Stuck, stuck, STUCK!


Old 02-19-02, 07:37 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Angry Stuck, stuck, STUCK!

Please help me, I'm about at my wits end!

I am removing wallpaper from my bedroom that is about 15 years old. I've gone to the local hardware/paint store as well as the Home Depot, gotten all the proper tools, etc. and still, the stuff is not coming off. This is the method I'm using:

1) Score old wallpaper with Paper Tiger.

2) Roll on Ziff concentrate, mixed 5.5 oz of concentrate, 1/2 gallon of water, 1 oz white vinegar, 1 oz fabric softener.

3) Wait 15 minutes. Roll again. Wait 15 minutes.

4) Scrape with special paper scraper. Scrape, pull, tug, curse, gouge out wallboard, curse more!

Is there something I'm doing wrong, or is this just a project I am doomed to continue until my untimely death due to frustration?

More specific questions:

1) Should I peel off the top layer of paper, which appears to be impervious to everything, then concentrate on the papery liner?

2) I was going to prime with a BIM --- do I have to remove every bit of glue?

3) Because of the gouges, I may have to have a spackler apply a skim coat to all the walls. If that is the case, do I have to remove every bit of glue?

4) How much concentrate is "too much"? Should I worry about wetting the walls too much?

Any help you can offer will be MUCH appreciated, as I am fast losing my mind.

Thanks very much!
Old 02-19-02, 08:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 618
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
If you are a Seinfeld fan, shout "Serenity Now!". Definately peel off the top layer if possible. That top layer is more than likely vinyl. Guess what? Water, Dif, and all the other stuff you listing WILL NOT penetrate vinyl. The scoring tool you referred to should only be used on wallpapers that the top layer will not come off. In fact, if you use it on a paper that the top layer will come off, it will make your job harder.

If you are going to continue to use Dif, only use what the bottle says. I have spoken with manufacturers of Dif and Safe and Simple, the two biggies of wallpaper strippers. Adding more solution than recommended does nothing. It works on the more equals less principle. If anything, you should use more water. The wetter the solution is, the faster it will soak. Which will soak faster water or gel?? Gel solutions work on the theory that you can roll it on and wait. This is true, but a watery solution will actually soak faster and more complete with less time. Do not worry about over soaking the wall.

If you plan on painting, you will want 100% of the wallpaper paste off the wall. Otherwise, the paste residue will leave a texture behind, or worse fisheye your new paint. Priming may solve the fisheye problem, but there will still be a texture. A little fabric softener mixed with warm water, and a scrubbing pad will eat wallpaper paste alive. If you are going to re wallpaper, the old paste is no problem. If you are going to have the little holes spackled, you should remove all the paste residue as well. spackle will utimately fail when applied over adhesive.

View my wallpaper stripping page here for more advice.
Old 02-19-02, 09:40 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Thank you so much for your prompt reply! I am scraping, cursing, running in here checking the forum for advice, and going back to scraping again. I will replace the cursing with SERENITY NOW!

I am still unclear as to what I should do --- please forgive my obstinance. I'm a network engineer, so little bits of data are really all I comprehend. Glue is just not abstract enough!

1) I should peel the top layer off, THEN apply the solution, as recommended by the manufacturer? (No scoring?)

2) Do I wait 15 minutes, reapply, wait another 15 minutes? On the plain paper backing that is stuck to the wall with what appears to be the same glue that stuck the tiles to space vehicles?

3) This glue is NOT dissolving at all. In fact, the more I wet it, the more obstinate it becomes! When first beginning the project, I didn't use the fabric softener or vinegar, just the DIF and it worked about as well as plain tap water, which is why I tried adding the other stuff. Virtually none of the paper peels off, it all has to be scraped with great vigor to get it off.

4) So (***sob*** ***sob***) even if I have a spackler put spackle over the top of this, I will have to get every little bit of stubborn paper and glue off?! Maybe I should just have the room re-drywalled! Or better yet, maybe I should move.

Thanks again,
Old 02-19-02, 02:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 618
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
1. You definately should remove the facing material first to expose the thirsty backing material. Scoring will actually slow you down, it will prevent you from removing the wallpaper in nice big sheets. The holes make the paper become a frustrating series of small tears.

2. If you mix up a real sloppy (wet) solution, you should only have to wait about 10 minutes to see results. Wet the living devil out of the wall, it should be running all over the place. Use old towels/sheets to protect the floor. If after 10 minutes, soak some more. A cheap garden sprayer works wonders for this, though you can use sponges or a paint roller. Space shuttle tiles are adhered with a special room temerature vulcanizing silicone adhesive. The only thing that will remove it is prying it off.

3. The glue isn't dissolving because you are trying it the wrong way. Once the facing of the paper is off, the water proof vinyl coat is gone. The backing material will absorb your stripping solution and work like gangbusters.

4. The residual glue shouldn't be that big of a problem. Lots of water and a little green scrubbing pad will take care of it. You should find that it won't be a big deal because using the proper techniques described above, will remove 80-90% of the adhesive along with your backing material. Then it is a matter of a good washing and spot scrubbing areas. No need to re-drywall if this task becomes too large or complicated. You can purchase blank liner paper at home improvement stores. Its real cheap and can be painted or papered over.

Please let me know how things go and if you need any more assistance, you can do it!
Old 02-19-02, 04:27 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I agree with the expert.

I was about to give up and hire someone when a friend gave me the key to easy removal....SATURATION>

I also fill one of those pump sprayers (like you use in the garden) and mix the stuff with very hot water. SATURATE the paper (and YES remove the facing first).

And when you see how much easier it is, thank god your wall paper is old and that the vinyl facing peels off. The newer stuff makes this old paper seem like a dream to remove.

I thought this was going to be the hardest part of the job. But once I learned about the spray and wait, spray and wait again method, it has become the easiest part of redoing my walls.

BTW...I tend to wait longer than 10 to 15 minutes. Maybe I just like long breaks but I think it makes it come of easier. I'm also using Strip + remover from Lowes or Home Depot...the citrusy kind. It took me an easy day to do the livingroom. Now I'm ready to tackle the rest of the house.

Hope it becomes easy for you too.
Old 02-19-02, 09:15 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a

Thank you both SOOO much! At about 7:30 tonight, I decided "Ok, one more try" and I followed both your advice to the letter, making two major changes to my previous (unsuccessful) technique.

Instead of rolling the solution on the wall and just waiting, then rolling again, I rolled then waited, then MISTED and rolled HARD on top of that. Then I used a small, flexible spackling scraper instead of the plastic one that I bought at the paint store and the fancy plastic/metal one that I bought at Home Depot.

What a difference! The paper virtually PEELED ITSELF off! As soon as I felt the slightest resistance, I misted then rolled it again and it was like magic.

BTW, I do have to score the paper since it simply won't peel off without being scored and wetted down, but it does come off in pretty large pieces so it isn't so bad. And the scoring does not reach down into the paper backing, so the wall is not affected.

I can not thank you both enough for taking the time to guide me on this. Honestly, I had been to every retail establishment in the area asking advice and even had the spackler come over to tell me what to do! You two were the only ones who really did help, though! I'll let you know when I'm done, which now looks like it might be before the next lunar eclipse!


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: