Removing Wallpaper Paste

Discussion in 'Decorating and Painting' started by W4SIM, 1 Feb 2008.

  1. W4SIM

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    Hello all

    In my new house the previous owner had painted over the wallpaper, which i must say looked quite nice.

    However, to tidy it up a little bit i went over it with another coat. Damn room started stinking like hell, and that was almost 2 weeks ago. I cant get rid of the aweful smell. One of the mysteries im faced with is why it started to smell so badly in the first place and why it wont go away?

    So im thinking that if i cant get rid of the smell, then the wallpaper will have to come down instead and the bare wall be painted on.

    If i have to go down that route whats the best way to remove painted wallpaper and the wallpaper paste thats going to be left behind?

    Ideally, id like to remove just the smell, but i honestly cant see where iv gone wrong.

    many thanks for your help.
     
  2. JohnD

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    If it is an old house, it is possible the walls were previously treated with glue size. This is made from boiled up horses hooves and has a distinctive smell which I find unpleasant. It is not good to paint over. It was also used to make distemper which must be completely removed if you hope to paint the surface. It dissolves in hot water but not in cold.

    scratch the paper and soak it. scratching the surface first allows water to penetrate the paint

    depending on the ability of the floor to withstand water, or you ability to protect it, I find lots of warm water, repeatedly applied with a soft sweeping brush or a garden sprayer, is the thing. Add a drop of washing up liquid to help it soak in.

    use a metal scraper. One with a long handle allows you to to work faster.

    to get the remains of paste off, plenty of warm water again, and a broad metal scraper. It will take the wet paste off like slime, even when you thought there wasn't any. you just keep wiping the blade clean. it also removes those particles of paper you didn't notice.

    scrubbing or sponging the wall doesn't take off the paste and snots as effectively as a scraper.

    you can also use a the scraper to level off any plaster patches or repairs after chasing. Far easier and smoother than sanding them. After the plaster has set it remains soft enough to scrape smooth until it has dried pale. I find finish plaster easier and quicker than fillers (and far cheaper)
     
  3. W4SIM

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    Hi John

    Thank you for your help and a thorough answer.

    First thing to remember is that im trying NOT to go down the route of removing the wallpaper at all, just the smell. If that fails then the wallpaper will have to come down, aswell as the paste before the bare wall can be re-painted.

    As for the house itself, i think it was built in about 1985-1989 period, so not too old. But would this be old enough for it to have glue size used on it? And i think the wallpaper itself might not be more than about 3 years old at the worst.

    Like i said, the wallpaper in question had already been painted over at some stage in the last 3 years, and there wasnt too bad a smell. But now that iv painted over it freshly, it stinks quite badly. And im sure its the paint job thats done it because iv not done anything else to it.
     
  4. JohnD

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    at that age it will not have glue size or distemper.

    I don't know what it is, unless fungal growth caused by damp or possibly houshold cooking smells absorbed into the wallpaper.
     
  5. W4SIM

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    Well thats a relief! :confused:

    Im pretty certain normal household/cooking smells are not to blame. Its kind like a by-gas of the paint itself thats reacted with something else to make it a stronger, more pungent smell!

    In 2 weeks, it hasnt really got any weaker, and thats with windows and doors well open for ventilation!
     

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