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Wallpaper under paint

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rtbeck820

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Just bought a house and realized there is wallpaper under the paint in the kitchen and dinning room. How hard would it be to remove the current paint and wallpaper? I'm a little worried about accidentally ripping off the top layer of the sheet rock.
 
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chrisn

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I would remove it. It is almost always better to get back to the original wall surface.
 

DFBonnett

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Just bought a house and realized there is wallpaper under the paint in the kitchen and dinning room. How hard would it be to remove the current paint and wallpaper? I'm a little worried about accidentally ripping off the top layer of the sheet rock.
Can you lift up a corner and describe what you find? There are a lot of possible variations, thus a lot of possible solutions. More information is needed.
 

bud16415

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Most of my wallpaper removing was over old hard plaster. Sometimes as many as 12 layers of it with paint mixed in between some of the layers or on top. Many times the paper was supporting the plaster and always lots of repairs after to plaster and when it was over drywall some repairs (skim coating) will be required. They make a tool you roll around on the wall and it pokes little holes in the paper to let the steam or how water misting in. both methods work pretty good on the old papers. Some of the newer papers claim to be strippable. Like mentioned above try working at a corner or edge and see what it takes. If it is going to really fight you it might be cheaper to add new drywall or remove and replace the drywall. If there is other work you want to do wiring or insulation now is the time to do that as well. I stripped the paper repaired the plaster and painted all my walls. I was tempted to just add a layer of drywall but the outlets and trim would be messed up and need fixed so I went that way. On the ceilings I slapped up 25 sheets of drywall and covered it all up with new. Was a 100 times easier as the ceilings were also in bad shape and covered in paper.
 

nealtw

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Depending on age, you could be dealing with lead in the paint and asbestos in the paper, just more crap to think about. Vinyl paper before 1980 would be suspect.
 

kok328

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steam it off, or use DIFF and a Paper Tiger.
Don't worry about the paper, you can skim coat it later.
Personally, I've only taken down borders. Sliced it with a utility knife, sprayed it with water, let it soak and then start peeling and scraping.
 

Mastercarpenty

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If the paper doesn't have a plastic coating and the paint isn't a gloss, it can usually be removed by sponging on hot soapy water and waiting for that to soak in to scrape carefully. Vinegar water works well too. The idea is to soak the wallpaper enough so that it loses adhesion, and that may take several applications of the liquid. Don't forcecthe scraping, the paper should almost fall off by itself; re-wet it as needed.

If several applications doesn't seem to be doing the trick then something water-resistant is involved. For that get a "paper tiger" and roll it all over the wall to pierce the waterproofing then try the process again. Last resort is steaming.

Pray that there is paint, primer, or at least wallpaper sizing on the wall surface under the wallpaper, If there isn't, you will pull the facing off the paper on the sheetrock and you'll have to skim the whole wall with sheetrock mud before you can repaint.

Use a waterproof dropcloth, preferably plastic which you can wad up and throw away when you're done because this can get messy. And be careful walking on the mess because it can be very slippery when it's still wet.

Phil
 
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chrisn

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Yes, a paper tiger or light scoring with a utility knife will allow your solution "DIFF" to get behind the paper and to the adhesive.
Diff is pretty toxic stuff, I never use it.
Safe and Simple is the way to go, it's safe AND it works way better.
 

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