How To Change Ugly Vinyl Wallpaper or Paneling To Textured Walls

There seems to be misinformation out that when a manufactured home or trailer house has vinyl walls, then it must remain that way.  That is just not true and it actually lowers your property value.  The good news is that it can be changed easily and at a reasonable cost without having to drywall the room.  The same is true for site-built homes as well.  You can also texture over paneling, and virtually any kind of wall without having to do new drywall if the wall is in reasonable shape.
learn how to change ugly vinyl wallpaper or paneling to textured walls
  1. The first step is to Remove all decor, light switch and plug-in covers and anything such as nails or screws used to hang decor on the wall. 
  2. pop off all those vinyl covered wooden trim boards.  a slot screwdriver is just the trick for prying these up.  After they are all removed, use a hammer to pound in any remaining nails that are sticking up.
  3.  It is best to remove the vinyl wallpaper.  You can see how to do this in my post about Homemade Wallpaper Remover.  If the wallpaper is ripping drywall away or won't come away then it is acceptable to texture over the top of it. I have done this with success many times.  Keep in mind that if the wallpaper comes away easily then the texture is only on as good as the glue that holds your wallpaper up.  
  4. Use mesh tape to cover all the cracks, holes, and corners (inside and outside).  Then use joint compound (buy it pre-made it is so much easier!) to cover all the places you have taped with a putty knife.  I try to get this as smooth as possible on this step because I hate sanding.  If you have a deep hole then you may need to do this several times and allow it to dry each time before adding more till it is adequately filled.  Allow this to dry before the next step.
  5. If you have a large hole to cover then there are some great patch repair pieces you can purchase that have a piece of aluminum and mesh tape to cover the hole with.  They come in a variety of sizes.  Just use a putty knife to cover these areas just as you would plain mesh tap.
  6. If you are rolling on texture or planning a smooth wall then you will need to sand all the rough areas after they are completely dry.  If you are troweling on texture you can skip this part.
  7. There are several ways you can texture on this step.  You can purchase roll on texture in the paint section and roll it on with a paint roller, or you can apply joint compound with a trowel and then use several options to give it the desired texture effect.  I like to roll it on but I also like to trowel it on.  Roll on texture looks much like orange peel texture.  In this case, we used a trowel on texture.  You can find the joint compound pre-made in the drywall section of the store.  You can buy it to mix up yourself but this is messy and not worth the difference in price in my opinion.
    How To change vinyl wallpapered walls to textured walls in A Trailer house 
  8. This texture is troweled on.
Changing a wallpapered wall or paneling into a roll on texture
Here is an example of rolled on texture rolled only once.

changing ugly vinyl wallpaper or panelling into textured walls
 This is an example of rolled on texture done twice.  Allow to dry between first coat and 2nd coat.

changing ugly wallpaper walls or paneled walls to textured walls easily
 This is an example of a troweled on texture that I did on my ceilings.  It looks like frosting.

changing ugly wallpaper walls or paneled walls to textured walls easily 1
 This is an example of a troweled on texture called a knockdown.  It is achieved by troweling it on, then setting your trowel in each area and pulling away which causes the texture to have popped up areas pulled up.  Then you let it sit for a few minutes (never more than 30) Then you come back and use your trowel to smooth the texture down again.

There are other ways of changing up your texture that involve a broom, long bristled brush, etc. but I tend to stay away from those because of the mess and because I really like the choices above.

The texture needs to dry at least 24 hours before painting.  It is best to paint with a primer first and then paint.  I have used the paints with primer in them with success on this kind of project too.

Now you know the process of changing vinyl wallpaper or paneling into a textured wall the simple way.

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Stacey said...

So much work, ugh! At our last house we had wallpaper in the kitchen. It was adhered very securely to the wall so we textured on top of it and painted. It worked great but I think you have to be choosey about doing that.

Debra Howard said...

Yes, removing wallpaper can sometimes be a huge job. This one wasn't too bad though, we didn't even have to use wallpaper remover on this one and the wallpaper came off in large sheets. Yes, you do have to be choosey about which ones to texture over. If it is not coming off easily then you are OK though.