We've got a small bathroom we're turning into a childrens' bathroom.
It's currently has hideous wallpaper on it, my wife wants to paint a
duck pond onto the wall.
Here's the problem .... the wallpaper is original to the house (24
years old), and it was applied directly to the drywall and backerboard,
no priming, no nothing. Parts of the wallpaper are down, but there's a
pretty solid glue coat underneath and I'm afraid we'll end up taking
the drywall paper off if we try to scrape that down, and even if we
don't it's going to take us forever and a day to get the job done.
The bathroom has a bathtub and tile enclosure, a vanity and a toilet.
Is it feasible to work around those obstacles and install new drywall
or greenboard without disturbing the existing fixtures? I know the
substrate behind the tile probably isn't adequate and I should probably
tear the tile out and start over, but that's more of a project than I'm
willing to tackle right now.
Nicky, it's hard to tell because it's such a mess, but it looks as if
we're down only to a thick coat of glue with some patches of drywall
Remember, I've got two issues here. One is providing a good substrate
for future painting. The other is time and money, one of which I'm
going to have to spend to get this done. I might be able to get that
glue off, but it's going to be a meticulous and use up a trememdous
amount of time I could better use on other projects. If I'm going to
complete the stripping, I'm going to have to hire the work out.
Personally, I would never paint over wallpaper if I had any other
option. I've lived in quite a few houses where that was done, and it
always ends up looking bad sooner or later (sooner, usually) and
creates more problems down the line (either keep painting over it until
you have a thick cardboard effect, very attractive [not], or finally
decide to strip it off and then have to deal with painted
wallpaper...awful). And, by the way, I think a duck pond idea for a
kid's BR is cute. I have an adult friend who has done hers in a rubber
ducky theme, and she has a lot of fun working with it.
In the past, I used a 2 gallon pump sprayer (usually used for spraying
insecticide) and bought a product called DIF at Home Depot. Using warm
water and the DIF in the sprayer, I was able to soften the paste and it came
off fairly easily. But I have read that different wallpaper applications
have different types of paste -- some is easily softened with DIF and some
is not. But the stuff is cheap so I would buy a bottle and test it. It
works best when the wallpaper and the glue/paste come off together.
If you can work around fixtures, fine. Cover them with plastic/
dropcloth. Spackle as needed. Prime with oil based primer such as
Kilz 1, 2 coats if necessary- VENTILATE well, stuff is not good to
breathe. Paint with mildew resistant topcoats
I am no expert here..but if it were me I would take as much wall paper
off as possible , sand that down, a l;ight coat of plaster over that,
then re-paint. Dunno if this is a solution, if not I am sure an expert
here will say so. Good luck on your project..sounds like it will turn
out nice when completed.
You don't understand how perverse the universe really is. Only
enough of the wallpaper will come of at a time to make it look
OTOH, I ripped the paper off my bathroom walls (similar situation
as the OP) and it's still not the same. I can't get paint to stick
on the walls. It would have been far easier to gut the whole room
and put up new sheetrock. Anyone who wallpapers unpainted
sheetrock should be executed in the most painful way imaginable!
No, that is too extreme. Just lock them in a room with red flocked
wallpaper. Now, for the important part of your dilemma. Wash off the
paste with plain water; add a little household cleaner if it makes you
feel better. Let it dry well. Prime it with drywall primer. Paint.
Wallpaper seems complex, judging from the number of posts about it. Rip
it off. Saturate the paste. Wash it off. Basic as mud pies.
Not at all! If the stupid bastard was here in front of me...
I'd flock him within an inch of his life! ...and only stop because
he wouldn't feel any more.
Oh, so I didn't have to replace the divots of drywall that the
soaking and scraping hollowed out? The missing paper on the
drywall isn't of consequence?
As far as primer goes, the first time I used BIN, then painted.
that. Withing a few months that cracked like a dropped eggshell.
I then was told to use Kilz; better but it still cracked all to
hell. I gotta go in and sand and scrape everything down again and
repaint. This time I'm just going to paper it over and move before
it has a chance to peel again.
...and you don't think I want to KILL the asshole who papered
directly over the sheetrock? Please don't get between us!
There are soooo many people who post in this newsgroup with their
first words words being, "I primed it with Kilz and it all fell off a
few months later". I'm beginning to think that that stuff shouldnt
be used for anything but taking up space in a land fill. A good PVA
primer is all thats needed, and BTW, I'm staying away from Kilz from
A DUCK POND?
Even if your children are of the age where a "Duck Pond" is cute, they won't
be in an amazingly short time.
That means the Duck Pond motif will have to yield to something else - I sure
wouldn't want my school chums to see ducks in my bathroom - I'd run away
That being the case, and secure in the knowledge that you'll have to replace
the whole enchilada in a few years anyway (maybe sooner if your kids are
currently teenagers), paint the existing wallpaper.
Thanks for the fabulous design advice, HeyBub, but if my wife wants to
make a duck pond of our infant son's bathroom, she can dang well make a
duck pond of our infant son's bathroom. She and I are well aware it's
not likely to be a lasting design and are well aware that we'll be
repainting it in a few years, which is one reason why we'd like to have
a lasting substrate.
Might we possibly stay on topic here and offer advice that's actually
useful to my home REPAIR project?
I've pulled off two layers of wallpaper in my house...the top one had
been painted over and looked horrible. Disgusting how some folks
paint on wallpaper just to be lazy (I say this because I removed the
Here's how I did it. Get an empty spray bottle (I used an empty
bottle of febreeze) and fill it with about 1/3 white vinigar and the
rest water. Now, spray the wall...heavily...wait ten minutes, then
scrape with a decent 2.5" or 3" metal scraper. Try it in one spot,
then you can thank me later...it does amazing work on paper-type wall
paper. It wouldn't work too well on anything like foil type as the
water can't penetrate the surface.
Ya, it makes a mess on the floor by the way... cover it. If you don't
have carpet then you could *potentially* scrape up all the bits you're
The whole process for a 20x15 foot living room took about six hours,
and my fingers were tired from spraying all the time. It's best if
you've got two people...one to spray, one to scrape. and you can trade
every now and again.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.