Vinyl wallpaper??? Should I paint it or just cover it up?

brit5467April 20, 2014

My bathroom desperately needs painting. But it appears someone installed the paper overtop of sheetrock without painting or priming the sheetrock removing the paper is not an option (so I was told by the painter girl that my landlord hired who did the rest of my house).

And she didn't want to tackle painting it because the seams are coming apart. Too much prep for what she was getting paid.

So I'm ready to tackle it. How do I begin? Am I biting off more than I can chew? I know I can Google this but thought maybe someone here had personal experience and could provide some tips.

Money is not really an object (within reason) because it NEEDS done so I'm sure my landlord will pay for whatever materials I need.

In fact, if there is a better option than painting, go ahead and suggest that. I had thought about putting up cheap white paneling, like beadboard. It's a beach cottage so it can look 'shabby-chic' Doesn't have to be perfect.

It's a small bathroom ~ 5 x 8. One of the 5' wall is the fiberglass tub/shower enclosure so would only need 2' of panel to go above that. And the other 5' wall is the door wall, which is a big old wooden exterior door so it takes up more than half that wall. Then there one 8' wall which has the sink cabinet, wide mirrored cabinet and toilet, so wouldn't need that entire wall covered. I'm telling you all this since it figures into the expense, which I'm unsure of.


This post was edited by brit5467 on Mon, Apr 21, 14 at 11:15

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Peel it, prep it, paint it. If they have to do some repairs, that can be addressed, too. No big deal by a real painter.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 10:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think you may have overlooked the beginning of my post. The painter is not going to do this. I'm taking on this job.

The painter said if you peel it off it will rip off the paper on the sheetrook (she tried and that's what happened) since it was never primed or painted.

And altho I said the landlord will pay and money is no object (within reason), perhaps I didn't say that

She will pay for materials to fix it but she's not going to spend a lot of for the painter to get paid labor to glue seams, etc. I am the

And btw, my landlord is not cheap. It's just that she has not increased my rent since 2002 so I do all I can to save her on maintenance. It's just "the way we roll"

And I thought maybe it would be cheaper to put something over it then having to buy all the materials it would require to prep the vinyl surface (seam glue, primer, paint). And if not cheaper, then at least easier for me.

I see that Lowe's sells 8' x 7.5' PCV beadboard for about $22 for 3 boards (not sure on price since description says 1 board in pkg but Q&A says 3/pkg...need to find out) and people used it in bathroom without having to paint it.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 10:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You cannot be the labor if you don't know the basics of doing this work (not meant as an insult, either). Putting up sheets of beadboard (or whatever) presents other challenges.

Once again...this is easy stuff for a pro. There are a couple ways to do it, which a pro will know. If the current painter doesn't want to take it on (because they don't get paid enough or know enough), find another and pay them yourself (or a portion) to do it. How about getting a quote, at least?

This post was edited by homebound on Mon, Apr 21, 14 at 11:59

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 11:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Painting over wallpaper would look awful. You'll notice all the seams, any peeling edges as well. You can strip it, but yes, the paper on the sheetrock will tear in places (a lot of them!) Removing wallpaper can be slow, tedious work if the surface was never primed first. Once you get all the paper off, you will need to use wall putty to fill in and smooth out all the places where the wallboard paper came off. This is where it is critical, bad puttying sticks out like a sore thumb. Not to discourage you, it is do-able, we've done it more than we'd like to recall, but my husband is experienced in sheetrocking and puttying.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 1:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Research wallpaper removal...there are a lot of posts online where people share their techniques to minimize drywall damage. A steamer might also make the job easier and minimize wall damage.

The painter did not want to do this because it is a PITA job...of course when she showed caused damage; it sounds as if she did nothing to mitigate it so it became a job she did not have to do.

Removal and repair will be tedious, somewhat messy, but totally doable for someone who researches. Also research drywall repair techniques after removal of wallpaper. Once the wallpaper and paste is off, buy a small piece of drywall; replicate the damage you see on your walls, and practice repairs with drywall compound, types of trowels or blades for the kind of damage, sandpaper/sanding blocks/sponges, and spray texture (recommend for ease of use) if your walls have any kind of texture to them. Remember building up thin layers of compound (dry each layer before you add another) instead of one thick layer works best for repairing any deep damage.

You can do this if you research and practice. I taught myself after waiting years for my husband to find someone to repair the walls of our large de-papered family room. I got fed up with his procrastination again and just one can tell what was de-papered/repaired and what wasn't. Patience, diligence, and persnicketiness are important.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 10:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Remove the wallpaper. Google for guides, videos, etc. to remove wallpaper from drywall. After you've got it removed, hire a drywall guy to make the repairs. Since it's a small room, it shouldn't be too expensive. Then paint it yourself.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 8:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There is a primer called Gardz - it is especially good for fixing up dammaged drywall.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardz Info

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 10:54AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Large scale Asbestos Removal?!!
We are planning a large home renovation. First step...
Stucco On French Door Installation
Hi, I am replacing a window with french doors in the...
Insulating exterior walls with rigid foam
We live in Silicon Valley, where the climate is moderate....
Joint Compound on Plaster Walls - Discoloration and bubbles?
We are having joint compound applied to our old plaster...
Small bath remodel - problem tub size
I could use some advice. We decided it is high time...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™