Old wallpaper?

simpylatinJuly 17, 2009


I'm new to this forum and hope someone can give us advice on what to do about our walls. Last summer, my husband and I bought a house that was built in 1960. We did a quick paint and moved in. As far as we could tell there was no wallpaper except in one room.

In the living room, we have just noticed that the wall are "cracking." Closer inspection shows that it is more like a top layer of wallpaper that has been painted over a zillion times. This cracking has started at the bottom of the walls and peels off pretty easily.

Has anyone else had this happen? Will pulling this stuff off ruin the walls? My husband is pretty handy at home remodeling/repairs, but says he has never seen this before. Can anyone help? Thanks.

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Stripping wallpaper that had been painted is pretty much the same as stripping unpainted wallpaper. The difference that it's just going to take a bit more perseverance to get it off.

The main technique to getting wallpaper off is to break the bond between the paper and the original wall surface. Steam, wallpaper remover, moisture all require that it can penetrate through the paper to the adhesive that holds it to the wall. When dealing with painted paper, that process just becomes more tedious but doable.

I stripped some paper that was painted and then "textured" with some dry wall compound. Like you I discovered it as it started peeling and creating issues. I used some standard processes and the paper came off but it took a bit more elbow work.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 11:05PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

Yours is the classic example as to why you DO NOT paint over wall paper.Removal now becomes a little more involved as posted , but doable.

Here is a link that might be useful: removal

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 5:26AM
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I've seen it more times than I care to remember, especially on nasty ceilings, where somebody decided to paper over hair-line cracks, and then somebody after that decided a paint job would do for awhile. argh

Sometimes, as you said, the multiple layers of paint give the paper body, like papier mache' and make it easy to pull it off intact. I have seen some drywall finish come off with it. I guess you would have to see how much damage that leaves the drywall, and decide whether you would rather do a skim coat, or be very careful with the steaming off the layers.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 10:08PM
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