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Stripping kids' paper stickers from drywall

Stripping kids' paper stickers from drywall

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  #1  
Old 07-21-14, 02:34 PM
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Stripping kids' paper stickers from drywall

A few years ago, we allowed our kid to put stickers on his bedroom wall. He has now outgrown them and I would like to redecorate, but of course the stickers won't come off, at least not cleanly: they leave not just gum, but paper residue on top of the gum.

So how to get them off? A blade scraper won't work (it did the job very well on a wooden door, but it just sinks into drywall, leaving gouge marks). Soap and water doesn't work, ditto GooGone, because the paper residue prevents them soaking in properly.

I can't just paint primer over the top, because I'll end up with outlines of Spider-Man etc.

I'm thinking of trying to sand them off with a belt sander. I can just try that and see if it works -- but I'm posting here in case someone has used a method that's proven successful.

Thanks all,
 
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  #2  
Old 07-21-14, 02:49 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

Don't use a belt sander!! I normally just scrape them off and then fix any damage. On real stubborn ones you can press the drywall in slightly and then mud over them, effectively hiding the sticker. Is there any texture on the walls?
 
  #3  
Old 07-21-14, 02:56 PM
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How were they applied? Peel and stick or wet with a sponge? If water was used, you can probably use an enzyme stripper like you would wallpaper.

Otherwise, I agree, strip them off as necessary using whatever works then repair the damage.
 
  #4  
Old 07-21-14, 03:04 PM
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Oh that's interesting, thanks v much -- looks like you've saved me the expense of the sander! Thank you.

Okay, I'll revert to the scraper -- I have the kind that's T-shaped with the blade in the cross-bar of the T and the stem of the T being the handle -- and then I'll fill in the damage with joint compound, then sand and paint.

There's no texture on the wall. it's smooth.

As a matter of interest, what's wrong with the sander approach?
 
  #5  
Old 07-21-14, 03:25 PM
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Peel-and-stick, unfortunately. They are extremely stubborn!

But I have just made an interesting discovery: at marksr's suggestion and yours, I've just had another go with the scraper, and this time all the stickers came off very easily. I now suspect that when I tried last time, I was holding the scraper the wrong way round (blush!): the head is very slightly angled, so one way round you get a significantly shallower / sharper angle of attack with the blade.

So with about five minutes' work, I've taken off all the stickers -- and there were a lot, probably an area of about 8 square feet, densely packed with the things.

So thank you very much. I'll get to work with the spackle now (there are a few dings, picture-hook holes etc.), and I'll sand and wash tomorrow morning.

I'm very grateful for the advice -- you saved me from making an expensive and time-consuming mistake!
 
  #6  
Old 07-21-14, 04:08 PM
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Glad you solved it.

As to the sander approach (esp a belt sander!! Shudder...) it will chew right through the plaster/sheetrock in a second, then you'd have even bigger issues. Even a palm random orbital would give problems with the paper.
 
  #7  
Old 07-22-14, 03:53 AM
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Glad you got them removed - removal is always best .... I just assumed removal would be a lot harder

Belt sanders should only be used on tougher substrates like wood. Besides chewing up the drywall, you'd have dust everywhere
 
  #8  
Old 07-22-14, 05:25 AM
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Thanks very much. It all helps, really.
 
  #9  
Old 07-22-14, 07:11 AM
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If any of the drywall paper came off and left exposed gypsum, you should prime those areas with Zinnser Gardz before applying the joint compound.
 
  #10  
Old 07-22-14, 08:08 AM
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Will do. Appreciate the tip, thanks.
 
  #11  
Old 07-22-14, 11:07 AM
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You can also use a solvent based primer in place of Gardz, either will work [I generally use whichever one is handy] Gardz is the only water based primer recommended for priming bare gypsum. The primer will prevent the moisture in j/c and/or latex primer/paint from lifting the paper surrounding the exposed gypsum.
 
  #12  
Old 07-25-14, 06:38 PM
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Thanks very much.

Your warning came -- coincidentally -- hours too late to prevent me doing what will likely prove to be a failure of a repair in the bathroom. The original (I think) decorator of my hovel installed impressive-looking trav around the bath, but was probably counting costs and stopped the trav right at the edge of the bath -- so left a strip of bare (well, painted) wall between the shower end of the bath and the lavatory-cupboard/vanity about four inches away.

Consequently, splash from the shower evidently did what regular unrelieved moisture does to painted drywall, and so at some point a paper-and-paint repair became necessary -- which of course lasted no time at all (since I shower regularly, ahem).

Consequently, I determined to seal over the area with tile and grout (i know, I should have tried to match the trav and do it that way, but it's four inches, what a stupid piece of original design, I ask you....).... which I did, but by ripping off the peeling paper and slapping tile adhesive over the open wound.

Reading your message, I now realize I should have treated the wound first with the Gardz. My tiles will probably fall off. But if they do, and now that I know how to do it properly, maybe I'll find a bit of trav to match and do the job the job competently next time....

Thanks again!
 
  #13  
Old 07-26-14, 04:05 AM
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Sometimes you get lucky - hopefully that will be the case. Did you caulk the tile to the shower surround? Grout doesn't do a great job of sealing the two substrates and often fails at that joint, caulk usually prevents moisture from getting behind the tile which ups your odds of not having a failure.
 
  #14  
Old 07-26-14, 10:25 AM
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Oh, that's interesting. I haven't grouted yet. Okay, I'll caulk instead thanks again!
 
  #15  
Old 07-26-14, 12:58 PM
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Just to be clear, you grout most of the tile joints but the joint between the tub surround and the tile gets caulked. It's usually a good idea to also caulk the corners as that is another place grout tends to fail. You can buy colored caulk to match the grout at most tile stores.
 
  #16  
Old 07-26-14, 01:07 PM
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Aha!

Right *that's what I'll do thanks again!
 
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