More about the bad wallpaper (in hopes it will help)

Okay, first of all, thanks for the advice.
I think I've taken out of it...
1) Improperly-removed wallpaper sucks. 2) Wet the paper thoroughly to get it off - in particular, "thoroughly" can be over several days. 3) Steaming may or may not work, but, it's possible to at least try it "cheaply".
With that information, here's more information about my walls.
It's 2 walls in the corner of my eat-in-kitchen. One wall has a window. The other wall has baseboard heat along the foot of the wall. The wall with the baseboard heat also has an electric outlet. They're also both "outside" walls (which is to say that the other side of each wall is just the exterior of the house).
Having examined it more thoroughly (ie: trying soaking it and scraping it again), it doesn't appear it was painted over. In fact, it seems that they put the initial layer of wallpaper up over bare drywall with absolutely _no_ prepping or primer.
So when I soak the stuck-on backing, I also soak the drywall. When I run the paper tiger across the wall, quite often it scores the drywall as well. At least, on the wall with the little strips of paper left behind.
As described in my original post, there's some sort of weird wall paper backing that's still glued firmly to the drywall, in odd sheets/patterns. It didn't come off neatly, nor did it "stay behind" neatly. One wall is almost all drywall with just little (stubborn) fingerlength-sized flakes left behind. The other wall is almost all paper, with handprint-sized gaps down to the drywall.
My next plan would be to soak the paper multiple times over the next few days, but, that will soak the drywall as well. Is it possible to _only_ scrape the paper off without gouging the drywall underneath (would...for example, a giant "razor-edge" scraper of some sort be a better option than a normal paper scraper?).
I want to emphasize that I'm really willing to invest time and labor into the job. What's frustraing me is that I keep tearing the actual drywall and so I'm missing some solution that will soften the wallpaper backing and allow me to tease up their edges, without tearing the drywall as well.
Gwen
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When you run into atypical situations like this, all you can do is experiment until you find what works best, your ideas sound like they are worth trying. Worse case, you end up skim coating the wall with mud and starting fresh.
The tiny scraps left on the wall may only need sanding before you can prime or paper over

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Gwen Morse wrote:

What I've learned from doing lots and lots of wallpaper removal in our current house: lots of people are lazy, and don't prep the walls before putting up paper. Almost 1/2 the house is wallpapered, and I've had to repair the drywall in every room we've take it out of.
It's unfortunate, but you're probably going to have to damage the drywall to get it off, and then fix the drywall. It may be easier to just put up 1/4 inch drywall over the top, or to tear the old drywall off and put up new. If I had to do it again, I'd have just taken the drywall down and been done with it. I find new drywall a lot less work than trying to "feather" the fixes into the existing wall.
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Gwen Morse wrote:

The secret is in getting water to the paste, so it softens and the paper can be scraped off easily. I've never used a steamer or paper tiger - paper tiger looks too vicious. Try very coarse sandpaper on a flat block, lightly run across the wall back and forth. Spray with water, let soak about 30 min, spray and soak again. Scrape what you can, repeat the spray/soak. Vinyl coated paper is no different than painted paper, as the water proof coating has to be gotten through. If the paper coating on the wallboard is getting wet, let it rest a day and continue. I always let it rest before doing a final wash to get the last remnants of paste off the wall. Lay newspaper and an old towel at the base of the wall to catch the mess. You can be soaking one strip while you scrape another. Just use a light touch. Some papers, especially fabric, will have a top layer you can pull off without paper tigers and soaking, but leave the base layer of paper to be sprayed and scraped. Only time I have ever found paper difficult to remove was where someone used Elmer's glue or something similar to paste back loose corners.
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Norminn wrote:

If you are 1/2 handy it may be worth your while to just go over if with new 1/4 inch drywall and start from scratch - two walls.
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On Thu, 15 Jun 2006 12:36:24 -0400, Gwen Morse

Pretty much the exact same situation in my place. Wallpaper over bare, unprimed drywall.
There is no way to get all the wallpaper backing off without removing some, probably a lot, of the drywall paper. We've tried soaking, not soaking, putty knives, wallpaper stripper blades (4" long knife edge scraper), steaming, and on and on.
Here's what we've settled on: score with the paper tiger. Apply DIF wallpaper remover (hot) several times, letting it soak in for 15 minutes or more. Strip off the outer layer of paper. This usually comes off in big pieces, but leaves a paper backing mostly behind.
Soak the paper backing with more DIF, applied with a paint roller. Scrape it off with whatever works, accepting the fact that large sections of the drywall paper will come off as well. It's not necessary to get every last little piece off, just what comes off fairly readily, and anything that is loose.
Let the whole mess dry. Take a razor blade and slice off any little "flags" of backing or drywall paper that are sticking up. Skim coat with drywall mud. What I've found easiest is to do it in about 6" stripes, with 6" in between, then let that dry and go back and fill in the other stripes.. Sand it, touch up any uneven areas, and then prime with good primer.
It's a PITA every step of the way., but I've gotten good enough at it that I don't think replacing the drywall would ever be faster, and it certainly would be a lot more expensive.
You're doing the right stuff, just have to bite the bullet and keep at it. It goes faster as you get some practice.
Good luck,
Paul
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On Thu, 15 Jun 2006 22:35:56 -0400, Paul Franklin

Okay, I may ask again about doing the "skim coat" of mud, as that was already suggested to me and it sounds iike you have the exact situation I have. I'll ask about that later when I'm closer to that point.
As you point out, it's much more expensive to replace the drywall, and while I've taken out a home improvement loan, that money has to stretch far and things are all turning out to be more expensive than I expect.

Thank you :).
Gwen -- Gwen Morse mailto: snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- "Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come." -- Matt Groening
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