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Can You Wallpaper Straight Onto Painted Walls?

Wallpapering is a popular way to add texture, colour, and personality to a room. One common question homeowners face is whether it’s possible to apply wallpaper directly onto painted walls. This article will explore the feasibility of this approach and provide guidelines for achieving the best results.

Assessing the Painted Surface

The key to wallpapering over painted walls is the condition of the paint. The surface should be clean, dry, and smooth. While considering wallpaper over painted walls, it’s also useful to understand the different types of interior paint and how they might affect wallpaper adhesion.

Glossy or high-sheen paint surfaces can hinder the wallpaper adhesive from sticking effectively. In such cases, lightly sanding the surface to create a texture that the adhesive can grip onto is advisable.

In other cases, particularly where paint is peeling or if the wall has several layers of old paint, it may be best to strip the paint before wallpapering. This ensures a smoother application and reduces the risk of the wallpaper peeling off in the future. 

Consider the Type of Wallpaper

The type of wallpaper you choose also plays a role. Heavier, textured wallpapers like paintable wallpaper which is a great option for covering up imperfections or dark colors on a wall, as well as linen, silk, hemp, or grasscloth wallpaper which offer a natural look and feel may require a more robust adhesive and a well-prepared surface. They are durable and easy to clean, making them suitable for painted walls.

Lighter wallpapers might adhere more easily to painted walls but can also show imperfections more readily. If you’re planning to apply wallpaper in a bathroom, it’s important to know what type of paint should be used in a bathroom to ensure proper wallpaper adhesion. Vinyl wallpaper is popular, affordable and easy to install, making it an excellent choice for painted walls. 

Preparing the Wall

Proper wall preparation is crucial. Cleaning the wall to remove any dust, dirt, or grease. Filling in any holes or cracks and sand down rough areas. A primer like Zinsser Shieldz Universal Wallcovering Primer or Roman PRO-909 Vinyl Prep specifically designed for wallpaper application can be applied to ensure better adhesion, especially important if the paint is old or flaking.

Hiring a Professional

To ensure a flawless finish, hiring a professional for wallpaper installation on a painted wall is often a wise decision. For those unsure about DIY wallpapering, understanding the benefits of hiring someone to do the wallpaper can be helpful in making a decision. Professionals bring a wealth of experience and expertise, allowing them to effectively handle the unique challenges that come with applying wallpaper over paint. They can accurately assess the condition of the painted surface, recommend necessary preparations like sanding or priming, and choose the right adhesive for optimal adhesion.

A professional installer is skilled in dealing with potential issues such as uneven surfaces, bubbles, or peeling, ensuring these are addressed before and during installation. They also have the right tools to smoothly and precisely apply the wallpaper, minimizing the risks of misalignment or damage. Moreover, hiring a professional like All Painting Ltd.can save time and reduce the stress of a potentially tricky DIY project, providing peace of mind that the job will be done right the first time. In essence, professional wallpaper installation on a painted wall is an investment in quality, durability, and aesthetic appeal.


Wallpapering directly onto painted walls is possible, provided the paint is in good condition and the wall is properly prepared. Assessing the wall, choosing the right wallpaper, surface preparation and hiring professionals are key steps for a successful wallpaper application. With the right approach, your wallpapered room can be transformed beautifully and effectively. When considering wallpapering over painted walls, it’s worth considering how wallpaper affects home value, especially if you plan to sell your home in the future.

Ready to transform your space with stunning wallpaper over painted walls? Our expert team is here to help, no matter where you are located. Discover our specialized services in your area: from the scenic beauty of Maple Ridge painters and the vibrant communities of Langley painters and Richmond painters, to the historic charm of New Westminster painters and the picturesque landscapes of West Vancouver painters and North Vancouver painters. We also serve the dynamic regions of Port Coquitlam painters, Coquitlam painters, and Port Moody painters, ensuring every corner of your home reflects your unique style. Residents of Surrey painters, Burnaby painters, and Vancouver painters can also benefit from our top-notch wallpapering services. Contact us today and let’s bring your vision to life, one wall at a time!

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