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best steps to remove wallpaper was painted over.

best steps to remove wallpaper was painted over.


Old 01-25-05, 09:30 AM
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Question best steps to remove wallpaper that was painted over.

Hello all, this is my first post, although I've been lurking for a while.

I just closed on my first house friday! Now the work begins. The living room has alot of paint on it (ceiling and walls). There is a seam every 18 inches on the walls showing up under the paint, which leads me to believe the former owner either a) painted over wallpaper, or b) used some type of plaster smoothing paper and painted over that.
Here's a picture of one seam:

I there are a few thin cracks here and there, as this how was built in 1918. I want do do this room right the first time. I have a paper tiger, and I've had success removing wallpaper with it and downy, but I'm not sure that will work since this has been painted over!! Advice?

Question two: The ceiling has been texture painted a number of times, I think there has either been some patch work, or they just covered up what was a small leak or moisture problem from the chimney. I'm having the chimney mortar repaired to make sure the leak never happens again. How should I go about repairing this ceiling? I hate to keep covering problems up.

Here are some more pictures of the house!


Last edited by a-dogg; 01-25-05 at 10:02 AM. Reason: grammatical error in the title.
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Old 01-26-05, 07:23 AM
awesomedell's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 2,425
Hello Andrew and welcome to the forums.

That sure looks like a wallpaper seam to me also. Check with the local wallpaper or paint store, there is a product, which I can't recall the exact name of it, but it's sprayed on the wallpaper and really help make the removal process easier. I believe that it's citric based. Look in the Decorating section of this forum and you will find a wallpaper forum, ask in there and someone should have the name of it. You might also think about renting a wallpaper steamer to remove the old wall paper. Once you've got it off the wall, I would suggest geting a product called Gardz, made by the Zinnser Co and seal the wall prior to patching & skimming the wall for repainting.

I looked at all of your pics, but didn't see a picture of the ceiling in question. Was it a textured ceiling that was painted or just a flat ceiling that was painted with a texturized paint? Take a pic of it and post it up with the rest of them and then let me know & I'll take a look at it. You absolutely have the right idea, better to do the job right the first time instead of just covering it up and hoping it will go away.

Keep us posted and congrats on your first house!
Old 01-26-05, 10:11 AM
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Thanks for the response. I tried using my paper tiger, but couldn't get it deep enough below the paint that covers the wallpaper. However, I did manage to cut the seam that bubbled up and scrape out from there. At this point I can't tell if it is drywall underneath or plaster. My guess is now drywall. I'll take some more pictures of the progress i've made on the wall, as well as the Ceiling texture.
Old 01-26-05, 09:24 PM
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I'm wondering if perhaps this is drywall, and those seams were the tape coming up? Did drywall at one point come in 18" widths? I scraped about 7 or 8 feet in width of the wall down to whatever material this is (that brownish paper left behind is either the drywall paper skin, or wallpaper backing).


I'm glad I started scraping this so I could see the cracks for what they are... they will need to be repaired. I found that using my 1" wood chisel with the beveled edge flush with the wall is the best way to scrape this off without injuring the wall.

Once it is all scraped, I planned to go back over with downy/water solution to get the paper off, followed by a diluted TSP solution to get the surface clean for whatever repairs need doing... sound ok?

Next come the repairs. I'm not sure if I'm dealing with Drywall or plaster here, so any advice would be great. Will I need a plasterer to come in and get the surface ready for paint? I'd rather do as much as possible myself, but since my intention was to make these walls flat and smooth and professional looking I might be doing myself a disservice by doing that myself.

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