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Wallpaper removal

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by farmerjerome, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. farmerjerome

    farmerjerome Active Member

    Ugh. Someone kill me. I had the bright idea of spending my June vacation stripping wallpaper. After two days of trials I've figured out the steamer and have got into a rhythm.

    I have a good day of steaming left, but now I don't know what to do with the walls. The steamer did a pretty good job of taking everything off, but in some parts some of the drywall is skinned and there is still some paste. For the most part it looks smooth but feels a little gritty.

    Do I have to sand the whole thing, or is there a primer I can use to fix this. I'm running out of time here, and it will be two weeks until I can work on it again.
  2. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    I did what you're doing once, on an "accent wall" in my house that was wallpapered in that gold, sort-of-shiny foil-type stuff that was popular in the '70s.

    It was up when I bought the place and I left it up for 10 years just to avoid dealing with it. But then, finally, I took the plunge and worked for a weekend on getting it off. I had the same issues you're having.

    I wound up sanding like crazy -- probably too much -- but finally just made it as smooth and even as I could and left it at that, and then I painted it. Because of my handiwork, the wall now has a little bit of a "textured" look to it. But it's better than the foil was and I can live with it until I ever decide to call in some professional painters to deal with it in some better way.

    Ultimately, my solution to wallpaper and its removal is this: never hang it in the first place. :)

    And I never will, unless I know I'm going to want it on the wall forever.
  3. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    There's a spray, I forget what, that can loosen up that paste. Ask at a home-improvement joint.

    Man, this thread brings back bad memories. Peeled wallpaper in every room of this house. There is a rhythm to the steamer but it is just time-consuming suckitude. If I ever consider another house with wallpaper, I'm demanding that the seller pay for its removal. Or I ain't buying.
  4. farmerjerome

    farmerjerome Active Member

    Ditto. I believe there are three rooms without wallpaper. One is a recently converted bathroom, one is an addition, the other is the kitchen. Every other damn room has this crap. We'll have grandchildren before it's all off.

    If I have to save for a couple of years I will pay for removal.

    I already did one room a year ago -- upstairs bathroom. It was so old and warped from steam I didn't even need any type of remover. I ripped it all down in 20 minutes, patched and painted.
  5. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Rip it all down, and hang lots of pictures. Seriously.
  6. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    The wallpaper was so gawdawful ugly in one room, and the removal house-wide was such a months-long slogfest, that we paid homage by leaving a 2x3 foot piece up and sticking a frame around it.
  7. I'll never tell

    I'll never tell Active Member

    Ditto on the spray. It's a blue-colored gel, and it's the shiznit.

    If you have to do it again, use a scorer and then hit it with the gel, come back in 10 minutes and it comes right off.

    Plus, if you close the door and stay in there for the 10 minutes, you'll forget most of your problems.
  8. ifilus

    ifilus Active Member

  9. bbnews60

    bbnews60 Member

    The spray is called DIF and it works awesome. It is blue and like a goo. They should have it at the local Home Depot or Lowe's or Ace or whatever.
    My wife and I took down all of the wallpaper in our house. It sucked, but the DIF certainly helped the process.
    I worked the rented steamer for two full days from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    Never again will wallpaper touch the walls in this house.

    On the sanding, you either do it until its smooth and your arm falls off or attempt a skim coat of hole and patch filler stuff (of which the name I am forgetting - something compound maybe)

    Any way, best of luck/my condolences on the project as I can only imagine how horrible it is to do when its hot as we did ours in the winter.
  10. Dif.
  11. StormSurge

    StormSurge Active Member

    Ditto on the DIF. Score the walls, spray the DIF, wait, scrape a little, peel giant chunks. Great stuff.
  12. I have meddled with this, using a steamer, Dif, and it still sucks. And even if you get it off the right way, you may still end up with that crackled look on the wall. My question was always what is the problem with just painting over the wallpaper?
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