plaster wall problem- house 50 year old house- help- peeling paint-advice

Hi I have a question. I am working in a house that is approx 50/60 years old. The kitchen- I have removed wall paper and sanded the walls- getting ready for paint. All of the sudden I have seen peeling 'paint'.... I think this was a primer that covers the plaster. I have scrapped and scrapped. 2 days later , peels more--- I dont think this is calcimite as the wall paper would not have adheared... Whats the best way to remove the peeling paint/primer?? I have rented a steamer- wont work. Hot water, nothing. This is in one area of the kitchen, where there was a leak a few months ago. Has been fixed. Thanks!!
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Scrape away everything loose until it is solid
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On Sun, 25 Nov 2007 09:29:05 -0800 (PST), KOS

My house is also 50 years old and all the paint peeled from the plaster walls. As far as I can tell, from all the googling I did, is that this is common to old plaster houses.
I used a razor blade, actually lots of them, held at a shallow angle, and most of the paint just peeled from the wall in long strips the width of the blade. Change the blade often because it must be sharp. Buy them in a box of 500 from the hardware store.
My walls are 3 layer walls. First a layer of 3/8" rock lath, then a rather soft brown coat of plaster, then a rock hard finish coat of plaster. Razor blades had virtually no effect on the finish coat. Very few nicks or scratches.
Then just go at it. it doesnt take long to clear a wall of all paint. In some spots my paint was still stuck tight to the walls, so I used a bit of citrus based paint stripper to take those spots off.
This whole escapade made quite a mess and I was really concerned about lead, but the testing I had done indicated no lead in the paint so I was safe. I would advise you to do the same before stripping everything.
Once it's all stripped, reprime with an alkaline resistant primer rated for bare plaster. The PVA primers used on drywall are usually not rated for use on plaster.
-dickm
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