Can someone please tell me what this is!!

16 Apr 2013
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United Kingdom
I have recently moved into a new property (council) and I was aware that one of the living room walls "moved" (if you pushed it then it went into and out..). Now, when I've come to redecorate I've pulled the previous wallpaper off and (see photo's) this is what I've found. However, some of this white stuff won't come off the wall, as if it's stuck correctly.

We were told that the previous owner rang up the council and they said it's fine to wallpaper (this was because the council had apparently plastered over the wall because there was a fireplace there - this is the bit of the wall where the white stuff has stuck properly).

If someone could please tell me what this white material is, I'd be very grateful. We were told by the previous owner that it'll be plaster, but that doesn't make sense as the plaster is behind the white material!


EDIT: the council always paint magnolia, not white - so I'm more confused at why behind the wallpaper there's white if it's been painted.

EDIT: Just found out the previous tenant painted a thin white cover over the plaster when she moved in, as the council hadn't done it.

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It looks like existing built up layers of paint, the plastered walls might not have been mist coated prior to top coats.

The council would have painted it magnolia, if this was the case. But it's pure white. And the previous tenant didn't paint the wall at all :S

EDIT: My apologies, I've just found out that the previous tenant moved into a newly plastered wall (not painted like it should have been) and she painted over it in white.
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whats stuck to the back of the wall paper is multi finish plaster, its from either the first top coat being left too long before giving it the second coat when 2 coating, or from being over skimmed but whoever did it didnt pva the wall first in that area or the pva went off to quick.

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