A trick for painting over old wallpaper

I helped a friend deal with an older kitchen. Her wallpaper was dated and showing some serious wear. She hated the drab color and was ready for a change.

Her husband and daughter started tearing down the old wallpaper and discovered that it had been applied directly to the sheet rock walls. The sheet rock had not even been primed! They spent hours stripping the paper from a small section beneath a window and they wondered how long the kitchen project was going to take! Fortunately the paper had a matte finish. It could be painted but they had concerns about the seams.

I showed them how they could mud the seams and sand them down to be flush with the wall. They also needed to prime the walls with Kilz before painting. You can see the mudded seams in the picture below.

This is a before shot of the pantry.

I showed her how Benjamin Moore Concord Ivory (HC-12) looked in another home I owned and she fell in love with the color. Her husband and her son did the painting.

The color doesn’t look the same in these pictures. It looks more complex in real life and changes with the light.

They did this over a year ago and the finished walls are performing well. Their home is 40 years old and the painted walls helped to update the kitchen. This is a great example of DIY decorating that made a big improvement for the cost of paint and supplies.


Now that wallpaper is making a comeback, re-papering the walls would be another alternative to stripping all the paper.

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