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How to Get Wallpaper Ready for Painting

Painting over wallpaper can look sloppy and cheap if you don’t get the wallpaper ready for paint. You need to prepare the wallpaper before you roll on your finish coat (the paint). The effort you take to prepare the wallpaper will pay off in a great-looking wall.

First things first: Go around the wall inspecting each seam carefully for any loose bits. Make sure seams are snug.


Smooth out any lumps in the surface with sandpaper.

Use a 150-grit sandpaper to sand down lumps or bumps.


Rough up the surface of the wallpaper.

Take the same sandpaper and lightly sand all over the walls so that the paint will have something to stick to.


Dust (or vacuum) the surface.

Try using a tack cloth to help remove the grit.


Brush on two thin coats of oil-based sealer.

Be sure to keep each coat thin. If you plan to finish with a particularly rich tone, such as red, you might want to use a tinted sealer.


Roll on your finish coat.

Once the sealer dries you are ready to apply your finish coat (the paint).

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