After doing all the hard work of removing wallpaper, painting the room will seem like the easy part of the job. As long as the walls are prepared properly, painting after removing wallpaper is a breeze. Count on painting the ceiling as well – this is almost always necessary after removing wallpaper. Here are some professional tips for your new paint job.

How To Paint After Removing Wallpaper 1

Step 1


Wash the walls with a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 1 part water. Use a bucket and sponges or rags, turning them frequently. Finish up by rinsing the walls down, working from the bottom to the top. This is to get all remaining wallpaper paste residue off. While it might be tempting to paint without washing the walls first, you run the risk of hairline cracking and peeling weeks later as the paint cures.

Step 2

Repair all wall defects, like holes, cracks, and dings. For smaller holes and cracks use no-shrink spackle. If the damage is more extensive, use joint compound applied with a 6 to 9-inch drywall knife. Once dry, sand the repairs and prime them with general purpose primer or PVA drywall sealer.

Step 3

Cover floors and furniture in the room with drop cloths and plastic sheeting. Paint the ceilings. Unless there is crown molding, you will inevitably need to paint ceilings after removing wallpaper.

Step 4

Tape the ceiling with painter’s low-tack blue tape unless you have a steady enough hand to paint a straight line along the ceiling, or are using the same paint for ceilings and walls. If not painting the baseboards, tape those as well. Be sure to firmly press the tape down to prevent bleed-through. Don’t be tempted to cut costs by getting regular masking tape because it does not do a very good job of sealing the edge for crisp, straight lines.

How To Paint After Removing Wallpaper 2

Step 5

Count on doing two coats of paint when painting walls after wallpaper removal. Cut in the walls with a brush and roll the first coat, allow that to dry and do your finish coat. Let the paint dry completely before removing the masking tape but don’t leave the tape on for over 48 hours.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check the link below for complete instructions on painting a room professionally.
  • The higher quality tools you use, the better and faster the job will come out.
  • Use flat ceiling paint on the ceiling, and suitable, good quality paint on the walls.
  • Be sure to remove all wallpaper paste residue. Otherwise, your paint job will look great at first, then start developing hairline cracks everywhere as the paint cures and shrinks.

Things Needed

  • Vinegar and water
  • Bucket
  • Rags and sponges
  • Joint compound
  • Spackle
  • Drywall knife
  • Putty knife
  • Sanding pads
  • Primer
  • Drop Cloths
  • Masking tape
  • Roller frame and cover
  • Bucket and grid or paint tray
  • Brush
  • Extension Pole
  • Wall paint

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