100 yr old house has ancient wallpaper


  #1  
Old 05-10-04, 09:59 AM
babber99
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Question 100 yr old house has ancient wallpaper

Hi. I'm brand spanking new to the forum, as of 5 minutes ago. My husband and I are considering buying an old fix-it-upper home that is over 100 years old. It is a quaint little place with TONS of potential. The problem is, it has oldpaper as old as the hills. I hate to guess how old it is..probably as old as the first wallpapers were when they first came out! So. Here is am, I have absolutley no experience with this wall paper stuff, or anything. I will be relying heavily on my husband. But I want to do some research on it, and try! My husband was saying something about plaster walls....? This is the stuff before the sheetrock era, I'm guessing? I did learn from the posts to not wallpaper over the old wall paper. But I am scared to death to get into something that is going to take FOREVER to do. Has anyone out there removed original wall paper before, from plaster walls? If so, how did it go? Was it a nightmare? EVERY SINGLE WALL In this house is wallpapered... I'm wondering if we're getting into something over our heads. Any advice/stories or anything anyone has would be very much appreciated. I'm scared to death to tackle this project! I have pics of the wallpaper too if that helps, but am not sure where to attach them to?
Thanks
Shaking in Minnesota,
 
  #2  
Old 05-10-04, 10:14 AM
phillyguy
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The walls are definitely plaster. Saturate it with soapy water and let it soak in for a bit. Grab a putty knife and try to scape it off. Paper that old will have a wheat based adhesive which will dissolve readily in water. The paper will probably turn to dust when you try to remove it.
 
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Old 05-10-04, 10:53 AM
babber99
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Thanks Phillguy! Now, once that old wallpaper is off, can we paint, or do we have to re-wallpaper?
 
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Old 05-10-04, 03:53 PM
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After the paper is off, you can do either. But there are cetain steps for each. Let us know which route you decide, and we can advise from there.
 
  #5  
Old 05-11-04, 05:03 AM
babber99
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Thanks so much Prowallguy. (nice name)
We'll take it from step one first, which is buying the house. I feel better now, knowing we won't be in over our heads.

Thanks for all of the support and advice........I KNOW I'll be back here!
Have a great day everyone!
 
  #6  
Old 05-12-04, 09:27 AM
rick_m
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What are the steps involved to repaint?

I just finished removing the wallpaper from our bathroom and am about ready to paint. I think all of the adhesive is gone (no sticky spots when I went the wall). I want to prime and paint after I fix the surface flaws.
 
  #7  
Old 05-12-04, 12:41 PM
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Prime with oil or Gardz. Sand lightly, smooth out any imperfections with joint compound. Reprime these patched areas and paint.
 
  #8  
Old 05-12-04, 07:47 PM
babber99
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lead paint below the old wallpaper?

I'm back! :-)

OK........was talking with my husband. He is thinkin that we don't have to take down all the old wallpaper in this 100 year old house. He is thinking we could just paint over it. Could someone explain why we wouldn't want to do that? He also says that if we take down the wallpaper, there is gonig to possibly be lead based paint underneath, and that we will have to hire a contractor, by law, to get all of that removed. That once we discover there is lead based paint in the house, it has to be removed from all walls. We live in Minnesota. Is this something that we can do ourselves or have to contract out? My husband also says it has to be certified with someone that there is no more lead based paint AT ALL in the house. Now, I'm back to square one with being terrified to even BEGIN to take down this old nasty wallpaper. We cannot afford to hire out lead-paint removal from the walls. I"m shuddering to think we'll have to just LIVE with this 75 year old (?) wallpaper! HELP!
 
  #9  
Old 05-13-04, 06:15 AM
phillyguy
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To paint over wallpaper first prep the surface by removing any loose paper with a putty knife. Fill any holes with spackle. Then lightly sand any rough spots. You may even want to give the whole surface a light scuff. Then prime it and paint it. You have to be careful painting wallpaper because if its not done right it looks like, well, painted wallpaper.
 
  #10  
Old 05-13-04, 06:32 AM
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Primer used should be oil. A slow-drying heavy-bodied long oil.
 
  #11  
Old 07-06-04, 06:47 AM
babber99
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Smile it worked!

Well, I just wanted to report in, that we got all of the wallpaper off. The first room went fairly easy. We scored the wallpaper, and put on this "diff" wallpaper remover gel. We got two different kinds of scrapers, and ended up really like this long handled, heaver one... anyway, there was only one layer of wallpaper in that room. The dining room was a different story. That had 2-lovely layers of wall paper, and behind the wallpaper, the wallpaper-er left his name and the year. Glen Johnson 1952! We rented a steamer for that room....and the steamer just didn't work very good, so we took it back and got refunded our $. Took Diff to that room as well. The living room had 2 layers as well, but came off much easier. 8 bottles of Diff, and 8 garbaga bags full of wall paper later, we're ready for wall repair!!

A friend of our has his own sheet rocking business, so hes going to help repair, and in some cases replace the existing walls. For the most part it's looking pretty good, but some places in the walls, it's pretty rough.

Anyway, wanted to report in and let you all know how it went. I can't imagine what it would be like if we had painted over that wallpaper. We would have never seen what rough shape some of the walls are in. less work, yes, but we wanted to do it right. Thanks for all of your advise!

...now....onto another forum for a different questions.

Thanks and happy wallpaperstripping! (I'm never ever going to walpaper in my life)
-Barb
 
  #12  
Old 07-06-04, 01:21 PM
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(I'm never ever going to walpaper in my life)
Now that just plain hurts my feelings.

Bear in mind when wallpaper is hung correctly, with all the right steps in prep, it comes done pretty darn easy. You can thank the 'hack' hangers for your bad experience.
 
  #13  
Old 07-07-04, 05:21 AM
babber99
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Oh Prowallguy, don't be offended. :-) this is my very first remodeling experience, and after all the scraping and such, wallpaper just doesn't interest me too much. I'm sure if I had an updated house, and good solid walls, I might think differently about it. :-) I know you're giving me a hard time.... :-D thanks again for everything!

p.s. we knocked out one wall last night. Took down the lath, interesting what they used for insulation back then....old crumbled up paper, and also found some horse hair. wow... Good solid walls/wood and some rather interesting nails!!! Good thing we ripped it down...it's the NW corner outside wall of the house....Midwest Minnesota has some pretty rip roaing winters....we'll be glad we did it come winter! Was on the lookout ofr $$ stashed in the walls, but didn't find any.
 
 

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