Best Paint Colors

December 9, 2008

Should I Paint Wallpaper?

Q. I dislike the wallpaper in my bedroom and am considering painting over it but I’m unsure if this is advisable. The wallpaper also has a fine texture to it. Also, in one section of the room it covers a boarded up window. What is an inexpensive way to change the walls of this space so it is more to my liking?

— T.L.

A. In your situation, painting over the wallpaper isn’t a good idea because your existing wallpaper has a fine texture to it. You will never be able to achieve an even colour application that penetrates into all of the paper’s nooks and crannies. In some spots, the wallpaper below may even become visible. However, redecorating walls is always one of the most inexpensive ways of changing the appearance of a room.

You have two options for your bedroom: The first is to wallpaper in a pattern more to your taste. The second is to strip the existing wallpaper and paint your walls. For both options, all existing layers of wallpaper should be removed so that you can have an unblemished surface to begin with. You may also be able to retrieve that boarded up window which will bring more light into your space. If you prefer to leave the window covered up, make sure that any cracks and holes are filled before wallpapering or painting. If you opt for the wallpaper, you may want to consider using a lining paper over the walls to provide a smooth surface on to which the wallpaper can be applied (even after you’ve stripped the old wallpaper).

Whatever you choose to do, it is important that the job is done right since it will be a time-consuming task to redo the job if the walls aren’t prepared properly.