Cover Up Wallpaper in the Bathroom
LESLIE: Phyllis in Texas is working on a bathroom makeover. How can we help you with that project?
PHYLLIS: Hi. We have a very large bathroom and I’ve got a lot of wallpaper. And I’m trying to decide whether I need to pull the wallpaper off the wall before I paint it or if I should just put more wallpaper up over it. I’ve taken wallpaper off of my kitchen at one point, which was really kind of a chore.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. To say the least.
PHYLLIS: And I’ve heard some kind of bad stories about – that maybe the wallpaper will bubble up and so I’m just – I just don’t really know what the best way to do this is and which way to go.
LESLIE: What’s your ultimate goal? Do you want new wallpaper or do you want paint? Like if you could have anything in your world.
PHYLLIS: I kind of would like to go to the paint, at this point.
PHYLLIS: I’ve been in the house about 14 years.
LESLIE: And you’re tired of this wallpaper.
LESLIE: And you’re tired of wallpaper in general.
LESLIE: You know, I’ve seen people paint over wallpaper. Please, I’ve done home-makeover shows for seven years. When you are on a budget and on a time issue, people paint over wallpaper and it’s never a pretty sight. You end up where you can see the seams, regardless of how much you sort of patch over the seams and smooth it out. It’s never pretty, in the end, and should you get a situation where the adhesive on the wallpaper will eventually wear out, now everything starts peeling off.
And if you want to remove that wallpaper later, now you’ve sort of sealed it all in with paint and that’s going to make the removal process even harder. I say just, really, get your act together and get prepared to take that wallpaper down and resurface those walls. Or if you can spare half an inch, cover it up with new drywall.
PHYLLIS: Oh. Now that’s an idea.
LESLIE: Just forget it’s there and cover it up.
PHYLLIS: It’s a really large bathroom and it’s just – having done it once to a kitchen, it’s like, “Do I really want to do that again?” But yeah, OK. Well, that kind of answered that. So it doesn’t ever really work out when you paint over wallpaper? There’s no real …
TOM: No, because you always see it coming through and it just doesn’t look right, Phyllis.
LESLIE: You can prime it as much as you want. It just – it never looks right and then in the end, it’s like you’ll always know that you skipped a step and you’ll hate it. You’ll feel sad about the project.
PHYLLIS: Oh, right. Yeah. Don’t want to do that because you spend so much time going in and out and it – you can see it from the bedroom itself and – no.
TOM: Right. Now, we always say you’re better off to do it once, do it right and then you don’t have to do it again. There’s a little tool called a Paper Tiger that you can pick up. It’s about seven bucks and it scores the wallpaper. And then you put the wallpaper remover on top of that and it soaks through and it makes it a bit easier to remove. And if that doesn’t work quickly enough for you, you can always rent a wallpaper steamer.
PHYLLIS: OK. Alright. Well, I’ll try that and see how we do.
TOM: Alright, Phyllis. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.