+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    8

    Default Wallpaper over Plaster

    My home is 210 years old. The walls are plaster over lathe and in good shape. I wallpapered the room 10 years ago but the seams never seemed to adhere well. I recently removed the paper (literally peeled off without any steam, remover etc). I am going to re-paper the room and wondered if there were any ideas on how to prep the walls so the paper/seams would adhere properly. I've thought about painting the walls and have looked for a finish that would help the paper adhere but can't seem to find anything.
    Ideas?
    Thanks,
    Bob

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,804

    Default Re: Wallpaper over Plaster

    Bare plaster is hard and slick. Years ago, bare plaster walls would be "sized" prior to hanging paper. Sizing was merely covering the plaster with a layer of thinned down wallpaper paste. Sizing would give the walls a little "tack" to aid in holding the paper down. This type of sizing should NEVER be used over drywall, as it adheres the paper so well to the more porous drywall, that removal becomes very difficult.

    In later years, many types of wallprep products have come on the market. These are mostly clear vinyl coatings that are rolled on the wall to seal and give some tack to the surface. These have been beneficial over drywall because of its porousness. These products will give additional adhesion to plaster also.

    Before the advent of of the vinyl wallprep products, wallpaper manufacturers would often recommend rolling a coat of flat oil paint to the surface, again, to facilitate sealing and better adhesion.

    Bad seams are one of the problems by wallpapering. Edges often dry out when wallpaper is "booked" ( folded over for a few minutes while the paste relaxes the paper). You can un-book the paper and add more paste to the edges. You can also lift the edges on the wall and apply a little more paste to the wall along where the seams fall.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Ladson,SC
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Wallpaper over Plaster

    Wall paper over Perimeter plaster walls will fail at the corners and seams due to moisture migration thru the plaster.
    Plaster can and will hold moisture based of the area and humidity in your area, along the coast plaster will contain a higher content than inland as this moisture moves out or towards the interior it will travel thru the seams which will affect the adhesion of the glue to the plaster Vinyl covered wall paper will be affected more so than the paper products.
    Sealing older plaster would in my opinion cause major damage to the Old plaster due to trapped moisture.
    In my experience most plaster on buildings which I have worked dating back to 1701 thru 1860"s and at present time on a theatre 1922 the plaster failure in 85% was caused by the use of in-appropriate materials and moisture problems.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,804

    Default Re: Wallpaper over Plaster

    When I was a young fellow growing up in Chicago ( 1950's) I hung and removed a lot of wallpaper in older plastered homes. I grew up in an 1887 Victorian with plaster walls. I can't remember that I experienced that much problem with loosening wallpaper. However, in those days virtually no papers came with plastic coatings. Also, most homes had radiator heat which tends to leave the air bone dry in winter. Wheat and cellulose pastes were the common adhesives. They were also thinned to make a "sizing".

    Indeed, common practice way back at the turn of the last century, was to immediately cover new plaster walls with canvas and then paint over it. This would prevent spider cracks and also allow years of accumulated paint build-up to be merely pulled right off the wall cleanly. Such a canvas coating, especially with oil paint, would have been an affective moisture barrier.

    I have seen Mylar wallpapers trap moisture in a wall and cause significant damage within the wall. Mylar is virtually air and moisture impenetrable. Mylar is what those party balloons that stay inflated for weeks are made of.

    I bow to Hank Bauer's expertise, but I personally feel the great majority of wallpaper failure is simply due to improper hanging.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Wallpaper over Plaster

    Thanks for the excellent responses. In looking back, I do think it wasn't the best paper in the world as I remember having a lot of problems. I've papered other rooms in the same house without an issue so hopefully this time the new paper will work as well as the others.
    Bob

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,804

    Default Re: Wallpaper over Plaster

    rswanson,

    Most of the moderately priced wallpapers now-a-days come pre-pasted with a cellulose paste. My experience is that it often had way too much paste, or way to little. Often I would have to open the paper after "booking" it and re-roll it with additional paste because it was too dry. The most important thing is that the edges be totally covered with the paste.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •