Home>Discussions>PAINTING & FINISHING>1810 Federal wallpapered-painting ?'s
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1810 Federal wallpapered-painting ?'s

I am afraid to get in over our head with this as we haven't budgeted to re-wall this huge home. I am afraid to remove what appears to be one layer of well done wallpaper throughout the home in fear that the old plaster will crumble when doing so. I have always been one to gape at painted wallpaper w/disdane...but now in this case...I am actually considering it. I have been told to polyurethane all existing wallpaper by a neighbor and then paint over? Also another neighbor (both have 1865 Federals) has reccommeded buying some product of paper that goes onto the wallpaper to paint.
Without replacing walls what is the safest thing to do? Is their a way to test taking the wallpaper down in some of the rooms to try and get to the original plaster?
I don't want to touch a thing until I get adequate advice on how to remove, when to remove, and what to remove with. Also if removal is not an option, what to use for painting over?

Re: 1810 Federal wallpapered-painting ?'s

Periwink -

I too hate to paint over wallpaper, but sometimes it is the less effort in the long run. I personally would try to remove a small section and see what is involved. The age of the paperinsures that it only paper with no protective coating unless someone did it in later years. This means it should readily soak off with straight warm water.I would soak relatively small areas in an effort to quickly soak the paper before letting excess water work its way into the plaster. Do not wet down a whole room at once as you will not be able to keep up with it and then would have to repeatedly wet down the walls. It is undoubtedly hung with old fashioned wheat paste which should rapidly release.

Should you not have good results and decide to leave the paper in place you will want to seal the paper with a non-water soluable primer such as Kilz or Cover-Stain. Water soluable primers might loosen the paste holding the paper on the walls. I would preceed the priming by feeling the entire surface of the paper with my fingers looking for loose sections or overlapped seams. Sand down lapped seams and cut out loose sections and feather the edges with sandpaper. After priming, you can patch rough areas using normal patching coupounds. Spot prime these patches and then you should be able to top coat with a good quality acrylic paint.

Re: 1810 Federal wallpapered-painting ?'s

I have never had any problems removing wallpaper from a plaster wall with a steamer, unless the plaster keys are broken off and the plaster was loose. They even use plaster in drying rooms and steam rooms.

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