Wallpaper is still popular on commercial jobs. We are currently doing some wallpaper as part of a new Woodhouse Mazda project in Bellevue. It is not very popular on residential jobs. What we do most often is remove wallpaper on home projects.
It is best to remove wallpaper when possible but sometimes it is better to seal it and paint over it when it is going to cause too much damage to the walls in the removal process. When this situation arises the process is time consuming but not as bad as what is involved with wall repair when the paper won’t come off easy.
The first step is to make sure the paper is truly well adhered to the wall. Sometimes the paper is tight at the seams because they have been glued but the paper is fairly loose beyond that. If it has a good bond then you should be good to proceed. The areas need to be taped off for painting. Next is two coats of a quality oil base primer. Make sure to wait a fair amount of time between coats to insure the first coat is dry.
Any bubbles that may appear will need to be cut out and re-primed. Those bubbled areas will need to be skimmed over with drywall mud as well as all the wallpaper seams.
The areas that get drywall mud will need to be sanded and re-mudded as needed. Sand all those areas smooth and double prime with an alkyd primer.
Now it is a standard 2 coats of finish and clean-up. This system works but can be a bit time consuming. As long as you don’t cut corners it will work great. One note of caution. When dealing with an alkyd or oil base product, clean up is more of a challenge. Pay attention to any drips, etc. Clean them up while wet.