How to paint wallpaper: choosing wallpaper and paint

Recommendation points

Wallpaper for painting is recognized as one of the best solutions in modern renovation. This practical and versatile wall and ceiling covering does not require special skills, but it is necessary to choose the right materials and carry out finishing work in compliance with a number of rules.

How to paint wallpaper: choosing wallpaper and paint

What wallpaper and what paint

There are three types of wallpaper that can be painted: non-woven, paper-vinyl and fiberglass. Each option has the right to life, the differences lie only in operational characteristics, the ability to keep shape and correctly respond to the shrinkage of the building. For each type of paintable wallpaper, the quality of the base is usually important. It must be strong, uniform, and most importantly, hygroscopic and with good adhesion..

Obviously, the surface quality for paintable wallpaper is of the least importance, because water resistance, anti-static and abrasion resistance ultimately depend on the properties of the paint. The exception is vinyl wallpaper: despite the fact that the spraying is additionally strengthened with paint, it still remains vulnerable to friction and crumbles under increased loads. Also, vinyl wallpaper is characterized by the smallest permissible number of painting cycles: only 5-6, while glass cloth and non-woven can be repainted 10-15 times.

How to paint wallpaper: choosing wallpaper and paint

Water-dispersion paint for wallpaper should be chosen for interior use. All other qualities are determined solely by their own taste. For example, paint with latex or silicone additives will be more moisture resistant, and the higher the gloss, the more pronounced the hydrophobic properties. Acrylic-based paints – the golden ratio of price and durability, they practically do not lose color, have acceptable abrasion resistance, but do not provide the ability to wash the wallpaper. It is better to refrain from using polyvinyl acetate paint, this is the lowest quality type of coating.

When buying, you must definitely check the annotations on the label: you should avoid using paints for which the manufacturer does not recommend covering a certain type of wallpaper, or if the composition is not intended to work with textured surfaces. It is also advisable to recalculate the area of ​​the planes painted in different colors in advance in order to immediately purchase several buckets of the required volume in accordance with the consumption rate.

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How to paint wallpaper: choosing wallpaper and paint


When painting wallpaper, a standard set of painting tools is used: rollers and brushes of different sizes, trays, masking tape, plastic wrap, a bucket of clean water. Also, a spatula or trowel is useful for painting hard-to-reach places and junctions. Mixing paint is done by hand using a small stick or wooden spatula.

The choice of roller and brushes should be taken with the utmost responsibility. You will need at least two yokes: one small for painting corners with a permissible fur coat width of up to 200 mm and another larger for the main surfaces, for which it is desirable to install a roller of 400–500 mm. The type and quality of the coat directly affects the consumption of paint and the ease of work. The most optimal for embossed surfaces are considered to be artificial and natural fur rollers, as well as thread rollers, when used, the effect of micro texture is formed. The length of the pile should be selected commensurate with the embossing depth of the wallpaper. Velor and foam coats are well suited for fabrics with a fine texture..

How to paint wallpaper: choosing wallpaper and paint

It is better to buy flute brushes with a badger bristle as soft as possible. Synthetic bristles also work well with water dispersion paints, but they don’t need to be rough. Two sizes of brushes are required: 20 mm for fine liner and 80-100 mm for edging corners.

Paint preparation

Agree that it rarely makes sense to paint white wallpaper with white paint. Without exception, all water-based paints can be tinted, and the variety of shades is really great. The color of the paint can be specified by the supplier. On the one hand, this is ideal – mixing in a vibrating machine allows you to achieve a perfectly uniform dye distribution. However, it is not a fact that the colors from the catalog will satisfy the aesthetic needs of the customer, therefore many people tint wallpaper paints on their own..

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To do everything according to your mind, it is advisable to acquire an accurate electronic scale. If used to dispense pigment, they will help achieve excellent color repeatability when mixed. Knowing the proportions of the base and color concentrates will be especially useful if the paint is not enough.

How to paint wallpaper: choosing wallpaper and paint

About a third of each color paint must be drained into a separate container and diluted with boiled water in an amount of no more than 25% by volume. The resulting composition is necessary to create a primer layer, which will provide a thorough initial impregnation, reduce the absorbency when applying the main layer and qualitatively paint the trellis base. It is necessary to mix paint with water or color scheme carefully and by hand. It will also not be superfluous to leave the mixture for a while and make sure that no delamination has occurred..

A little life hack: if you paint the underside of vinyl wallpaper before gluing, the paint will saturate the paper base, while the textured spraying will not stain.

Primer and base coat

The first coat of thinned paint should be applied carefully and as evenly as possible. First, paint all the corners with a wide brush, then cover the main plane with a foam roller. You need to be careful: due to the high water content, the paint is applied in an unusual way. It may seem that the surface is not painted well enough, but in reality, due to the impregnation of the pores, the hiding power increases when the second layer is applied. Therefore, you do not need to worry about color unevenness: firstly, after drying, the type of coating will change greatly, and secondly, the application of a primer layer is not performed for the purpose of uniform staining.

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The main coat of paint should be applied when the wall is completely dry, which takes about a third longer than using solid paint. Undiluted material behaves differently: it does not soak the roller so well, it spreads worse over the surface. As with priming, first carefully paint over all corners at least 15 cm wide using a flat brush. If, due to the consistency of the paint, risks are formed, the final swings with the brush should be directed along the corners, that is, in the same direction in which the roller will move.

How to paint wallpaper: choosing wallpaper and paint

The main planes are covered with a wide roller. The larger its size, the more evenly the paint is applied, and the speed of work also increases. The roller must be well soaked in a tray and squeezed out, then rolled over an unpainted section of the wall, adhering to one direction. The strips should be rolled with a slight overlap over the painted areas. There is no need to press on the tool, just roll the surface a sufficient number of times until the dots of unpainted disappear completely.

How to paint wallpaper: choosing wallpaper and paint

It is very important to paint the entire hotel wall or a fragment separated by interior details with paint at a time; this should be done without long interruptions. The movements of the roller during painting should initially be unidirectional, but when the entire surface is thoroughly painted over, the direction is changed to perpendicular. In this case, the roller does not need to be very wet, a very small amount of paint is enough. Cross-rolling is necessary to eliminate possible color unevenness that appears after drying. If, in the end, gaps or stripes still appear in the places of overlap, this is eliminated by repeated staining, which can be carried out with already diluted paint of the same color..

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