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Paint over wallpaper. How to remedy?!

Posted by eckshome12 (My Page) on
Thu, May 17, 12 at 21:35

I recently moved into a house with many rooms that have a couple coats of paint over wallpaper. Needless to say, the walls look horrible.
I'm trying to figure out what to do. Should we labor day and night to try to get this stuff off the walls. I can only imagine the disaster under there (FYI the house is from 1963).
Does it make sense to leave the many coats of paint and wallpaper where they are and skim coat on top?

If I realize that this is all beyond my ability, will a professional painter charge me an arm and a leg to make my walls look smooth?
Thank you!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Paint over wallpaper. How to remedy?!

Skim coat over this mess? NO!!!

Get some estimates and see what it is going to cost. It all depends on if the original paper was installed properly( ie, it was primed first)

RE: Paint over wallpaper. How to remedy?!

It may not be as bad as you think. Try 1 wall somewhere in the house that matters a little less. Try a legit paint store and see what they have to aid in stripping. There is a product out there called a paper tiger that perforates the paper and allows the stripping chemical [which can be just dilute white vinegar] to penetrate and help lift the paper. Sometimes, the fact that it has been painted makes it even easier as the paper is less likely to tear as much.

RE: Paint over wallpaper. How to remedy?!

pre 1970 home means your in for a mess, if that is when the wallpaper was installed. good news is you dont know when it was LOL
here is what to expect.
one job will peal off the walls no problem, the next one will require the removing all of the drywall and starting over.
pre 1970 drywall is a gamble of its own, any moisture on some of it will create blisters (paper coming loose from the gypsum) so just the moisture from the solutions to remove wallpaper is enough to destroy old drywall in some cases, depending on if it was primed, or even painted before wallpaper.
also keep in mind that much of the old drywall had asbestos in it/ and many paints before 1978 had lead in them. so any work done to an old house needs to be done carefully. many contractors dont care about the particles that are left in your home for you to deal with.
so when you are looking at estimates, you need to think about the knowledge of contractor, as well as the additional costs that a good one will incure, including test kits for your older home project, and the possible need for air scrubbers, suits, and masks.

RE: Paint over wallpaper. How to remedy?!

The problem with "a skim coat" is that the moisture in the coating is often enough to soften the wallpaper glue and you end up with a skim coat with bubbles and separating spots.

RE: Paint over wallpaper. How to remedy?!

Are you planning on living in this home for a long time? If so, do it right.

I had a kitchen, dining room, and hall that had paper hung over raw drywall mud (had also been previously skimmed when glued panelling had been removed). It was a mess!!!

My solution: I hung new 1/4" new sheetrock over the mess!
Have never regretted it; I now have nice walls to paint.


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