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Is refinishing to a smooth surface even possible?


Jason Robo's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2007
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02-01-07, 08:27 AM   #1  
Is refinishing to a smooth surface even possible?

Hi, I just bought my 1st house and there is wall paper all over in the main hall and living area. There are two different types hung in these areas. The 1st type of wallpaper is actually grasscloth. It has woven grass glued to a "less than paper thin" backing paper. While I can pull the grass weeve off with no problem, the backingpaper WILL NOT COME OFF!!! It almost seems as though it has somehow chemically bonded itself to the sheetrock paper. This is where the problem lies. I have removed some and have damaged the surface of the sheetrock paper.(not through to the sheetrock itself, just the paper has peeled off slightly) Now, if I continue to remove all of this and peel the sheetrock paper off in some areas, is there any way that these walls will be able to be refinished to a very flat, smooth surface, so I can get them retextured with a very light orange peel?

O, and the other wall paper has bits and pieces of old wall paper finished underneath it. So, when I peel off the top layer of wall paper, I'm left with a smooth finished surface, but, this surface consists of a combination of sheetrock mud and old, old, wall paper that obviously couldn't be removed before. And I'm not sure I would be able to texture over that.

So, I guess I'm asking weather or not I can salvage the sheet rock or replace with new sheetrock and start over?...............Any way, all help will be greatly appreciated!!!


Last edited by Jason Robo; 02-01-07 at 08:47 AM.
 
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stickshift's Avatar
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02-01-07, 11:37 AM   #2  
Any exposed gypsum should be primed with Zinsser Gardz. After that, skim coating the walls with joint compound will be how you get them smooth. Going to take a lot of work, but it can be done.

 
marksr's Avatar
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02-01-07, 03:21 PM   #3  
Usually grass cloth is one of the easier papers to remove. Are you wetting the backing or trying to remove it dry?


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XSleeper's Avatar
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02-01-07, 07:05 PM   #4  
Every drywall finisher I know curses people who think they can repair entire rooms worth of walls that have had wallpaper damage. They always say, "why didn't they just tear it all off and put up new drywall?

When old wallpaper gets wet (such as by applying a fresh coat of mud over it) it often bubbles up, ruining the new finish. This can happen multiple times as each coat of mud is added. Sounds like a nightmare, I don't envy you or your tapers.

 
marksr's Avatar
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02-02-07, 05:42 AM   #5  
Whenever the drywall face paper is removed you need to coat the raw gypsum with a solvent based primer. This will prevent moisture from the joint compound or paint from softening up the gypsum causing the bubbles.

While repairing damaged walls is never fun it is often easier/quicker than replacing.


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
Jason Robo's Avatar
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02-02-07, 12:20 PM   #6  
I would like to thank you guys for the info. And yes, I have been wetting the backing paper. It just seems that some un-earthly bond has occured with the backing paper, glue, and the sheetrock paper.?.? Who knows?

But, thanks again!

 
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