It is possible to paint over vinyl wallpaper; however, if feasible, wallpaper should be removed prior to painting. If it is necessary to paint over vinyl wallpaper, certain preparation techniques must be utilized for proper results.
The best method is to remove the wallpaper, repair and prepare the walls and then apply paint, according to the National Guild of Professional Paperhangers. If, however, there are multiple layers of wallpaper or if taking it down may destroy the walls, leaving it up is an option. In that case, the painter needs to seal the wallpaper to the wall in any torn places, spackle over seams and irregularities and apply an oil-based primer prior to painting. Painting over wallpaper makes future wallpaper removal more difficult.