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Heather
Painted Wallpaper

We just moved into a nearly 150 year old home. In two rooms, wallpaper has been painted. Generally speaking, the paper is in very good condition, and has little or no cracks, tears or bubbles. In one of those rooms, I peeled away a loose piece, and there appears to be only one layer of paper. I do not believe it is a vinyl coated paper. My question is, do I begin to remove this paper, or should I just paint over it, as is? The seams have been overlapped, and as inconspicuous as they are, I know they're there, and feel like it would be doing half the job just to paint over it. On the flip side, we have 5,000 feet to restore, and sometimes I get accused of becoming lost in the details. I need some objective advice!!

ordjen
Re: Painted Wallpaper
1861 federal wrote:

We just moved into a nearly 150 year old home. In two rooms, wallpaper has been painted. Generally speaking, the paper is in very good condition, and has little or no cracks, tears or bubbles. In one of those rooms, I peeled away a loose piece, and there appears to be only one layer of paper. I do not believe it is a vinyl coated paper. My question is, do I begin to remove this paper, or should I just paint over it, as is? The seams have been overlapped, and as inconspicuous as they are, I know they're there, and feel like it would be doing half the job just to paint over it. On the flip side, we have 5,000 feet to restore, and sometimes I get accused of becoming lost in the details. I need some objective advice!!

1861 - Should you decide to leave the paper intact I would go over the entire surface feeling for imperfections with my fingers.I would use a 100 grit sandpaper and sand down the lapped seams. After this, I would prime the entire room with and oil based primer. After the primer, you might want to once again check for imperfections and smooth them out with spackling compound followed by aditional spot priming. You may then use either latex or oil paint as a finish coat. Be advised that should you try in the future to remove this paper, it will be greatly more difficult.

I personally prefer to get back to the original plaster, However, in a house of this age the plaster is often not the hard, dense product which was used in later years. You might consider trying to remove a part of a wall to judge the difficulty of the task you would be taking on. Older paper without a plastic coating will usually soak off with water even if it has a coat of paint over it.

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