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Old 08-13-2014, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Colorado
546 posts, read 1,554,884 times
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I have been pondering how to redo my study for over a year now. It is the only room of the house that has not been updated and is right off the front entry. We have some beautiful dark wood bookshelves and also some real wood on the walls and around the window. It is not the ugly paneling type--it actually looks well done. The problem is the room is just too dark. On one of the full walls and the wall with the window/built in window seat there is some 1970s looking straw colored grass cloth wall paper. I was going to have it stripped but one of my friends suggested painting over it with a light/ neutral color and the texture would look cool with the paint. My fear is it will look crappy and the wall paper will be even more difficult to get rid of. Any opinions or experience with this?
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:15 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,419 posts, read 39,109,823 times
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Painting over wallpaper is generally a horrible idea. Some papers pull away as they cannot support the weight, seams are more visible... and as you said, it is even more difficult to get rid of.
Do it right... strip the paper.
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:22 AM
 
Location: NC
7,194 posts, read 8,877,996 times
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Lots of times you CAN paint over wall paper. However, grass cloth paper would not be one of them. First, the texture would hold too much paint, leading to drips and slubs. Second the weight of the paint just might cause the paper to loosen. Third, unless you used spray paint it would be difficult to cover the backs, sides and fronts of the fibers. Fourth, it would look like crap. As a side note, if you do paint over any wall paper it may make it agonizingly difficult to remove in the future.
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Colorado
546 posts, read 1,554,884 times
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That's what I was thinking...it would look really messy around the seams and uneven due to the texture instead of looking "cool". Think I am going to have to strip it-- ugh!
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Old 08-13-2014, 04:38 PM
 
2,885 posts, read 3,610,500 times
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Don't~ The former owner of our home painted over wallpaper in the bathroom! NIGHTMARE....You could see the the seam, glue marks , etc...:P We removed it.....A lot work for sure!
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Old 08-14-2014, 05:51 AM
 
Location: Madison, AL
1,614 posts, read 1,815,015 times
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I painted grass cloth in my old den & it looked great. But it took a TON of paint! Like 3 times as much as it would've taken on drywall. Never had a problem with it pulling away or anything.
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Colorado
546 posts, read 1,554,884 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TN2HSV View Post
I painted grass cloth in my old den & it looked great. But it took a TON of paint! Like 3 times as much as it would've taken on drywall. Never had a problem with it pulling away or anything.
Ours is definitely on there good. Our house is 35 years old and I think it is original. I'm nervous the walls are going to look like crap when we remove it.
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Old 08-14-2014, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Madison, AL
1,614 posts, read 1,815,015 times
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That's a key point. Ours had been on there since the house was built, 40+ years ago. it would not budge! Paint didn't adversely affect it at all, and it improved the look of the room 100%

Go ahead and try it on a section of the wall. If it's horrible, take it down. It's either that or take it down anyway, so you don't have anything to lose! except time & a little paint.
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Old 08-14-2014, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Baker City, Oregon
3,954 posts, read 6,111,998 times
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Grasscloth is usually easy to remove with wallpaper remover and water mixture.

It can also be painted successfully.

But, for the same reason it's easy to remove, you should not use a water thinned primer (latex) for the first coat - the water might loosen the grasscloth.

Use an oil based primer for the first coat and you should be OK.
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Old 08-14-2014, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
47,248 posts, read 45,587,531 times
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The den in our 1973 ranch has painted-over grasscloth, and it DOES look cool the way you thought it would. The texture really gives the neutral color some interest. It brightens the room ... one whole wall in that room is a stone fireplace, and below the chair rail was paneling. You can imagine how painting all the walls highlighted the stone and lightened the space.

I just walked around and checked the seams, and they must have done a GREAT job hanging it because I only saw one visible seam above a doorway.

We also had flocked wallpaper in the foyer. We *tried* removing it from three of the walls. It was horrible, and we ended up heavily patching with spackle and having to get new drywall on one wall. I did leave the flocked paper on one wall, painted all the walls the same color, and ended up with a very cool texture treatment on that one wall.
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