Wallpaper removal.....All this darn glue!!


Old 06-25-03, 08:21 PM
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Wallpaper removal.....All this darn glue!!

The home I just bought is full of wallpaper! All 3 BR's (including ceilings??????) Hall (and ceiling), kitchen, dining and the den/ office. We plan to paint all the walls.

So I've read the FAQ's and have had decent success removing the paper.

Some is the "paper" and that seems to soak thru good. The vinyl is not fun, its seems to peel in small shreds. The hallway all pulled down in about 15 minutes....Whew!! In the hall there is no paper backing whatsoever, just the glue I'm assuming...feels a little fuzzy. The hall ceiling is paper style and has been painted over, but the water mixture seems to soak thru so I think I'll be ok there.

And BTW thanks for the dishsoap idea....worked great! I was ready to buy stock in Zinzer.

My questions......

How can I get the glue off easier???

I'm using the fabric softener idea....but it seems that no matter how much we wet it down and scrub, after it drys I can still feel glue in spots.

Would a Scotch Brite pad work better to scrub the glue?

Oh....and the walls are plaster. The home is about 30years old and so far the kitchen and dining (thats as far as we've got...other than testing the other rooms and pulling down the hall paper) has the original plaster under the paper (it was never painted).

I assume I have to prime the walls before painting at least where there is just bare plaster......correct??

They apparently stained the trim after it was up and there is stain all over on the plaster around the windows and doors.

What should I prime it with??

And is there a primer that would cover some glue? Or does EVERY BIT of glue have to be removed?

I was thinking maybe if I was painting with enamel based paint that would be OK over some glue....No?

This just seems so neverending....

Thanks for any help
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Old 06-26-03, 09:56 AM
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By all means, use a scrubbing pad! It sometimes makes the job easier. Wet the wall with the soap/water solution, then scrub, then wipe the mess with rags. Some pros use a window squeegy after the scrub step to remove all the mess followed up by a final clean rag rinse.

You should remove all the glue you can. Wallpaper adhesive does really not cool things to paint and primer that is applied over it. Oil based primer does the best over adhesive, but I caution you that you should remove all you can.

As far as to prime at all or not, I am not a painting expert or even close. You should ask those questions to the folks in the painting forum. I will go ahead and move this post there and I hope you get your answers there. My 2 cent answer would be to prime with oil and then paint with either oil or latex paint.
Old 06-26-03, 02:00 PM
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Scrub away on the plaster walls. I am glad you decided to do the right thing and take the wallpaper down.

To prime over the stain on the walls from the trim, use a good primer sealer such as Zinsser 123.

Wallpaper glue is nasty stuff for adhesion. It really is best to fight the glue and get it off. As a contaminant on the surface, it can be covered but will cause failure in the long term and will still have to be removed. So there is no easy way out on this.

I had to scrape the walls and ceiling of a 27 foot hallway just to get ready to wash, so I am sympathetic.

Hope this helps.
Old 06-26-03, 09:33 PM
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In an apartment I lived in a couple of years ago, there was some scenic wooded wallpaper which my landlady informed me had been up on the walls about 25 years.

Despite the fact that they REALLY overdid the amount of wallpaper adhesive, I really didn't have many problems when removing the paper as I used a steam wallpaper remover.

Not only did this make the stripping a lot easier, it also left a considerable amount of moisture on the wall making it easier to scrape the majority of gunk off with an 8" spatula. The little residue left I easily washed/scrubbed off with a scrubbing pad using a vinegar/water solution. Once this dried, a thorough sanding and final wash/wipe down with a detergant solution gave me a wall that you would not believe once had wallpaper on it.
Old 06-27-03, 04:13 AM
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Hello lloyd95, your pretty well covered here with what has been said but your statement about the hall walls feeling fuzzy makes me wonder if the front didn't come off and leave a perfect layer of backing on the wall. Sometimes this has happened when I get a call to hang and the wallpaper was "real easy" to remove. I hope this hasn't happened but wet the fuzzy wall in a spot to make sure its not paper backing.
Clean the glue off in stages changing the rinse water often. It will be slow, messy work at first but all at once you will be ahead of the problem.
You bought htis home, you have one shot at removing the glue before you paint and then its there forever.....Mike
Old 06-29-03, 08:35 PM
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Thanks for all the replies very helpful.


No, it was only the glue that was left and it seemed to wash/scrub off "OK".

I so worried about getting all this glue off. My wife gets so mad at me, everytime I check on how she's doing I feel the walls and say there's still a little glue left.

Anyway, we have 1 ceiling left and we should be in pretty good shape.

Thanks again!!
Old 12-12-05, 01:19 AM
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Old 12-18-05, 07:30 AM
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When we bought our house several years ago, there was wallpaper in the bathroom, dining room (on the coved walls ), a hallway, and the stairway. The first three were a piece of cake using a scorer and a spray bottle of water.

The stairway, however... I spent several weeks with a paper scorer, spray stripper, fabric softener in a spray bottle, and a steamer stripping the paper from my stairway. I'm not sure if the plaster hadn't been properly sized or what kind of wall paste was used 70 years ago, but I could not get the original paste off of the walls. The walls were in terrible looking shape but structurally sound. The original wall paper must have been fabric, as the glue had a gauze-like texture to it. I ended up skim coating the entire stairway to cover the gauzey texture. I ended up with a very random texture which after a good coat of primer and 2 coats of quality paint, it looks fabulous. The stairway was a labor of love for me . Start to finish it took two months of hauling scaffolding in and out, using a steamer in July during a 95 degree week but I am happy with the results .

Trying to get the glue off, I would wet it and use a squeegee, which was pretty effective. It took probably 6 or 7 washings before I was confident that all of the water-based paste was off.

I was tempted to just paint over the paper, it would have been much easier, it probably would have turned out all right, but anything worth doing is worth doing right.
Old 12-18-05, 08:50 PM
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Probably too late but I took a pile of wallpaper off several rooms recently.

I use a sponge to soak the wall in sections (after paper/vinyl removal), then take a 10 inch or 6 inch mud blade to scrape the glue off, then wiped the blade with my fingers to remove the wet glue.

Easy, quick and an excellent job. Took maybe 15 minutes to do a room. Then I used a sponge mop to rinse the walls.

When dry, I did a real quick pass over the whole wall with a pole sander to get off any specs I missed. Personally, I did not prime and it was OK.

My walls were gyproc, not plaster so maybe thats a difference.

PS: Isn't there a saying about wallpaper and marriage .

Last edited by mjd2k; 12-19-05 at 05:17 AM.
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