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Old 08-19-2009, 09:44 PM
596 posts, read 2,436,635 times
Reputation: 200


I did everything I learned to do - used the right tools, soaked the wallpaper, etc. The only thing I did differently was to use hot water and fabric softener instead of the expensive wallpaper-removal potions from the stores (HGTV's tip). The paper pulled off the surface of the sheetrock beneath it in strips and chunks here and there. I still have work to do - but is there something I'm missing? This is a nightmare...Any advice you can offer that might help is very appreciated.
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:21 PM
118 posts, read 436,645 times
Reputation: 100
This is one of the reasons it is really important to prime your walls before hanging paper.No matter what product you buy or do to the wall Your probably going to keep running into the same situation as you keep taking it off.Probably a combination of a non-primed wall and older sheetrock.
My best advice is either just keep going with what your doing and repair the spots with joint compound or just stop and repair what you have already taken down and run liner paper over everything and then run the new over the liner paper.
Hard to say without getting a look at it but I have hung a lotta paper and run into quite a few situations like this in the past.
BTW:All I do when I take it down is use hot water in a spray canister and I let One of the four walls soak in it for five minutes.Wait five,spray again and keep repeating. After about five seperate sprays, that is when I first start taking it down.
Spray and Soak.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:18 PM
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
1,570 posts, read 5,029,589 times
Reputation: 1387
If the walls were not finished first - if the wall paper was applied over unpainted drywall there is nothing you can do. Continue to take the wall paper down and repair the drywall.

Totally agree with bjive - hot water works just fine. Save your money on the wall paper remover stuff.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:49 AM
Location: Prospect, KY
5,288 posts, read 17,073,158 times
Reputation: 6499
We ran into the same problem last year when we moved into our 20 year old home.....large dining room with dated pink and blue flowered wallpaper above the chair rail - paint below. We started removing paper on one small wall. The dry wall came off in chunks with the wallpaper. We stopped and had a professional out for a consult and he said all the homes on our street had the same problem and he had worked on many of them after the owners tried to remove the wallpaper.

He said that we had two choices: Keep removing the wallpaper, creating a huge repair job and mess or repair the one small wall that was currently damaged and wallpaper over the existing wallpaper. (the seams were tight and and wallpaper was in perfect condition).

We hired his company to repair the damage and put new wallpaper on. There are some amazing wallpapers out there - believe me not your grandmother's wallpaper at all. That dining room is absolutely gorgeous and the wallpaper lends itself beautifully to the transitional decor of that room.

If you haven't removed too much wallpaper, you might think about repairing or having repaired the damage and just wallpaper over the exisintg paper....otherwise the repair work for the whole room may be expensive and a bear to complete.
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:56 AM
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
32,063 posts, read 40,262,379 times
Reputation: 52083
We have had this happen too. All our walls were primed before the paper went up, but still, sometimes some of the drywall paper comes off. My husband has gotten a pretty good method of avoiding this by using a steamer and a putty knife and going very slowly, but it still happens sometimes.

Wash off any remaining glue, put a skim coat of plaster over any uneven spots and sand it. Prime these areas, then you can paint. It's not so hard, really.

I don't care how much trouble it is, I would never put paint over old wallpaper..it always shows.
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:00 PM
Location: Utah
4,929 posts, read 13,578,010 times
Reputation: 4800
You mentioned you used the right tools. What tools are you using to remove the glue? Here's my post from another thread about this.
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:28 PM
Location: the west side of "paradise"
3,612 posts, read 6,576,145 times
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Sorry to hear about the problem removing wallpaper.
One of the messiest jobs, I'll tell you. But I've always had success using white vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle and on a very dense sponge. The vinegar somehow keeps the water "wet" and as a bonus helps remove any residual glue.
But the best stuff I know of is "D.I.F.F.), sold commercially at the "Big Box"es.

When you have completed your job of removing the paper, do,do,do, wash the walls, then wash them again with warm water and white vinegar. If you don't remove the glue, then prime the wallsafter you've touched up with joint compound and sanded. If you don't, any new paint with either "alligator" and "flake/chip" off, or just peel off.

So stop, take a breath, and follow above and press on. Good luck and may the job and day go easier.
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:20 PM
Location: Prospect, KY
5,288 posts, read 17,073,158 times
Reputation: 6499
We used vinegar and water and DIF - believe some wallpaper does not come off without damaging the walls regardless of what products you use to remove it.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:45 PM
Location: The brown house on the cul de sac
2,081 posts, read 4,019,544 times
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Hi! I did the exact same thing in my bathroom! I did patch it but it still didn't look great so I ended up buying beadboard and chair rail molding for the bottom half of the wall and crown molding for the ceiling and for the top half I bought paintable wallpaper!

Even using the right tools, it happens so don't beat yourself up over it!

Good luck!
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:17 PM
1,831 posts, read 4,544,301 times
Reputation: 1905
I'm going through the same thing right now. I thought removing wallpaper was easy, because the other rooms I stripped had the pre-pasted kind with water-soluble paste.

Now I'm removing a heavy fabric/string type paper that was glued on over walls that have a spray-on orange peel finish and only the builder's original thin layer of sprayed-on latex paint.

The top fabric layer peels right off whether wet or dry and the under layer of paper remains securely glued to the wall. No matter what I tried - hot water, fabric softener, steamer, vinegar, DIF enzyme gel - the orange peel plaster would soften and come off with the paper. Anything that wet the paper enough to remove it, wet the plaster too much.

I finally found something that works - an ordinary steam iron. It's much dryer than the steamer or obviously the liquid methods. The heat plus the tiny bit of steam does the trick. I turn it to the hottest setting and hold it against the (scored) paper until the paper starts to scorch. The paper pops loose and lifts right off with the putty knife, dry, without harming the orange peel. It's tedious and slow - holding a heavy hot iron above my head is killing my arms - but after having to patch and sand the first wall and re-spray the orange peel several times to get it to match the other walls, this way is better and cheaper. Maybe it will work for you, too.
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