Can I Mud Over the Wallpaper? [Solved & Explained]

The process of removing wallpaper from drywall can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. As a result, many people wonder if they can simply mud over the wallpaper. The answer is yes, you can mud over wallpaper, but it’s not typically recommended. However, if you’re working on a budget or are pressed for time, mudding over wallpaper might be a viable option.

Preparing the Wallpaper for Mudding

Before you start mudding, it’s crucial to prepare the wallpaper properly. This involves removing any old or peeling wallpaper from the wall, ensuring the wallpaper is sealed against water, and checking that there are no bubbles under the wallpaper. If you have the time, it’s generally better to remove the wallpaper entirely before mudding, as this can save you a lot of trouble in the future.

Can I Mud Over the Wallpaper?
Can I Mud Over the Wallpaper?

Is Mud Over Wallpaper Adhesive?

Joint compound mud, which is often used for mudding, can stick to almost any type of surface, including wallpaper. After cleaning the wallpaper surface, you can go directly to mudding. However, it’s important to note that while mud can adhere to wallpaper, the wallpaper itself needs to be properly attached to the wall to prevent it from peeling off in the future.

Pros and Cons of Mudding Over Wallpaper

Mudding over wallpaper can be used to fix joints and crack areas, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. Here are some pros and cons to consider:

Cons of Using Mud Over Wallpaper

  1. Bubbles: When you cover old and cracked wallpaper with mud, there’s a high chance of bubbling. The moisture in the mud can cause the paper to bubble up.
  2. Wrinkling: Wallpaper can quickly absorb water from the mud before it dries, leading to a wrinkled or cracked appearance.
  3. Difficulty Removing Wallpaper: Once the mud dries on the wallpaper, it can be hard to remove. In some cases, you might not be able to remove the wallpaper from the drywall at all, which can cause permanent damage.
  4. Peeling Wallpaper: The weight of the mud can cause the wallpaper to peel. This issue can be exacerbated by the presence of bubbles and wrinkles.

Pros of Using Mud Over Wallpaper

  1. Quick Job: If you’re short on time and the project isn’t permanent, mudding over wallpaper can be a quick solution.
  2. Cost-Effective: Mudding over wallpaper doesn’t require as many coats of mud as a drywall mudding project. You can apply one or two coats and then proceed to paint.
  3. Small Fixes: You can fix small cracks in your wallpaper with mud, provided you follow the proper method.

Skim Coating Over Wallpaper

While you can skim coat over wallpaper, it’s not usually a good idea if you’re trying to hide the paper. The skim coat can cause bubbles and wrinkles on the paper. However, if necessary, you can skim coat over the wallpaper.

Before applying a skim coat, it’s recommended to remove any bubbled or cracked paper areas. You can do this using a sharp blade and a putty knife. After removing these areas, you’ll need to make the fixed area waterproof before applying mud. This can be done using a primer like Zinsser Gardz. Once the primer dries, you can apply an all-purpose joint compound to the area.

Applying Texture Over Wallpaper

Applying texture directly over wallpaper isn’t recommended. The texture contains water, which can cause the wallpaper to bubble. Before applying texture, you should make the wallpaper water-resistant. This can be done using a sealer like Zinsser Gardz.

Mudding Over Torn Drywall Paper

You can paint over torn drywall paper, but not directly. Before applying a skim coat, you should seal the paper with a water sealer, fix any old cracks, and clean off any dust.

Taping and Mudding Over Wallpaper

Whether or not you need to use tape on wallpaper depends on your specific project. Most of the time, you won’t need to use tape. However, if your project requires it, you can use mesh tape on the first dry coat of mud. After taping, you can apply another coat of mud.


While mudding over wallpaper is possible, it comes with its own set of challenges. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding to proceed with this method. If done correctly, mudding over wallpaper can be a quick and cost-effective solution for certain projects.

Leave a comment