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Should I prime/paint over 40+ year old wallpaper

Posted by Jimnba on April 30th, 2001 05:05 PM

Here's a perpelxing situation: My parents' home, built in 1908, was wallpapered by a previous owner. The paper runs from the foyer all the way up to the 3rd floor w/the same brown-caste-to-the-design wallpaper. At best guess, the paper job was already a couple of years old when my folks moved in during the early 1960's.
The wallpaper is now around 40 years old and has really darkened over the years. As part of a re-do of the foyer and entry hall, my folks wish to lighten things up. They want to paint and not go through the expense of hanging wallpaper that a future owner may not like.
The old wallpaperpaper is tight on the walls...the seams are tight. It's even still firmly attached to a couple of walls that have settled or were was bowed-out by some bathroom moisture damage (on the opposite side of a bathroom wall on an upper floor).
The magic question: Can we get away with simply sanding the seams, priming, then painting - OR- do we have to bite the bullet and strip off the old paper first?
Thanks for your opinions in advance!

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