Does Old Wallpaper Need To Be Removed?

Here’s a question I get frequently:

Do you ever paper over wallpaper?

Well, the answer is Yes.

But a qualified yes.

You can install paper over your existing wallpaper if …

  • the existing paper was installed without a lot of seam lapping; if there is lapping, the seams will show through the next layer of wallpaper.
  • the existing paper is firmly secured to the walls with no peeling or mildew.
  • the coating on the existing paper is compatible with the adhesive that the manufacturer recommends.

It’s fifty-fifty. From my experience, half the time you can paper over the existing wallpaper with the right preparation.

If you do have to remove the paper, it is often fairly easy to do. Don’t let it be an obstacle for redecorating!  First, check your existing paper for the above symbol which  indicates it is a “strippable” wallpaper.  If it is, you should be able to easily do it yourself. If you’re not sure, check with a paperhanger before stripping.