I’ll admit, I’m kinda lucky. I have, at my disposal, an on-call handyman, craftsman, builder, designer and occasional jerry-rigger. Someone I can count on to answer questions clearly and concisely and more importantly cost effectively. Someone to think outside the box for a solution that exceeds the expectations that even I have planted in my stubborn little head. His name is Joe and he is the owner and lead builder for Vantage Design and Construction ( http://vantagedc.com/ ). He is also my husband. I’ve seen Joe turn entire homes into something straight out of the pages of a magazine. He’s worked his magic on kitchens, bathrooms, backyards, basements, garages…and he makes each and every one beautiful.
The really nice thing about Joe is his willingness to share some of the tricks he uses to make the finished project so beautiful. So, with his permission, I’ve decided it would be nice to pass some of those “tricks of the trade” along to you. Simple things you can do to your home to freshen its look, make a repair, and hopefully increase the value.
Recently, one of my associates clients was looking for an inexpensive way to update the look of one of the rooms in their home that had been wallpapered some years ago. I doubt anyone is oblivious to the time and struggle removing wallpaper can be…soaking with adhesive disolver, scraping, peeling, steaming…and often only to be left with an uneven goopy wall surface unsuitable for painting. So is there another option? Why yes! There is! Joe suggests painting the wallpaper. Done properly, a painted wallpapered wall can be a remarkably attractive surface, as the texture inherent to the wallpaper remains, while the color becomes whatever you desire, leaving a truly custom and unique appearance that painting alone cannot match. Here’s how…
If the wallpaper is secured to the wall with no bubbles or loose spots then it is pretty easy to paint over…
Paint over the seams with an oil based paint. Several very light coats. Allow adequate dry time between each coat. After the seams have a few coats on it, paint over entire wall with an oil based primer. VERY LIGHT COATS! The thicker the coat of paint, the more likely it will be that the moisture from the paint will loosen the glue from the wall paper. If this happens, you will be left having to strip the wallpaper. Make sure each coat is completely dry before applying another coat.
Once you have a few coats of the oil based primer on and dry, you can paint over the wall with regular wall paint. Stick with thin coats of paint even at this point. They dry faster and you run less risk of excess moisture ruining all the work you’ve done so far. If a few seams are loose or if seams show after the paint has been applied, you will need to fill them with a little drywall compound, carefully sand and repaint. Do not attempt to fill or smooth seams prior to the whole painting process as the moisture from the compound may loosen the un-primed paper seams and you would be left having to strip the wallpaper.
It is a tricky process and takes some patience, but ultimately is so much easier than stripping the wallpaper, and the results are a unique look you will be proud to show off!