removing wallpaper

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  #1  
Old 11-03-01, 10:28 AM
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I'm going to repaint the bathrooms in the house we're renting - the old wallpaper is brown, peeling, and covered in dust and gooped up old hairspray and who knows what else. It's also got to be at least 20 years old, and I feel like I'm walking into a time capsule every time I go to the bathroom. I don't think there's anything underneath the wallpaper except brown wall (there are parts of it peeling up and you can see that there's nothing underneath -it doesn't even look as if it's painted). My question is, do I need to use the chemical stuff to take off wallpaper glue, or is there some blessed chance that this wallpaper is a 20 year old version of contact paper for walls, that I could just peel it off and start painting? I'm 5 months pregnant, and I'm fairly sure that my sweet, loveable husband is not going to pitch in with this project, so I'm pretty much on my own, and I don't want to come into contact with chemicals if I don't have to. I haven't tried to peel the wallpaper because I'm fearful that if I do, I'll mess it up even more than it already is!!
Thanks!
Heather
 
  #2  
Old 11-07-01, 06:13 AM
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Lightbulb

I recently removed wallpaper and you do not need to use harsh chemicals. Rip the paper down so you are left with the glue and brown paper backing. Put Downy or any other fabric softener in a spray bottle. Saturate the brown paper and within seconds you can scrape it off easily. No back breaking labour involved.
 
  #3  
Old 11-07-01, 04:04 PM
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Thumbs up Removing Wallpaper

I am also removing wallpaper in a bathroom. The owners of the house before us have wallpapered the "entire" house!!! I am starting with the bathrooms. I was able to do just what Lindsay said to do but I didn't use Downy, that's not a bad idea, I might try that just for the nice smell. However, I have a friend who's husband is a professional painter and he said to use hot water in a spray bottle and spray the paper, score it first. It was amazing, I was using DIF to remove it and it's expensive and messy. The hot water worked like a charm. I now have to get all the glue off the walls before I paint. I think I may have to use a chemical for that one. Good luck on the pregnancy and the walls, enjoy it!
 
  #4  
Old 11-08-01, 04:31 AM
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No back breaking labour involved
Excuse the pun!!
 
  #5  
Old 11-12-01, 12:13 AM
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Removing wallpaper

You can find useful info at http://www.doityourself.com/wallpaper.
 
  #6  
Old 11-20-01, 04:37 PM
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Post Removing painted wallpaper

We purchased a brick/traditional-colonial style house and unfortunately the previous owner wallpapered several rooms and painted over the wallpapers. I'm currently working in the master bathroom, size is approx. 15 X 8. We have seen areas that indicate there's wallpaper in the room. The shower area shows some 'bulging' paper and the jacuzzi area also shows some removal of wallpaper and we can see 'lines' that tell us it's wallpaper. I took some off but when I took some off, we noticed no primer was used at all. I thought we would be able to remove the paint/wallpaper easily. BTW, the paint used is a Navy Blue Ralph Lauren paint over the wallpaper. Very dark... I started by scoring one end of the wall then I added DIF, waited for about an hour or so, didn't see anything, so we waited a bit longer, still didn't see anything. We decided to go ahead and see what we could scrape off... *nothing*... We are having a very hard time. We are now absolutely positive there's wallpaper because we were able to fortunately get a good portion of the paper from behind the toilet tank. There is one side of the wall where you can see 'something' was done because the wall just isn't smooth at all. We have *LOTS* of work that has to be done. I plan on doing faux finishing (Colorwashing) for this bathroom. Can anyone please advise what we should do? We are desperate to get this started. I've been reading as much as I can but there isn't much at all in terms of removing wallpaper with paint over it and we thought about renting those steam iron thingies but heard it would be a nightmare for us. I'm seriously considering getting a heat gun. After removal of the paint/wallpaper, what should we do to the wall because it was not primed? I *know* we are going to have a problem with some of the drywall coming off in some areas. Should we use compound, filler, plaster or what? I want to do this the right way and no shortcuts. I want to do the entire thing and I know this is going to be a major undertaking so any advise you can give me, I would appreciate it more than you can possibly imagine! Next project is the hallway/stairwell and that will take a month at least... so I might be here to hopefully help others who are currently going through what I'm going through. Thanks again! Snowrose
 
  #7  
Old 11-29-01, 08:00 PM
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Removing painted wallpaper

I'm in the same boat and don't know where to start either. The wallpaper is easily seen, its a form of grasscloth. The past owners painted over the wp with enamel paint!! My son then provided a large hole in the wall, right in the middle. I'm selling the house and these walls are in the entry way. They have to be fixed. When the wp was overpainted they took the paint up and covered the ceiling so I don't have any hanging down as a place to start. If you try anything that works please let me know.
 
  #8  
Old 11-29-01, 09:33 PM
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Removing overpainted wallpaper

I have read forum posts that reported success by first scoring the overpainted wallpaper and then using a wallpaper steamer. Removing overpainted wallpaper can be very difficult.
 
  #9  
Old 12-02-01, 08:52 PM
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Post Removing painted wallpaper

Thank you for your replies. I should have logged on to tell you what we have been doing. For anyone who has painted wallpaper and want it removed (which is highly recommended if you want to paint or wallpaper). You will be warned that removing painted wallpaper is going to be a hellish job. We have spoken to a couple of our friends who are painters themselves and also have spoken to a couple of professionals at Home Depot and they all have said the exact same thing. Do NOT go out to buy a steamer for the wall. Just take a hand towel and dip it into very hot water. (Make sure you are wearing rubber gloves for this), then put the hot hand towel over the area you wish to remove the painted wallpaper and use only a wallpaper scraper, not your ordinary scraper but a special wallpaper scraper. Try to avoid removing drywall/sheetrock. I'm going to tell you right now if the walls have never been primed, you are going to be removing drywall/sheetrock as well. Unfortunately that is the damage painted wallpaper does. The thicker the paint, the worse the damage. In our case, Ralph Lauren paint was used which is a very thick paint. We are still working on scraping off the painted wallpaper. This is not a 1-2-3 project in anyway shape or form and requires a lot of arm work and extreme patience. If you feel you are going to tear everything apart, walk away! Go to it the next day and try again. We ended up having to buy a 5-Gallon container of Joint Compound and plaster. We are going to have to compound the *entire* walls. It's that bad.
I've read in one of the books I bought, This Old House (our house is only 12 years old... but the information in the book is incredibly helpful)... it's all about painting interior/exterior of the home and all the problems and how to take care of it... in that book it states they compound the entire walls, prime it, then compound it again just to make sure it's got that 'smoothness' to it. That's what we'll be doing. Might as well get it done right once and not later on.
snowrose
 
  #10  
Old 12-02-01, 08:58 PM
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for Handi-lady

Even though you state you are moving... I would still do a full job and not just a cover-up job. We moved in this house a year and half ago and unfortunately we found one very *large* square patched up area and we've got a *lot* of work on our hands once we get to that area. It was done totally wrong and it's quite obvious so we have to take care of it and get it done right the first time. I would try to find time to literally scrape off the painted-wallpaper and just basically re-do that wall. If I were you, I'd paint it white or anitique white and then the new owners who move into the house can do the rest of the work. Or if you sell the house, sell it 'as-is' and that'll have to be deducted from the cost of the home. Buyer might request it be professionally redone, or take quite a bit of the cost of the house off just for that and usually they get what they want. Only good buyers don't settle for less and we are learning now what mistakes we've made when we bought this house. We love it but we are working like you cannot believe! It's *not* a fixer upper but lots of painting has to be done. I'm also doing a lot of faux painting so that makes the project go on a bit longer. Never will wallpaper be seen in this house, not as long as I live here! Darn stuff should never have been invented. sigh... makes such a mess. Let me know what you do!
 
 

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