Los Angeles painters warn against painting over wallpaper

Los Angeles painters warn against painting over wallpaper

Taking down unsightly wallpaper can be a daunting task – especially if it plasters the majority of walls inside your Los Angeles-area home.

Dan Dugan, owner of highly rated Wet Paint Company in Laguna Niguel, Calif., says ignoring wallpaper and painting over it is one of the worst mistakes homeowners can make when painting their interiors.

“Painting over wallpaper is never recommended because the paint as it dries tends to release the paste of the wallpaper, and you’ll end up with bubbles,” he says. “It’ll remove the wallpaper, and then you’ll have a mess.”

Dugan says stripping the wallpaper is imperative in all situations. He prefers to use DIF, an environmentally friendly liquid stripper. Used in conjunction with hot water and a Hudson sprayer – which Dugan says is like a plant sprayer – will effectively remove the wallpaper.

Michael Bellotti, of highly rated Michael Bellotti Painting in Los Angeles, says another tip when it comes to wallpaper removal is to use oil-based products.

“Water-based restimulates the glue,” he says. “You don’t want to put anything watery on it to activate it.”

Both experts agree painting over wallpaper will end up causing additional issues for the homeowner, as wallpaper will likely bubble and peel when painted over.

“Then you can’t fix it up,” Bellotti says. “You can’t patch wallpaper.”

Dugan says in those rare instances where the wallpaper is unable to be removed, sand the seams then apply quality primer and paint.

“It’s one in 100 cases that we have to do that,” he says.


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