Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Wallpaper's Got to Go before You Paint the Walls, Experts Advise

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Wallpaper's Got to Go before You Paint the Walls, Experts Advise

Article excerpt

Q. I don't like the wallpaper the former owner of my house put up in the family room. I'd like to paint the room instead. Do I have to remove the wallpaper first? M.S., Oak Park, Ill.

A. Painting over wallpaper is not recommended, says Howard Clark, a licensed construction supervisor in Hopkinton, Mass. It may look fine for awhile, but down the road there's a price to pay. Here's a list of potential problems:

1. Latex paint directly contributes to loosening paper on the wall. Since both the paint and the paper paste are water-based, you're likely to get bubbles under the paper.

2. Oil-based paints shrink as they dry, so areas with minimal paste may pop loose. Seams and edges often appear through the paint.

3. Once paper is painted, it renders paper-removing solution ineffective. The surface must be scored to promote absorption, making future removal tedious, and leading to damage that will take time to repair.

4. While you can often apply paper over paper, it's too risky to apply new paper over painted wall covering because the result will be unstable. …

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