You may not need to do this step, but a primer or basecoat can be a good idea if you’re painting over vinyl wallpaper (which is less porous than paper or woodchip) or a design that’s particularly bold or colourful.

If you choose to use a basecoat, make sure that it has totally dried before applying your chosen paint. This can be done using a roller and brush, just as you would paint directly onto a wall. 

When should you paint over wallpaper instead of stripping it?

Some people recommend that you should always strip your wallpaper instead of painting straight over it – but there are lots of situations where this isn’t practical. If your walls are in rough condition, the process of stripping away old wallpaper could be a big mistake, revealing old damage and often making it worse.

In this case, it’s better simply to paint over your wallpaper. Painting over wallpaper can be an excellent way to mask flaws such as pitting and stains, provide a smooth surface for your paint, and even boost the longevity of your walls.

Painting over textured wallpaper

Are you struggling to decide how to redecorate your walls? From pitting and crumbling plasterwork to cracks and stains, both structural and surface damage can make it incredibly hard to achieve a perfect finish when renovating your walls.

If you’re searching for a way to protect your walls whilst redecorating, you may feel torn between paper and paint. On their own, neither can completely mask heavy damage – but when used in combination, you can create a striking effect that suits your personal style and helps reinforce your walls.

At Cover Your Wall, we recommend using paintable textured wallpaper to smooth your most uneven walls. As its name suggests, this wallpaper is specially designed to be painted over, making it easy for you to tailor your room to your colour scheme.

What is paintable textured wallpaper?

Paintable textured wallpaper features a textured (otherwise known as embossed) design on its surface. Thanks to its thicker texture, this wallpaper is a great choice for covering imperfections such as lumps, bumps, and stains on your walls. Once applied, it hides crumbling and pitting, providing the perfect surface for you to paint over.

Our paintable textured anaglypta wallpaper is available in a wide range of textures, designs, and materials – from vinyl wallpaper with a striking geometric design to duplex paper with a subtle striped pattern. Whatever style you choose, all of our paper comes in a plain white shade. This means it’s easy to apply your favourite colour paint on top.

How to paint over textured wallpaper

Because our textured wallpaper has been specifically designed to be painted over, the process is a little easier than it is to paint over standard paper. Once you’ve pasted your wallpaper onto the wall you wish to cover (we recommend using Anaglypta ReadyMix wallpaper adhesive, applied with a roller or brush), you’ll need to wait until it is completely dry before moving onto the next step.

Next, you may need to prime your walls with a latex primer or emulsion. As the surface of your wallpaper is textured, you might find it easier to apply this with a brush if it’s difficult to get an even coat using a roller. As soon as the primer is dry, you can go in with your choice of paint.

Not sure which colour to pick? One of the best things about our paintable textured wallpaper is that you can paint it again and again! This means you can update your décor whenever you feel like it, without having to worry about stripping away the paper underneath. 

Find your perfect paintable textured wallpaper

Whether you’re looking to create a striking feature wall or renovate a whole room, Cover Your Wall stocks wallpaper to suit any style and budget. We offer free delivery to UK mainland addresses on orders over £100 and are always ready to help if you have questions about covering your wall.

Want to find out more about our range of paintable textured wallpaper? Send an email to today to hear back from a member of our experienced team.  

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