Painted over wallpaper: strip or repaint?
April 7, 2014
The house we are buying has wallpaper that has already been painted over several times. We would really like to peel the paper and just paint, but we are not very experienced DIYers and are concerned about it being a bigger job than we initially thought. Some of the corners are peeling, but in one bathroom where the paper is peeling it looks it may have been put up directly on top of the drywall.
How big of a job (time, money, expertise) is stripping painted wallpaper?
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May I ask when your house was built? Usually it is considered best to strip wallpaper (even painted-over wallpaper) to get a nice smooth finish for a painted wall. But in the case of older houses with lead paint beneath the wallpaper, it is sometimes recommended to use the wallpaper to seal in the bottom layers of lead paint and just keep on painting over it. Stripping the wallpaper, in that situation, could release lead dust from the paint beneath. But this is only an issue with houses built before the 1970's.
    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 9:42AM
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there is a little discrepancy about the date, but sometime in the late 70's, we think 1979.
    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 10:25AM
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That's probably fine, then. 1978 was the official cut off year for taking lead out of paint. So you should be able to strip the wallpaper (or have it professionally done) without worrying about what you are releasing beneath. Others will have to advise you about the best techniques for stripping painted-over wallpaper, however. As our house is from 1929, I do not have experience with that particular DIY project.
    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 10:35AM
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