green floral paper with mirror and candlesticks
Photo: [COPYRIGHT] Andreas von Einsiedel / Alamy
Q: It may seem like a shortcut, but it's a bad idea

A: Q: Is it possible to paint over existing wallpaper?

— Asheesh, Fremont, California

Steve Thomas replies: It's possible, but it's bad practice and we don't recommend it. First of all, the job can never be made to look good. Second, it's a sign of lazy workmanship. Third, painted wallpaper is a real bear to remove, so you'll make the job even tougher for yourself or someone else down the road. If the paper is unpainted now, a wallpaper steamer will make fairly short work of removal, then you can clean the wall with a solution of vinegar and water, then prep, prime, and paint as if it were a raw plaster wall.
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