Suggestions Please? Stripping Wallpaper To Paint...

21 Aug 2015
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United Kingdom

I've seen similar forums to this but hoping I can get some specific help by starting a new one.

Our living & dining room is currently wallpapered and we want to move towards it being painted. I'm looking to get advice on the best procedures to ensure a decent finish.

We recently stripped wallpaper in out downstairs toilet by:
  1. Using steamer to remove the paper
  2. Cleaned the walls with sugar soap twice
  3. Filled in the holes and where the small patches of paint that peeled away as the paper was removed
  4. Painted a few undercoats of white emulsion then the final coat.
The downstairs toilet looks good, but was a painstaking process, so looking for help to make the living & dining room much easier as the room is about 20 times the size!

Steaming and removing the wallpaper - took ages. Is there any way to speed this up? (I've seen online some people suggests some form of solution to wash on the wallpaper first to 'loosen' it up, any ideas/suggestions?)

The main reason I'm posting here - Sometimes the paper pulled off patches of paint underneath. What's the best way to (A) avoid these patches in the first place and (B) fill them in so they're not visible on the final coat? When the patches occurred in the toilet room, I just used a standard filler and sanded, then a few undercoats. It looks fine, but surely not the best practise. I've seen some people suggest either not filling them in and just a few layers of emulsion/sanding to smooth it off, and others suggest using a super fine filler. Any suggestions?

One other issue I encounter in the toilet was when I thought the walls were all well, the paint peeled off the wall on one part (about 150ml x 100ml patch) as I rolled on an undercoat. Is there any way to avoid this?

Thanks in advance people!
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To remove wallpaper and save the time I always rolling walls with warm water. Also making cuttings to the paper with stanley knife at the beggining. If for example one room needs stripping I spend say two hours only applying water to walls with roller. Offcourse carefully and with propely covered floor. Then start stripping with stripping knife. Apply watter if needed again and repeat.Steamer is only helpfull for walls painted with silk or gloss. i
If the walls in your living room are already stripped, to gain the best result would be good to replaster them paint with mist coat and two coats of colour. This will guarantee good and smooth finish. (Plasterer have to be expirienced) Instead of filling in every single hole plaster is applied on the whole wall. you also save your time to rub down walls.
you could also re-line the walls but finish will not be that good as after plastering.

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Wallpaper stripping is just one of those jobs that takes as long as it takes. Sometimes you can expect a room to take all day and it takes a few hours, other times you can expect a day and it will take three. Various methods can be used, steaming, wetting, wallpaper stripping solution, washing up liquid in the water...(a little old lady told me to try Daz powder in the water many years ago, and it worked surprisingly well - just make sure you give the walls a rinse with clean water afterwards ;)).
One important thing to consider is scoring the paper before wetting or steaming. A standard wallpaper doesn't really benefit from scoring, but vinyls and painted wallpapers do. I say consider because, as you are intending to just paint the walls afterwards, you need to be careful not to excessively damage the underlying surface with knives and scoring tools.

The paint usually comes off the wall because the correct mist coat of paint wasn't applied to the bare plaster. There isn't much you can do to stop that from happening and patching up before repainting is the simplest and cheapest option (bad surfaces may benefit from being skimmed, as already mentioned). You can just remove any loose stuff, use a slightly diluted emulsion to seal the bare plaster and allow to dry. Then you can use a fine surface ready mixed, or powdered, filler (the latter usually sands much easier) to feather-in the paint edges. Once the surface is smooth, apply some more of the diluted emulsion to the filler to seal that. This will then give you an ideal surface to apply your topcoats to.

To save time and effort removing all the paste after stripping, you could just de-nib the wall with sandpaper and use a coat of Zinsser Gardz over everything, which is designed to seal old wallpaper paste residue and will also seal the bare plaster and bind down the paint edges. You will still need to do some filling around any of those bare spots, though.
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Do consider getting the walls re-skimmed if they end up untidy after the stripping process. It's not that expensive and looks a lot better.


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