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i think i made a mistake

Discussion in 'General DIY' started by craveneym, 15 Feb 2011.

  1. craveneym

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    Can any one help me out with a problem i am having at the moment?
    i don't know if this is the right page to be on but here goes

    I have been trying to take off some wall paper with a steamer and it was going well until what appears to be the top coat of the wall started to come off, its a thin grey layer about 1mm thick. firstly what is this layer? and secondly how do i fix it?

    Many thanks
    Matthew
     
  2. mcluma

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    Is it plaster, or coats of paint??
     
  3. craveneym

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    it's plaster and its only in a few small places the biggest being about 10cm by 4cm
     
  4. petersmith1

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    I had this with a steamer. They are useless and crack off the top layer of plaster. The best way to get paper off is to make water do all the work. I spray water onto the wall with a giant syringe, starting at the top. If I repeat this several times and have a cup of tea. the paper starts dropping off the wall. The only problem is that the water runs down the skirtings so before you start put plenty of old sheets right up against them to soak it up. It's made a dreadfull job into an enjoyment. As a rough guide 1 gall [4.5L] for a wall 12ft long x 8.5ft high before you are even tempted to scrape.
     
  5. sixeighth

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    If you don't have a giant syringe handy you might want to get a 1.5l garden bottle spray. The one I use has a lock so you can keep the trigger depressed and the nozzle can be adjusted to give a fine mist spray.

    You need to spray a decent size area but not so much that you can't keep up - how much depends on how tight your paper is stuck. If you start with a light spray to get the face of the paper just damp then the next time you pass over it with the sprayer the water is more likely to be absorbed and not run down onto the floor although there's no avoiding that to some extent at least.

    As petersmith says, it needs lots of time. I'd be spraying a largish section at least four or five times and not starting to scrap any paper for at least twenty minutes (more like an hour though). The more/longer it's soaked the easier the paper/paste will come off.

    I would wash the walls as I go - after each one is stripped and the remaining paste is still soft.

    You should be ok to fill where the plaster has come off with a decent filler then sand before the next stage.
     
  6. Inky Pete

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    A little bit of fabric conditioner in the water helps too.
     
  7. IJWS15

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    Thin wallpaper paste applied by brush, does not dry out as fast as plain water but makes one ....... of a mess on the floor.
     
  8. plumbamateur

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    Good advice. I had exactly the same issue. Problem is that the old plaster gets penetrated by the steam and just comes away. I ended up having to build a new partition wall (well, re plaster board and skim, as least) in my Victorian property as few years ago ... I think older properties are probably more susceptable to this.

    Good luck!
     
  9. wotan

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    a few drops of washing up liquid in the water helps too, it lowers the surface tension and allows the water to penetrate more easily.

    Wotan
     
  10. Richard C

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    Common problem with over zealous use of steamers but it’s heat that expands the plaster skim & blows it off the base coat rather than the steam; you can hear it pop. Water is best but if you must use a steamer, don’t leave it in the same place for too long.
     
  11. foamit

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    Polyfilla
     
  12. colinM50

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    Loads of tips that you did it wrong, personally I disagree I always use a steamer but that's just my opinion and yes sometimes the plaster comes off too. No big deal.

    To fix your problem DON'T use normal Polyfilla, you'll give yourself hours of work filling and rubbing down.

    Polyfilla do a specific plaster patch repair goober stuff

    http://search.diy.com/search#w=plaster repair

    and it works brilliantly.

    Spread it over the affected area with the supplied plastic trowel and just keep smoothing it over and over. Let it dry and maybe you'll have to give deep areas a recoat or if not just a quick sand with 120grit sandpaper with the hoover nozzle in your other hand sucking up the dust and the jobs done.

    Very satisfying to do and not hard.
     
  13. Richard C

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