Wallpaper or Paint?
About a year ago I purchased a 1905 Colonial. I love this house. But like so many houses of it's era it needs a LOT of updating.
Having lived in an old apartment building for many years I knew I wouldn't have any trouble updating the "cosmetics" on my own. I decided to start with what will eventually become my child's bedroom. I went to my favorite store, Home Depot, and purchased all the materials and supplies I would need to get the job done. I scored the walls and sprayed on my Dif; let it set then started scrapping off the awful dark blue floral wallpaper. Of course to my surprise there was another layer of wallpaper. This one grey with floral pattern. I repeated the same steps all over again. To my surprise I find a layer of red paint. Yep, red with what appeared to be white sponging. Great. Well not to bore you too much but when I finally removed the paint layer there was yet ANOTHER LAYER OF WALLPAPER! Ugh! Okay I figure I have gone this far I really can't stop now. I get that layer off and now I am down (finally) to the plaster walls. But wait I can't leave out the best part. Under all these fabulous layers I find a paint can lid. Yes you read it right. A paint can lid was pushed in flush to the wall and covered with the afore mentioned layers. Well, I am sure there is not one person out there who wouldn't have did this, so I pryed it off. I wanted to see what and why there was a paint can lid in my wall. There of course is a big hole behind it. I get a duct company to come and look at the hole and tell me what it is. They tell me it leads to the chimney. Must have been a heater or something at some point. So now I have to go back to my favorite store and get something to plug it up along with the furnace compound to make it heat resistant. It took a week for all the layers to dry. And this wall turned out to be in the worst condition of all the walls in this room. There was a big giant crack going from this hole in the wall up to the ceiling. So now I get to fix the cracks and prime and all the joys of finally getting ready to customize my paint job.
The room is still not finished. It took almost a year to remove all the layers of wallpaper and paint. And months to finally figure out what the hole was and how to go about repairing it. I will say that I have only one wall left to finish repairing. All the others are done, primed and awaiting their paint job and what ever other finishing touches I want to give them.
At one point in this saga I ran out of compound for my plaster repairs and decided to start another room instead of being idle while awaiting my next trip to Home Depot. The wallpaper was thick and felt like vinyl and came off with just a pull. Underneath was a layer of old glue. "This room is was going to be easy" I thought. I discoved that straight white vinegar takes the glue right off the plaster. I started to remove the glue and should not have been surprised, found another layer of wallpaper. I put down my sc****r and walked out of the room closing the door behind me. This project is for another day.
Re: Wallpaper or Paint?
Had a similar issue in my 1900 house - tore down the the horsehair plaster/lathe - ran new wiring (to get rid of old unused sconses nipples insulated and put up new drywall - then got dragged into another project and did not end up mudding/painting for months...
Also had the chimney issue - but in my kitchen - found this thing and was like what the... pulled off the cap to feel the breeze blowing down the chimney... old houses- its always something