Should You Paint Over Your Outdated Wallpaper?

It's time to remodel your living room, and the first thing that needs to be tackled is the tacky wallpaper that's probably been there since the 1970s. The thought of having to pull it off, scrape the glued-on portion, apply cleaner, and then hopefully be able to start on the painting doesn't sound fun. The work that goes into removing wallpaper is enough to let it remain for a few more years.

The thought of scouring and scaping may sound like a big chore, but before you decide not to do it, learn a bit more about the process. New chemicals and treatments may make it a bit easier to fully remove the wallpaper, at least with a bit of patience, according to Lowe's.

You're still not buying it, though? The better option sounds like just painting over it, but exactly how could that work? Before you make a decision, here's what you need to consider.

When is it okay to just paint it?

When it's possible, it's often best to put in the hard work and take off the wallpaper because it gives you a clean, even surface to work with before painting. There are some situations where it's okay to just paint the wallpaper, according to Angi.

Maybe you peeled back a corner of the wallpaper to find an even more hideous pattern behind the first and shockingly realized there's more than one layer to deal with to remove it. That's a good time to simply paint and skip the hours of work removing it.

If the wallpaper is a simple, clean, and smooth texture that seems easy enough to paint over without any significant damage to it, like ripped-off pieces or bubbling areas, then it may be okay to paint over this wallpaper as well. Keep in mind that you may be able to patch some areas if they're smaller.

Make sure you address these problems first

Before you start picking paint samples, there are a few more important considerations you have to take before giving up on removing the wallpaper. The overall condition of the wallpaper and the space needs to be paintable, says HGTV, or the paint just will not turn out right.

That is, you'll need to do a little work to get the wallpaper in the right condition for painting. The first step is to look for loose edges or corners pulling away from the wall. To fix this, carefully add some adhesive under the wallpaper to hold the edge down, but don't let the adhesive ooze out onto the rest of the surface. That extra, exposed adhesive could cause discoloration or an uneven texture after you paint over it.

You'll also need to do some work cleaning the walls, such as vacuuming with the attachment to your carpet cleaner. This pulls off the dust that could create uneven areas on the surface otherwise. Consider washing the walls with a damp sponge if there's a coated texture on them, though don't overly saturate them.