Damaged walls from wallpaper removal

dian57June 21, 2010

I love wallpaper. In other people's homes. And I love it when it's fresh and new and there's no thought on the horizon of it ever coming down.

But we all know it has to come down eventually. My husband spent two very long, hot days with a commercial steamer removing many layers from our "new" late 1940's cape cod kitchen. I saved pieces of all the different patterns for posterity.

We are left with 2 nearly pristine walls and two that look like they have leprosy. Sheetrock backing came off in many places with the wallpaper backing. What's the solution?

My son suggested skim coating the bad walls, my DIL recommended beadboard panels. I'd really just like smooth walls to paint.

Suggestions? Opinions?

Thanks, Dianne

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brickeyee

A skim coat will restore the surface, the problem is finding someone who knows how to do a good job.

If the paper face is badly torn up in many places removing and replacing can also be an option.

Putting a coat of primer on the damaged wall can help with moisture from the compound soaking into the cardboard face and causing it to swell while you are trying to smooth out the surfaces.

Kilz works well.

Apply primer, allow to dry, lightly sand any fuzzy spots that remain (just enough to remove the fuzz without cutting through the primer (220 grit is about right), then skim.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 8:42AM
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dian57

Brickeyee, I primed the walls last evening as you suggested. Tonight I'll do the sanding and hopefully ask my son to skim coat over the weekend. Slow progress but progress none the less.

Thanks for your spot-on advice.

Dianne

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 6:37AM
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brickeyee

A plasterer's trowel goes much faster for skim coating large areas.

It take some practice, but being able to sweep out a large area quickly really shortens the tie needed.

Avoid the trowels with the small diameter (3/4 to 1 inch) handles. They are to small to control the rotation of the trowel as it is swept over the surface.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 8:56AM
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worthy

A perfect illustration why I often found it more cost effective to demolish and start from scratch. (Leave aside all the lead dust that I undoubtedly breathed in over the years!)

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 5:46PM
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lindac

You could re wall paper...
;)

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 1:06AM
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dian57

Linda, that's just mean. :)

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 5:49AM
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Moccasin

This is also a good time to consider a beadboard wainscoting.
It would fit nicely with your cape style.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 11:52AM
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brickeyee

"You could re wall paper..."

Every damaged spot on the drywall will show through badly on new wallpaper.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 2:45PM
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powermuffin

Pick up a Magic Trowel for $15. We had no experience skim coating and this tool made it sooooo much easier!! Really.
Diane

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 4:39PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

Putting a coat of primer on the damaged wall can help with moisture from the compound soaking into the cardboard face and causing it to swell while you are trying to smooth out the surfaces.

Kilz works well.

Just for everyone's information, Gardz primer was MADE for just this situation, Kilz is not the proper primer for this.

Here is a link that might be useful: gardz

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 5:34AM
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dian57

Christopern: now that there is already a coat of Kilz2 primer on the walls, do you suggest a coat of Gardz on top or has that opportunity passed?

Please educate me, what's the difference?

The sanding goal was missed the other day, too tired and hot to tackle it. This weekend we'll continue.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 6:53AM
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brickeyee

The performance difference between Kilz2 and Gardz is not enough to matter.

An oil based (or even shellac based) product is better than a latex product that contains water.

If the coats are on and dry, sand any spots lightly and ski coat away.

The intent is to provide at least some barrier to prevent water from the drywall mud (more important with premix than setting type) from causing any further swelling or damage to the cardboard surface.

I used my old oil flat paint up long ago for this.

I usually just use whatever left over but still good shellac I have around, and in a rush will buy Kilz.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 1:29PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

" quote"The performance difference between Kilz2 and Gardz is not enough to matter."

Have you ever even used either product???
That statement is just ludicrous.

Gardz was formulated to seal torn drywall, Kilz will not even come close to the performance of Gardz, not even on the same planet, get real.

Latex Kilz product are highly marketed, over rated primers. If you were a professional painter and did this for a living you would know this.

To answer the OP question, I would never trust a latex primer to lock down residual wall paper paste, it will eventually eat through the paint and you will have a real mess. Either re coat with an oil primer or Gardz

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 6:28AM
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brickeyee

"Have you ever even used either product???
That statement is just ludicrous. "
Gardz was formulated to seal torn drywall, Kilz will not even come close to the performance of Gardz, not even on the same planet, get real."

I have tried both of them.

"Formulated" is in the eye of the manufacturer and the advertising department. I could care less about what the sales garbage says.

"Latex Kilz product are highly marketed, over rated primers. If you were a professional painter and did this for a living you would know this. "

I actually prefer shellac to avoid adding ANY water to the damaged surface, guess you missed that.

The only reason to put anything on damaged drywall before repairing the surface is to reduce the movement of water from joint compound into the damaged cardboard causing any further swelling.

Setting compound does a lot better than premix. You can use only as much water as you need to get a mix for skimming.

Failing to remove left over paste before finishing is just foolish, and is not the issue here.

Any coating is not being used as a primer to improve adhesion of the paint, just to block some moisture.
Just about any primer will work for this, and it is going to get buried under a layer of drywall mud when the area is skimmed.

Anyone who knows how to reportage damaged drywall and skim coat would know this.

The painters do NOT know (ever watched them try to fix plaster?).

They paint things, not install and repair walls.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 7:57AM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

quote"They paint things, not install and repair walls."

I actually do both and hang wall paper. Gardz will out perform any latex Kilz product any day, any time, both as a drywall sealer and primer.You obviously have your opinion about the whole process. I need to get paid for what I do and cannot afford to have ANY un happy clients, so I do it properly and with products that I know will work. I am now done with this topic, the OP can either take advise or not.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 6:37AM
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brickeyee

Congratulations on buying into the advertising BS.

I still much prefer shellac and setting compound for skimming damaged wall.

The shellac is dry in minutes, contains zero water, and seals better than anything else on the market.

It does require mixing from shellac flakes and denatured alcohol since once dissolved shellac does have a limited shelf life, and stripping off shellac that failed to dry is a non starter.

Let us know when you learn hot to do run in place plaster moldings and repair plaster and drywall walls (with major holes and damage) in a single eight hour shift, despite needing multiple layers of patching material.

Painters paint.

I have yet to meet one that can correctly do major wall repairs (like skimming a large area).
Most of the 'drywall finishers' can barely figure out how to do the job quickly without having to sand everything.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 10:49AM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

You are right , I am wrong. This is a DIY forum and I was just trying to help the easiest way possible for the typical home owner. Mixing shellac flakes with denatured alcohol is not the answer that most home owners were looking for. In fact, this clueless, stupid, painter, who with 30 years experience, actually does believe in some advertising BS and Gardz is one of them that I and thousands of other painters and paper hangers have used and found to be a great product. So you go on handing out you're superior knowledge and wisdom and maybe you might actually help a poor home owner looking for a way to fix a problem easily.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 5:09AM
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dian57

Yesterday, just for insurance against future problems, I asked my husband to apply a coat of Guardz over the Kilz. There's merit to all advice given. I figure it's a kitchen that will generate steam and why not go the extra step and "guard" against wall problems later.

I also went belly up, called the contractor and added skim-coating the walls and retaping the ceiling seams into the job. There's just too much else to do to add another work-intensive job that may turn out badly.

Thursday, the skim coat gets done by a professional.
Back to patching, priming, sanding and painting the other 10 areas of the house.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 4:11AM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

Good for you.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 5:21AM
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