Stubborn wallpaper (removal)


  #1  
Old 01-20-03, 04:31 PM
cheesensweets
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Angry Stubborn wallpaper (removal)

I am removing wallpaper from my master bathroom. The wallpaper is original and was put on approx. 25 years ago. I don't think they used much sizing as it is pretty stuck to the walls. I scored the walls using a paper tiger, brushed on some DIF (gel) and let it sit for about 45 minutes but ... it is still stubborn to come off and in some areas I have taken off a thin layer of drywall paper as well. Any suggestions on how many soakings of DIF I should apply or any other suggestions that might help? Thanks.
 
  #2  
Old 01-20-03, 04:48 PM
Isabel
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Having recently taken off a ton of 20-30 year-old wallpaper, I found that letting the DIF sit too long made things worse than if I tried to take it off too early. It all hardened back up again and was harder to scrape, risking the walls.

The best technique I found was totally soaking it with the gel, waiting the recommended 15-20 minutes only... gently getting off what I could with their particular brand of scraper (can't think of the name)... then starting all over with another thick layer of DIF if the paper wasn't coming off easily or in layers so I didn't get down into the drywall. Occasionally I would score again with the 'paper tiger' after the first scrape attempt.

I personally prefer the spray-bottle method. It's messy and slimy, but it got the job done and made it easier to get a thick layer on tougher spots.

Good luck!
Is
 
  #3  
Old 01-20-03, 05:22 PM
W
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I am sure that many people have had success with DIF gel....but I ain't one of 'em. I recommend using the bottle as a door stop. That is pretty harsh coming from me, a sworn lover of all products Zinsser, but I think they missed the mark with this one.

If you look at the top topic in this forum you will see my directions for wallpaper stripping. I suggest you follow them for the easiest method I have found. Pros use different stripping solutions, but the basic removal techniques are all the same.

You first step should be trying to remove the top layer of the wallpaper. Hopefully, it will peel right off. Once that is done, you wet the wall.....wait.....and scrape. Doesn't matter what you wet it with really, doesn't matter what you scrape it with reallly. The keys are time and water. Water re-activates the adhesive, which loses it's grip to the wall surface. Once it loses it's footing, you can scrape or peel it off the wall.

Here is today's bad visual: Wallpaper paste is water soluable, so you must use water. Have you ever tried to remove a price sticker off of a piece of glass? Water won't cut it, nor will any "enzymatic" cleaner. You have to use a solution that breaks down the adhesive such as WD 40. If you use the right reactant, you will have an easy removal. WD 40 won't work on wallpaper, but water sure as heck will.

Soak your wall until water pools on the floor, wait a FULL 5 minutes, soak some more, wait 5 minutes and give it a go. It should be coming off the wall with relative ease now. If not, soak more and wait. If you room looks like some sort of plumbing accident when you are done, you did a good job. It also give you an excuse to wipe down the baseboards! Best of luck.
 
  #4  
Old 01-20-03, 06:24 PM
cheesensweets
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Thanks for the responses. Even with scoring the paper, putting two coats of gel on and waiting almost an hour, there are a ton of areas that the gel didn't even penetrate down to the backing - it was bone dry. I'm not sure that I can get the top coat of paper off since it is pretty stubborn and very stuck to the walls. Plus, over the years, the top layer of paper seems to be thin in some areas. I will definitely try the suggestions of really soaking the paper and will use the dish detergent trick as well. One more question, however. It is possible to soak the walls too much where I might end up taking off a layer of the (drywall) paper on top of the drywall itself?
 
  #5  
Old 01-20-03, 07:40 PM
W
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I really don't think so. I have used my patented "River Nile" technique on walls many times and have had no problems. Once you get all the paper off, before you paint or prime or whatever, allow the wall to dry for 1-2 days though.

Try to get the facing material off and your job will be 10,000% easier. Sometimes wetting it first will allow it to peel up in larger strips so give that a shot too. Wet, score a horizontal line, dig at it with your nails to create a start, and pull up. Pulling down works too depending on the paper, but most papers will peel off badly when peeling side to side, so stick with up or down, whichever works best for your paper.

PLEASE let me know how this advice goes for you and best of luck!
 
  #6  
Old 02-18-03, 09:35 AM
cheesensweets
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Update - I have about 3/4 of the wallpaper off but it has been no easy task. After soaking and soaking I am finding that it is very difficult to just take the top layer off. Yes, that would certainly make life easier that could happen. After soaking for some time, I find that whatever comes off, comes off. If it happens to be the top layer, that's great but most times it's the top and bottom layer along with the paper part of the drywall leaving a brown patch on the wall. This has been my biggest frustration. I know I have a lot of patch work to do eventually. I don't believe the previous owners even bothered to prime the walls before papering. Once I have cleaned the walls, washing all glue residue off and waiting a few days for the walls to dry, should I then put one coat of primer on and then start my patching work? I intend on usiing Behr oil-based primer and then joint compound. Does that sound like a good plan?
 
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Old 02-18-03, 11:10 AM
W
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I see no flaws with your plan. There is a better primer though. Use Scotch Paint's Draw-Tite, Zinsser's Gardz, Roman's Liquid Drywall, Seal-Krete's waterproofing sealer, or Sherwin Williams' PrepRite Drywall Conditioner instead. These primers are designed to firm up damaged drywall. You won't go wrong with your first choice, but these happen to be better ones. Thanks for your feedback, and now you are a member of the "prime before you paper club".
 
  #8  
Old 02-18-03, 12:22 PM
cheesensweets
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One more question. The brown spots (where the top layer of paper from the drywall came off) have some loose edges around the actual tear, both large and small tears. After the walls have dried thoroughly, should I lightly sand those edges so they don't peel up when I start to prime?
 
  #9  
Old 02-18-03, 05:33 PM
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Not necessary. The primer should "paste" any loose edges down.
 
  #10  
Old 02-21-03, 05:08 AM
cheesensweets
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I have another question. I will proceed as mentioned (prime the entire walls and apply joint compound for the areas that need fixing) but...before I actually paint the walls, I'll need to apply yet another coat of primer, right? I can't paint over the areas that have joint compound - is that correct?
 
  #11  
Old 02-21-03, 12:00 PM
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You really only need to spot prime the areas you fixed. You can go ahead with another full coat for BEST results, but one coat should be fine along with your spot priming. Thank you for your questions and detailed responses, it's good to see a homeowner with more concern for materials and technique than cost and time. You will be thanking yourself years down the road! Best of luck!
 
  #12  
Old 02-21-03, 12:07 PM
cheesensweets
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Thank you for your responses as well. I like to do things the "right" way, not the cheapest, quickest way. Especially if I plan to use this bathroom for many years to come.
 
 

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