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Old 06-14-10, 10:02 AM   #1
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Default Removing Painted Over Wallpaper, Exposed Dry Wall, Stubborn Glue

Hi there,

I just moved into a house that has a few rooms with painted over wallpaper that has probably been there for twenty years or longer.

In the room we wanted to tackle first, it looks like the wallpaper had been partially removed or peeled off at some point, then the patchy/ripped off wallpaper surface was painted over to try to make it look even. We tried to peel of the wall paper manually as well as with a steamer. Either way a thin layer of fuzzy paper or glue seems to remain on some of the wall. On other spots some of the drywall covering came off revealing a cardboard like texture. The steaming seemed to get a little bit of water into these exposed areas so we stopped that. It didn't do this everywhere but enough drops to make us stop.

It looks like the walls weren't primed right for the wall paper whenever the house was built (I think in the 70s). So now we have walls with large patches of this glue (or fuzzy paper), paint (on the wall itself as well as painted over wallpaper), bare drywall (I assume it's drywall it has a kind of a thin uneven, plastery finish), and small bits of exposed drywall (feels/looks like cardboard).

The goal is to get an even surface to paint over.

From what I've read I need to put a seal on the exposed bits of drywall. But after that I'm not sure what to do. Should I try to sand the glue down to make it even with the wall? Is there something I can coat the whole wall with that I can then sand? Is there another option?

I know this is going to be a long and laborious adventure. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Old 06-14-10, 11:35 PM   #2
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We had some 15 year old glue that we contended with... we did the steamer (what a time consuming process!), we did the picking at it with razors... but in the end what worked best was using the paper tiger to put tons of holes in the wall and using a garden sprayer to spray vinegar all over the wall. The vinegar did an awesome job! I was seriously considering getting the chemicals and going that route, but tried this first. There is still lots of work, but it is 100 times faster than the steamer (maybe a bit of an exaggeration). You will still have to fill in uneven spots with drywall compound, and sand them down. Be sure to prime two coats, then paint two coats.
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Old 06-15-10, 09:07 AM   #3
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Thanks for the advice about the vinegar and the paper tiger!
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Old 06-21-10, 06:02 PM   #4
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So, did the vinegar and paper tiger combination work. When that happened to us, the paper tiger wasn't as good (with water) as we'd hoped. I swore if I ever had to do that job over, I'd just strip the sheetrock out and replace it. Sheetrock is cheap!
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Old 09-21-12, 09:12 AM   #5
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I had, still do in a few places, something like that, only mine was a fo (sp?) spanish style texturing. The paper tiger wouldn't touch the plaster. I even tried white vinegar. I decided I didn't want the smell in the walls. Finally I did just pull the walls down. I'm glad I did, because of all the shoddy wiring. It also gave me a chance to insulate the walls too.

Insulation isn't just for outside walls, it cuts down on the noise from room to room. I did farm out the mudding and taping. That really is an artwork to get it right and believe me, I'm no artist.

How did your reno go?

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