As home improvement projects go, everybody dreads stripping wallpaper. A messy and tedious process, it’s only natural for most people to look for anyway they can avoid the time and effort required to remove wallpaper that no longer enhances a room’s aesthetic. This leads many people to ask the question whether they can just paint over wallpaper and be done with it. However like most shortcuts, painting over wallpaper presents some serious challenges.
Worth the Effort?
While you might not necessarily think it, stripping wallpaper ranks as a fairly easy project once you have complete all of the necessary prep work. However, since most people assume stripping wallpaper is a painful project, they usually avoid ever finding out what the process entails to begin with; choosing instead to leave the wallpaper alone and attempt a paint over project. However, trying to paint over wallpaper offers a number of easily avoidable risks.
Wallpaper paste is water based, which means the moisture in most paint products will seep in along the seems and around the edges of any wallpaper you paint over. When this occurs, the excess moisture starts to compromise the integrity of the glue that holds the wallpaper in place. Eventually, the bond that holds the wallpaper to the surface of your wall begins to breakdown. While this might not happen overnight, in the following weeks and months after painting your wallpaper, you can expect to see the corners and edges of your wallpaper begin to peel away as the original wallpaper paste becomes stressed. This will result in a bigger mess and cost than what you would have initially incurred from peeling the wallpaper to start with.
A Better Decision
Once you make the decision to take the time and effort required to correctly remove old wallpaper, you’ll be surprised by the amount of time saving tools at your disposal. A variety of home improvement products can dramatically reduce the amount of time and effort you need to spend in order to properly remove wallpaper from you home’s walls.
If you lack the time or skill to work with drywall, you might consider hiring a drywall professional to help you in the wallpaper removal process. You can also consult with painting contractors, many of whom posses the experience required to remove wallpaper and return your home’s interior walls to their original condition.
If you find yourself questioning whether removing old or outdated wallpaper from your home is worth the effort, consider that the majority of real estate professional will say that unappealing wallpaper can negatively influence the opinion of potential homebuyers. Even if you elect to replace your current wallpaper with something more contemporary, you still run the risk of a potential buyer not finding that particular style to their liking. If you want to make an investment in upgrading your home, make sure not take any short cuts and do it right.
Timothy Lemke is a freelance writer who learned about the risks of painting over wallpaper from the house painting Portland professionals at Brian Hoge painting.
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