Is it better to paint over the wallpaper, strip it or just put new wallpaper over the old?

We're buying a home built in 1951. Three of the rooms have wallpaper and we're trying to DIY as much as we can. We're unsure whether we should paint over the wallpaper, strip it then paint or put new wallpaper up instead.

Our dilemma stems from not knowing the condition of the drywall behind the wallpaper if we strip it. With the house being over 60 years old we don't want to start tearing stuff off and it destroy the walls.

Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated!

9 Answers

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  • 5 months ago

    If you keep painting over and papering over without stripping, you are decreasing your home’s square footage because the walls are getting thicker and you have less room space.

    Cut that s*** out. Rub some grease on your elbows and get the paper off.

  • 5 months ago

    I always stripped it with a sponge and hot water, and a flat putty knife came right off. those electric heating things are useless. saturate a sponge with hot water works great. Painting over is the worse look ever. don't do it. If you don't want to strip it. paper over, but I don't like having numerous wall paper underneath.

  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

    Then you only have one choice, paper over. Painting wall paper looks about as bad as anything could look. Your real best bet would be to demolish the drywall and re-sheetrock it. Maybe some other time.

  • 5 months ago

    You can be a DIY'er or a BJDIY'er (Botch Job Do it Yourselfer). There is a right way and a wrong way to be a DIY'er. Do it right the first time. Otherwise you are just putting a band aid on things, only to create more problems later on. It is VERY DIFFICULT to remove wallpaper once it has been painted, so please, strip off the wallpaper and do not paint over it. First of all, the painted finish will look awful, showing the wallpaper seams. Then, if the wallpaper begins to peel, then you have a horrible looking room and a very hard time removing painted wallpaper.

    Strip the wallpaper. As a DIY'er with a new home, Youtube.com is your friend. Look up how to remove wallpaper and do it right the first time. When done correctly, you will not destroy the walls underneath.

    Basically, anyone can do a DIY job, but will it be a home improvement job or a botch job? You would not be improving your home to paint over wallpaper. Take your time and do it right the first time. Otherwise, you are going to take four times the amount of time to change it and do it right the second time around. Really.

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  • 5 months ago

    It is possible to paint over the wall paper by treating the seams of the paper and then texturizing the wall as you would with new drywall. I have had it done several times and it is very effective.

    I am sure there are videos on You Tube that show you how to do it.

  • bond
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    Its not drywall. In the 1950s it would be plaster. You can paper over it is smooth and good condition. For painting it should be removed. Taking it off will not be easy, but can be done with patience.

  • pmt853
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    I'd say always strip back. If the wall is good there's no problem: if it's in poor condition then it's best to get it repaired. I also find new paper sticks to a primed wall better than to old paper.

  • 5 months ago

    I lived in a super old house...over 110 years old...The wall paper amazingly was intact so I was able to paint over it...Paint stores are a great help with this..

  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

    Without knowing how well it is adhered, it is hard to say.

    I would do a test in one room by painting it. If it bubbles up and starts to come off, strip it.

    If it has been papered since the 50s, but not stripped, the chances are the wall behind will be in good condition.

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