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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Default removal of stubborn wall paper

    I have what appears to be wall "cloth" more than paper in a 16' x 20' familyroom. its very thick and when pulled from wall, appears to be taking away from sheetrock covering.

    I know painting over this textured wall covering is a no-no, and will look terrible. the room has a bead-board vaulted ceiling, and wall-to-wall carpeting so I need to be careful about spraying anything onto paper. never used a steamer to remove. wondered what the latest and greatest method was to remove wall covering like this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: removal of stubborn wall paper

    I've had good luck with steamers to remove wallpaper. I don't know if a steamer will help with the drywall paper pulling off.
    The drywall may not have been primed.
    How are you with a spackle knife? I'm guessing you'd find out and be a pro in no time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    6,481

    Default Re: removal of stubborn wall paper

    A steamer will probably be the least messy and work the best. If you don't want to rent a steamer, then mix 1 cup of fabric softener in 1 gallon of warm water and sponge or spray it onto the wall, allowing it to soak into the paper and release the glue. The fabric softener breaks the waters surface tension, allowing it to more easily penetrate. To protect the floor, tarps or heavy plastic down and up the wall just a bit, then cover that with painters plastic and tape the plastic to the wall to seal the floor away from any moisture, water, and debris that is going to run down the wall and/or fall to the floor.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    New England
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    113

    Default Re: removal of stubborn wall paper

    I assume a wallpaper steamer is something that can be rented at your neighbor rental store. How big is one of these? Can one easily go up and down a ladder with one? Less "mess" is best in
    this room, so I'm game to try.

    if the sheetrock paper is pulled away, any tricks to covering up the
    inperfections?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
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    Default Re: removal of stubborn wall paper

    Crylakel,

    Go ahead and pull the fabric wallcovering trying to do as little damage as possible. Pull it slowly downward and parallel to the wall. Do not yank it outward from the wall. Those areas where the drywall fiber has been exposed will have to be treated. First, take a single edge razor blade and score the drywall just outside the bared paper fiber. Pull the small strip off to leave a nice neat edge. Sand the fiber lightly to leave it as smooth as possible. Now seal the bared fiber with a quick dry oil primer such as Kilz. Once the primer has dried, you can now use a water solution to clean the paste off the walls as Spruce has suggested. Once the wall is clean and dry, you can trowel on drywall compound to those areas you primed and protected with the oil primer. The primer will also prevent the moisture from the drywall compound from festering up the fiber of the drywall.
    After you have sanded your patches, you should spot prime them. You can change to an acrylic primer at this point. I would then put an additional coat of primer over the entire room. If you are using a strong color as your finish coat, have the primer tinted toward the finish color.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
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    Default Re: removal of stubborn wall paper

    Crylakel,
    My above post assumes you are talking aboput a vynil covered fabric or canvas. These normally pull cleanly, but if the wall was not sealed properly, they will pull the drywall paper off too. If it is vynil, water will not penetrate it , so you have no choice to pull it.


    Most fabrics such as grasscloths or silk silk would have a paper backing often allowing the overlay of fabric to be pulled leaving a brown paper backing on the wall. If this is the case, water should help loosen the cloth. If wetting the fabric, I would not wet too far ahead as the moisture might further damage the drywall. Do smaller sections and try to work quickly so as to not overly saturate the wall.

    Whatever you do, my advice for patching the damaged drywall remains the same as stated in the previous post. Removing paper was always one of my least favorite jobs. You never knew before beginning if it was going to be a cake walk or a nightmare! You are at the mercy of the fellow who hung the paper and whether he properly prepared the wall.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: removal of stubborn wall paper

    > My above post assumes you are talking about a vynil covered fabric or canvas. These normally pull cleanly, but if the wall was not sealed properly, they will pull the drywall paper off too. If it is vynil, water will not penetrate it , so you have no choice to pull it.

    >Most fabrics such as grasscloths or silk silk would have a paper backing often allowing the overlay of fabric to be pulled leaving a brown paper backing on the wall.


    this is a wallpaper w/a raised, grass-like texture/design to it ... not a smooth surface wallpaper. could almost be vacuumed, as opposed to washed down with a cloth. ya can't see any seams so whoever did it, did a good job hanging it. but have 20 years or
    so its dingy and shows a shadow along the wall studs.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
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    Default Re: removal of stubborn wall paper

    Crylakel,

    It sounds like you may have a heavy, embossed, re-enforced vinyl covered wallcovering. These were popular about 20 years ago. Most came out of Europe. Some of them were a fiber re-enforced paper which could be pulled dry. Others were 2 ply with an over layer which would pull off leaving a paper backing which would readily soak off the wall. Try taking a single edge razor blade to see if you can lift up an outer layer and pull it off. If not, you can resume pulling the stuff in its entirety. Because of the heavy embossing and rubbery like coating, it is difficult to score the surface to allow water to penetrate. If it is not pulling dry, it was probably hung without proper wall preparation and adhesion is so tight that you will damage the wall while pulling it. Then you are back to the patching process I wrote about above.

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