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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    10

    Unhappy wallpaper dilemma

    HELP!!! The owner before me painted over wallpaper. I have been trying to strip it but no matter what I use (DIF and HOT water, steamer, etc) a yucky layer of gummy paste is still stuck on the wall. I can't seem to get it up without tearing up the wall itself. I've already got a lot of spots with brown cardboard looking stuff where I have stripped it down so bad coz the wall gets so wet. Is there anything I can do to get this off without ruining any more of the walls? My husband refuses to go with the idea to rip them all out and put up new drywall so I'm kind of stuck.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,609

    Default Re: wallpaper dilemma

    kschurter,

    I always preferred to remove old wallpaper when reasonally possible, however, sometimes you just have to accept the realities. Given enough labor, almost anything can be fixed, but it ain't fun.

    You say that hot water, steamers and DIF aren't doing the job. Whatever was used as paste does not appear to be particularly water soluble. Were I in your spot, I would probably sand down the existing surface to somewhat smooth out the irregularities and high spots and then prime everything with an quick dry oil based Primer such as KILZ or Coverstain. The "odor free" Kilz is a good idea in tight areas, as the others stink to high heaven!

    After sealing, the remaining imperfections will be obvious on the now white walls. That "brown cardboard" looking stuff you see is the underlying pulp of the drywall paper. At this point I would probably go over the entire area with a light skim coat of drywall topping compound, sanding when dry. When the walls are smooth to your satisfaction,you can reseal the entire area with an acrylic wall sealer followed by one or two coats of a quality acrylic wall paint.

    The whole precess is not fun, but it is the easier alternative. Unfortunately, you are paying for the sins of past owners who took shortcuts to quality decorating. Had that past owner taken down the paper rather than painting over it, your life would be easier now

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: wallpaper dilemma

    Knocking all the walls down and putting up new dry wall could be very costly. I agree that you shouldn't take that route and use wallpaper from a source that you know will be easy to take off for your next project!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: wallpaper dilemma

    I agree that point I would probably go over the entire area with a light skim coat of drywall topping compound, sanding when dry. When the walls are smooth to your satisfaction,you can reseal the entire area with an acrylic wall sealer followed by one or two coats of a quality acrylic wall paint.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: wallpaper dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by kschurter View Post
    HELP!!! The owner before me painted over wallpaper. I have been trying to strip it but no matter what I use (DIF and HOT water, steamer, etc) a yucky layer of gummy paste is still stuck on the wall. I can't seem to get it up without tearing up the wall itself. I've already got a lot of spots with brown cardboard looking stuff where I have stripped it down so bad coz the wall gets so wet. Is there anything I can do to get this off without ruining any more of the walls? My husband refuses to go with the idea to rip them all out and put up new drywall so I'm kind of stuck.
    The method I used that was the best I have used so far is the cup of vinegar in a gallon of warm water one. You can spray it on but I
    found that just dipping a scotch-brite pad in it and wiping down the spots worked. The scrubby pad is key here.

    I'm sure you know this by now but try not to get the walls too wet.

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