Removing wallpaper from unfinishted/untextured drywall - help?

Hawkz4UsAugust 28, 2011

We just moved into a 20-year old home, where the original owners wallpapered a couple of rooms right on top of the unfinished drywall. They must have had the drywall taped and mudded, but did not spray the walls before applying the wallpaper. On top of that, it is a cheap, thin paper wallpaper. So, we are concerned we will damage the walls if we try to remove the wallpaper. Any advice? The walls are hideous, and we really want to paint!

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You will rip the heck out of the drywall trying to remove it.

Sand down any visible seams, then prime it with a non-water based paint, such as the white alcohol-based stain killing stuff.

Then paint.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 12:07PM
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Yes, expect to have a huge mess. I had a bathroom with that problem. Since the surface was vinyl, I had to remove it. The mess was terrible. I got the vinyl and the paper backing along with a lot of the drywall paper off the walls. I coated the bare gypsum with Gardz. When it dried, I kept filling the deepest dents with thin layers of joint compound, then eventually did a skim coat of the walls. More Gardz, good primer then two coats of paint. It looked good and held up well. But it was a lot of work.

Having removed layer after layer of painted wallpaper, it's not something I recommend. A lot depends on how picky you are. Painted wallpaper never looks great, but you may decide that it's "good enough" when compared to the work to remove it and patch the walls. If you go that route, you have to remove any lose paper, sand lumpy seams, etc. then seal it with Gardz, then prime and paint. It may still bubble or loosen, but that's your best shot if you want to paint over it.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 2:19PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

Despite what "lazy" said, just remove the paper. Most likely it will come off with little damage if done properly. Painted wallpaper is just that and never looks good.

Here is a link that might be useful: stripping

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 5:50AM
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I was in the same situation.

I first rented a steamer and went at it. It worked, but it was very unpleasant and messy.

I then read where fabric softener mixed with water can be used. You have to keep reapplying it, but its a lot better than the steamer and its not like using serious chemicals.

Both options require first using a paper tiger over and over.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 2:04PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

No serios chemicals here, it comes for California!

Here is a link that might be useful: safe and simple

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 5:57AM
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