CommunityCan I Paint Over Wallpaper That’s Already Painted?

Can I Paint Over Wallpaper That’s Already Painted?

I was so excited to discover The Money Pit right after I purchased my first home. Your program has been so helpful and I'm hoping your expertise can help me: I purchased a bank-owned property, and in order to show the house to potential buyers the bank had the entire home interior painted with a white primer.  I'm talking the ENTIRE interior of the home: Door handles, light switches, cabinets, even embedded speakers in the walls were painted right over.  I've been slowly removing the paint from the hardware; but now I've started looking at the walls themselves and I have discovered there are several rooms where there's wallpaper under the paint. It's hard to tell since you can't see through the primer at all. It wasn't until I started sanding some of the rough spots did I even notice it.  Is it alright for me to just paint over the primed walls as they are, or will the wallpaper under the primer eventually cause a problem?

Thank you again for all you do. Your program is invaluable to first-timers like me!


The Money Pit Answer

Hey, Tiffany!  Thanks for the kind words about our show. 
We definitely sympathize with your plight.  As you've maybe guessed, the issue with painting over wallpaper is that, at some point in the future, that wallpaper will loosen, bringing your paint job down with it.  However, it sounds like you have a lot of home improvement projects in your immediate future, and are probably just hoping for decent-looking walls so you can start to get settled in and tackle bigger projects.  If that's the case, go ahead and paint over that wallpaper.  It should last for a stretch, but choose your paint quality and make labor decisions knowing this is a short-term fix.  When the time eventually comes to do this job right, you definitely want to use a steamer to strip that wallpaper from the walls. Good luck!