4 posts / 0 new
Last post
Wall paper removal

What is the best way to remove wall paper that is adhered directly onto the sheet rock. I'm trying to avoid ruining the sheet rock.

Re: Wall paper removal

Are you sure that the wallpaper was pasted directly to the wall? There are many clear, invisible pre-wallpapering sealers that could have been used to seal the wall prior to papering. If so, the paper should be removalble. Most real wallpaperers would seal the wall first because it makes wallpapering easier and does a better job. If bare drywall is instantly sucking the moisture out of the paste, hanging wallpaper is very difficult. If some slob compenstated for this by slathering on extra paste, you will have real problems, as the paste gets way down into the pours of the paper and make for super adhesion.

I would suggest you test a small corner. Wet it down and keep it wet for about 15 minutes to see if the paste will release. Most wallpapers have a plastic coating on them to make them washable. It may be beneficial to sand through this layer with very course 36 grit sandpaper. If it does not loosen, it may be time for Plan B - painting over the paper.

I am not a big fan of painting over wallpaper, but at times, it is the lesser of the evils. If the paper is real tight to the walls, you might consider primeing it with an oil based primer such as Zinsser's CoverStain. The idea is to prevent the moisture in subsequent acrylic paints from working its way down to the water soluble paste and making the wallpaper let go.

If you go this route, feel the entire surface of the paper with your fingers looking for such things as overlapped seams and loose edges. Sand any seams flat before primeing. Cut out any loose edges and feather the edge with sandpaper. After the wallpaper has been thoroughly sealed in, any roughjness can be feathered out with spackling compound or drywall mud, sanded, then spot primed. At this point, you can proceed as in a normal paint job.

Re: Wall paper removal

Some wallpapers are easy to remove, some are not. Sometimes it's easy with water or a solutions and sometimes you need to use a perforating tool to allow solution behind the paper. Then you need to worry about the priming and the glue residue.

In general, this work is messy, requires a lot pf patience and it's tiring. If the wall is not so large, consider adding a narrow drywall to cover the paper. OR consider hiring a pro.

Re: Wall paper removal

Ordjen has given some lovely tips on wall paper removal.I would also suggest that you first test a small corner as that will help you to make a decision of getting the wallpaper replaced or get the wall painted.All this is going to require you to have a lot of patience so as to get the best results for the wall.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.