Painting Over Existing Wall Coverings

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 16,279
    Spike Carlsen with Family Handyman Magazine explains how to paint a wall that has an existing wall covering on it.

    Spike Carlsen: Hi! I am Spike Carlsen. I am a contributing editor with the Family Handyman Magazine, the number one do it yourself and home improvement magazine on the planet.

    We are looking at troublesome and tricky painting situations and one thing you'll frequently run into is wanting to paint a wall that has an existing wall covering on it. It's always best to remove that wall covering if you can but often times there are problem with that. With wood paddling often times you'll find that it's been glued to the dry wall and when you pull that off the glue on the back pulls off the facing of the dry wall and then you have a problem with getting a smooth surface.

    With wallpaper unless the surface has been prepared properly, when you remove the wallpaper again it can damage the dry wall underneath -- it created even a bigger problem then you when started. And ceramic tile is often again it's so well that removing it can create problem.

    So what we are going to do today is take a look at how we can create smooth surfaces on all of these surfaces and as always preparation is the key. Let's start out by taking a look at the wood paneling.

    You want to wash it with a good TSP or a TSP substitute. Just give it a good scrubbing not to get in grooves, get rid of any visible marks you'll scrub the entire panel and when you're done with that then give it a good rinsing. If you want a smooth surface you need to fill grooves with spackling compound.

    Lots of times the grooves will only be 6 or 8 inches apart, here we have them quiet often. But basically you just need to fill each groove so use a stiff putty knife and use spackling compound, work it down, fill each groove; it's better to put in too much then not enough because you are going to go back over and sand it down. Sometimes it will take a second coat of spackle because the compound will shrink a little bit the grooves on the first coat.

    Now it's time to sand it to get a really smooth surface. Just take a medium grid sandpaper, put it around a sandy gloss and just start sanding things smoothly. If you have a random orbital sander, hook it upto your wet/dry vacuum. Make sure that they take protection to keep the dust out of your lungs and out of your room if you use that, it will go much faster.

    If you want smooth surface your best tool for this is going to be a foam roller and a good primer and just start roll on them. One thing we have to do on this log is give it a good coat of paint, use a foam roller and again you'll get nice smooth results.

    Now let's move over to the next thing. We've got wallpaper. It's stuck there, it's going to stay there; we want to go over it. The first thing we are going to do is give it a good washing with TSP. Once you've washed the wall with TPS you are going to want to give a quick rinsing and then make sure it's dried before you go on to the next step. As you are washing it down inspect it for any little holes, then go back with your dry wall compound and fill those areas in. It's always better to put on a little bit too much than not enough. Once your filler is dried just take a sanding block and some sandpaper and go over very lightly to smooth out the surfaces. Go over the scenes, over the larger areas.

    Final step to get ready for paint is just apply a good coat of primer, pay special attention to the area that you've sanded smooth. You've given it a good coat of primer, it's ready for paint.

    Now let's move under our next project, painting over ceramic tile. Surface prop again is the key and again our friend TSP is what we are going to use. Give it a good washing, when you're done with it give it a good rinsing. When you're done with the rinsing dry it off with a tericot towel and you're ready to go onto the next step.

    Give this a good sanding which is going to do two things. It's going to remove any glossy surface on it and it's going to give it a little bit of tooth, a little bit of something so the primer can bite into it. So take a random orbital standard, use a medium or fine grid paper in it and go over the entire surface to give it that too.

    Okay, the final step in getting ready to paint is to apply a good primer. You want to make sure you have one that's compatible with ceramic tile. Just read the label that will tell you. Concentrate on the scenes first and then for next time you can go over and get the main surface of the tile to even everything out.

    Okay, the ceramic tile is ready to paint. You've got your primer on it if you go it well you've got your ceramic tile. You've dot your wallpaper surface and you have your wood paneling with the grooves in it. All surfaces that if you were to take off old surface will cause you trouble, but with the proper preparation you can paint right over. There you go, go to work.