Remove all wallpaper or leave some?

14 Replies

Just closed on this 3 Bedroom 2Bath house that is getting rehabbed to be a rental property.

We were planning on painting the house top to bottom and redoing the hardwood under this carpet. My painter quoted me higher then normal because there is wallpaper in the entire house that I want removed. After getting the quote I am considering leaving some of it up. Should I just pony up the extra money and get this all removed and painted or do you think it looks good enough to leave some up?

If wallpaper is not peeling I would not recommend removing for a rental property.  Did painter also include floating walls and retexturing after wallpaper is removed?  I would consider painting trim and doors a contrasting color. 

Ugh. I think that's the same pattern my parents put up in their home in 1988. Please take it down. Your home will be much more marketable without it. 

I hate wallpaper and agree with @Dawn Brenengen  it really dates the property.

However, since this is a rental, if there is no issue with any of the paper being loose or beginning to peel, I would have the painters paint over the wall paper.  It's not what I would choose for my home, but it will neutralize the problem.  I'd choose a soft sandy color, in a flat or satin finish, which will make it even less noticeable that you've painted over the wallpaper.

Unless it's a higher priced rental area, leave it up. Wallpaper can last a long time, a lot of it is washable. When it does start to look abused, that will be the time to take it down and paint. 

Do NOT paint over it you will have a gawdawful (and expense) mess on your hands when it's time to redo it. Really . Don't do it don't do it don't do it.

Redoing the floors and getting a modern lighting fixture in there should be enough to make it quite attractive as a rental. It's not a flip, don't worry about being the nicest house in town.

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remove it!! Remove it all and burn it!!! It is definately a pain to remove but it needs to be done. Others have made a valid point in that it is a rental but someday you will sell. Someday it will wear out. Labor is cheaper today than 5 years from now. Bite the bullet and get it done right and reap the benefit of having it done right away...

Thanks Kyle - I agree. This is going to be a long term hold (probably) so I will take it down and get it right from the start.

Just think repairs alone. If someone puts a hole in the wall would you rather repaint or match up wall paper. With paint you can go as far as putting paint colors in the tenant contract so when mistakes happen the tenants can just fix it themselves. I think paint will be less hassle long term and short term it is more desirable.

Originally posted by @Shawn M.:

Just think repairs alone. If someone puts a hole in the wall would you rather repaint or match up wall paper. With paint you can go as far as putting paint colors in the tenant contract so when mistakes happen the tenants can just fix it themselves. I think paint will be less hassle long term and short term it is more desirable.

 Good Point! Now that you mention it that are already some holes that I didnt think about having to match with wallpaper. This reinforces my decision to get rid of it.

I fully agree with @Jean Bolger  . I would not incur the expense to take it down at this point. The pattern may not be from the new millennium but it would still work. It is subtle and a neutral color. It is fitting with the style of the home. The painted ceiling and trim look in good shape as well. Spend your money on more significant upgrades. 

When you say the wall paper already has some holes, are you talking about pin holes or fist holes? If a tenant puts significant holes in the walls, such as with a fist, then the damage at that point will be chargeable to the tenant. As to a painted wall, I would not allow tenants to "fix it themselves" by giving them the go ahead in their contract. Also, wall paper may be coming back in style, I just saw it used in a "Street of Dreams" home show last month! 

Originally posted by @Adam Craig:

Just closed on this 3 Bedroom 2Bath house that is getting rehabbed to be a rental property.

We were planning on painting the house top to bottom and redoing the hardwood under this carpet. My painter quoted me higher then normal because there is wallpaper in the entire house that I want removed. After getting the quote I am considering leaving some of it up. Should I just pony up the extra money and get this all removed and painted or do you think it looks good enough to leave some up?

Wallpaper is a serious pain. From the pics, it looks OK. I would say, if you're going to rent it, leave it. If you're going to flip, remove and paint it. But it really depends. 

I don't know why everybody says remove it.  Removing it is tedious, and can leave the underlying walls / ceilings in poor shape with gouges and other damage caused by the removal process, particularly if the walls / ceilings weren't sealed and sized before the paper went up. 

I don't like to paint over wallpaper; that makes it harder to remove it if you ever come to that point. 

The alternative is to cover it with thin drywall, a veneer of sorts. That gives you good new surfaces and might cost less than the strip and patch approach. 

I'd prime and paint over the rooms as the tenants destroy the wallpaper but I'd try to clean with magic erasers first.  

If the paint causes the wallpaper to bubble, I'd scrape the bubbling areas, skim coat and repaint as needed.  

The wallpaper might outlive your ownership in the property and I doubt a tenant will mind it that much.