Wallpaper Troubleshooting - Can you paint over wallpaper?

wallpaper, kids room, Design Intervention
Design: Design Intervention

Depending on the colour fastness of wallpaper, they do tend to fade over the years, especially if exposed to sunlight. “If the wallpaper is made of vinyl, 
and has a smooth surface,
you can paint over it. But the effect does not look good,” says Edson Khoo, the regional head of the wallcoverings division at Goodrich Global.

A spokesman for paint company Dulux says that wallpaper is not an ideal surface for paint, and should always be removed before painting.

You can of course, go ahead. Just make sure you prepare 
the surface. Ensure that the wallpaper is clean of dirt and dust, doesn’t have rips and tears, or is coming off from the wall; you’d need to repair those first before painting. To prevent wallpaper seams from looking too obvious, sand them, and the entire surface of the wallpaper, with fine sandpaper. The slightly rough surface will also make it easier for the paint to adhere.

Next, paint on an oil-based primer, as the moisture from water-based ones can cause the wallpaper to become unstuck from the wall. After the surface is dry, sand it lightly, and then apply your top coat of oil-based paint. Let it dry, sand it down again, and apply a second coat of paint (preferably a day after the first coat was applied, for best results).

To prevent wallpaper from staining or coming off the wall due to dampness, try not to use it near areas of high humidity, such as bathrooms and kitchens. If it’s near your bathroom door, install a ventilator fan within 
the bathroom to minimise the amount of moisture that escapes from the toilet.