|
|
Boonville Daily News - Boonville, MO
  • Ask Angie: 3 things to do before you paint over wallpaper

    • email print
      Comment
  • Dear Angie: Can wallpaper be painted over? — Elena D., Houston
    Dear Elena: The better question might be: Should wallpaper be painted?
    Basically, yes, it can be painted, but highly rated painters our team interviewed recommend removing it first. The extra work that removal requires is usually worth it, since painted wallpaper may bubble and seams may show. Sometimes, getting wallpaper wet with paint can even cause it to peel off.
    On top of it all, painting over wallpaper will eventually create extra work for you or others, since it’s more difficult to remove. You might even damage a wall when removing painted wallpaper, especially if the paper was on the wall for years.
    Be aware, though, that if you remove wallpaper, you may uncover the need to do extra prep work, such as patching or retexturing a now-bare wall.
    But if you’re determined to paint over wallpaper, consider these pro-recommended steps:
    1. Apply an alcohol-based sealer over the wallpaper.
    2. Spread a coat of drywall compound over the wallpaper seams. After the compound dries, lightly sand it. With textured wallpaper, you may want to spread drywall compound over the entire surface.
    3. Apply a latex primer that’s been tinted to match your paint color. Then, apply two coats of latex paint and hope for the best.
    If you’d rather not do painting or wallpaper work yourself, be smart about hiring. Get multiple bids from pros who have good reputations among your friends, family, neighbors or on a trusted online review site. Be sure to get a contract that spells out cost and all other important details.
    Dear Angie: Are ventless fireplaces safe? — Beverly S., Macomb, Mich.
    Dear Beverly: The safety of ventless fireplaces has sparked debate for quite some time now.
    The answer to your question depends largely on who you talk with. Some fireplace experts our team spoke with are against using them for health reasons, while others say there are very few safety concerns and many benefits that come with using ventless systems.
    Some municipalities have banned ventless fireplaces because of the alleged dangers. California is the only state that has banned them completely, but other jurisdictions have limited their use. In North Carolina and Washington, D.C., for example, they are prohibited in bedrooms and bathrooms to prevent excess carbon monoxide from building up in small areas.
    Carbon monoxide, which can be deadly, is among the unburned combustion products that are vented into the home from ventless fireplaces, according to the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors.
    However, most ventless fireplaces are installed with an oxygen-detection sensor that will turn the fireplace off if oxygen levels in the home become too low. But opponents say there are still no safety nets in the case the detection sensor fails. A reduction in oxygen is more dangerous for people with respiratory illnesses or young children.
    Page 2 of 2 - Other service providers say ventless fireplaces can release water vapor and produce a burning gas odor. But federal regulations state that the byproducts’ emission levels are safe.
    Some installers of the ventless systems say there’s not much difference between running gas stove burners — which don’t have oxygen sensors — for long periods of time and using a ventless fireplace. If they’re installed correctly and serviced each year, they should run fine and not be a danger, they say.
    Ventless systems are generally designed only to be used as a supplemental heating source and should not be run for long stretches.
    Ventless systems, which do not have a chimney, also have a reputation of running more efficiently. They are generally cheaper, too. The systems can range in price from $2,500 to $4,000, while a typical vented unit often goes for $5,000 to $6,000.
    Either way, make sure to do plenty of research before deciding what’s best for you.
    Each month, Angie’s List collects more than 65,000 consumer reviews covering 720-plus home and health services. We welcome your questions at askangie@angieslist.com. For answers, Angie’s List researchers condense the best advice from highly rated service pros. McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

        calendar