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wallpapered old style drywall

We think our house was built in the early 1920's. All of the walls were done in an early kind of dry wall (3/8" thick) with a brown paper face that is not smooth. All of the walls with the exception of the closets were wallpapered. There are two coats of wallpaper throughout the house. I think the last coat was probably put on in the 1950's, based on the pattern. The second layer comes off somewhat easily but the first layer has bonded with the original paper of the drywall. If I try to remove it, all of the paper comes off down to the gypsum. Some one told me that there is a product that can be put over wallpaper and then painted. Can any one help me? I've already had a quote of $1600 just for one small bedroom from a professional painter!

Re: wallpapered old style drywall

I'm not familiar with the product you refer to as to putting it over the surface but I have handled the same situation before, using 3/8" drywall. You just hang it over the face of the old drywall and paper, finish it like you finish any drywall, and then you've got a brand new wall, in great shape. It does cause some challenges around windows and doors, as the thickness of the walls have changed. Depending on the thickness of your trim molding, you may still be able to but the drywall up to it and just finish it where it meets. Not sure of the cost to hire someone to do all this but if you can't find the other cover up product, this may be an alternative.

You can always paint the wallpaper with Kilz, to keep the pattern from bleeding through but you'll always see the seams of the old paper. The paint will go into the crack and I'm not sure how you'll ever avoid it. You might be able to use drywall mud and try to fill it but no guarantees.

Good Luck.

Re: wallpapered old style drywall

I agree with the other person and rent a steamer. Just make sure that they give you the tool to scar the old wallpaper. Because it is painted and there are multiple layers, you may have to push pretty hard on the tool, to make sure that you make it all the way to the drywall.

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