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What to do with drywall that was wallpapered over

I recently pealed old wallpaper from our dining room only to find that the wallpaper was placed directly over the drywall paper. I'm trying to find out the best way to prepare the drywall for some new paint. Would some joint compund with sanding and patience be the solution?

Re: What to do with drywall that was wallpapered over


First, determine if there is a sealer on the wall. Some pre-wallpapering sealers are totally clear. If there is a sealer , water will not readily penetrate the paper and you will be able to wash the paste off. The fact that you were able to peel off the wallpaper, indicates to me that there is possibly a clear wall primer present. Paper hung directly over unsealed drywall usually bonds extremely tightly, since the paste penetrates deeply into the drywall paper.

Even if there is no sealer present, the paste can usually still be washed off. However, you will somewhat damage the joint compound. After the paste is removed and the wall has dried, simply re-mud the damaged areas.

You could also just sand the walls very thoroughly to remove as much paste as possible and then prime the walls with a non-watersoluble primer, such as Kilz.

My first choice would be to remove the paste first, if at all possible.

Re: What to do with drywall that was wallpapered over

I'm gonna assume some moron just applied paste directly to the sheetrock here, without any wallpaper primer/sizing:

1st) Tear off all face-paper you can.
2nd) Apply a good paste-dissolver like Chomp! twice.
3rd) Put some light plastic over whole wall, and go out to eat...serious!
4th) Now...the real drudgery! Scrap all goo off wall, and rinse-rinse-rinse.

>>> I don't care if you have to sc****/tear-into half the drywall facepaper! Get all the glue off!
>>> Here's the whole key to ensuring no future failures...
>>> When the ugly wall is dry, apply a coat (maybe 2) of Zinsser's Gardz primer. It's bascially a clear "glue" that'll lock down all the paper edges, and seal-off all exposed gypsum.

NOW....you can begin the skimming/leveling process with sheetrock compound!
Do your best sanding/leveling and dust removal!
Wipe down wall twice with damp sponges to remove all traces of dust.
Let dry half a day or so.

PVA-class primers are OK, but I'd rather you use a better primer like Zinsser's 123, C2-One, or similiar.
>>> ONE FULL COAT of primer...don't push thin at all! IF you push coats thinner, use 2 coats of primer.

At long last, you're ready to paint, with no worries of failure!


Re: What to do with drywall that was wallpapered over

I have a similar problem and local contractors have recommended the drywall be replaced instead of trying to remove the paste and repair the existing. I'd rather not do that if I can avoid it since that would involve removing all of the trim, crown, baseboards, etc.

Do you have any recommendations? In my situation, it actually looks like the wall paper paste was painted over with a thin coat of white "something", and then the walls were papered again.

Re: What to do with drywall that was wallpapered over

The thin white coat may be primer or possibly wallpaper sizing. If it is sizing, it should make it easier to remove the top coat of wall paper. You have nothing to lose by trying to get the paper off before resorting to replacing the drywall. Try the ideas in this thread: https://advice.thisoldhouse.com/showthread.php?125221-Wallpaper-removal

Re: What to do with drywall that was wallpapered over

Personally, I would consider skim coating followed by 2 coats oil based Kilz or similar product.


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