Decorating questions - Primer and painting over wallpaper

29 Apr 2012
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United Kingdom

having always lived in rented accomodation before a bit of a decorating novice. Few questions if someone can kindly help me:

1) can MDF primer be used on normal softwood. I need to prime and paint (most likely using solvent based satinwood) a new handrail we have put in. dont know what wood is it to be honest.

2) i am planning to paint over a wallpaper which is textured but in generally good condition. i suspect but not sure it has alerady been painted over before. Can someone pl help me with following:

a) In some corners the wallpaper is sticking out, do i just get normal wallpaper glue and put back?are there any recommended ones?

b) do i need to or is it recommended to clean "wallpaper wall" prior to painting? i mean do i need to use something like sugar soap etc?

c) if painting over wallpaper, do i need to put a white undercoat or is this decided purely by the colour deference between existing colour and new intended colour. new colour is almond white and existing wallpaper is quite faded and almost cream.

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Hi xyz, in answer to your questions...

1) I expect you wouldnt have any issues with this, but having never done it, I cant be sure. A tin of primer/undercoat suitable for softwood is fairly cheap...

2a) Yep, normal wallpaper paste but PVA works as well. Paint it on, leave it for 5 min for the paper to soften, then stick it down

b) You can potentially ruin the paper by doing that, but I would recommend a wipe over. Sugar soap would work well ,just dont get the paper too wet

c) Should be fine just using your normal paint, perhaps water the 1st coat down by 10%
Steer clear of PVA if you get it on the face of the paper it's like trying to paint teflon.

Something like Solvite overlap adhesive is good for small lifted areas otherwise any wallpaper paste will do, a small ready mixed is good for small jobs, always dampen the loose paper first and leave to soften before sticking down.

I would wipe with a damp microfibre cloth, how wet you can get it depends of if it is normal paper or vinyl.

If it is normal paper just paint away, if it is vinyl you might be better giving it a coat of zinsser bullseye 123 it is for difficult shiny surfaces like plastic, it is also a stain block so will help to kill the colour of the paper too.
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