removing (what I think is) glue


I'm re-doing our bathroom. It was last refurbished in roughly the early '60's and so is your typical pink and black bathroom with tile walls. I've removed the tiles using a hammer and chisel. Underneath is a glue that kept the tiles stuck to the wall. I don't know what they used; it's brownish in the color of Liquid Nails, but much less gooey and even sort of dry. In fact, I can use a putty knife to scrape some of it off, but other spots are too hard to do so.
I'm wondering how I can get this off so that I can smooth down the wall to paint it. It doesn't seem to be water soluble. It's too rough and hard to sand, at least with the little electric sander I have (it would take forever and would require a zillion sheets of sandpaper). Paint remover seems to soften it up very nicely, allowing me to scrape it off with a putty knife, but the problem here is at least the paint stripper I'm using costs about $10 a jar and it would take a lot of stripper to completely remove the glue, thus hundreds of dollars. Mineral spirits doesn't seem to dissolve it.
Any recommendations for getting this stuff off? I can't be the first one to run into this situation.
Thanks--
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Try heat. If you do not own a heat gun, try a hair dryer first.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

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Ooh, that nasty old brown mastic. Remeber the smell well. The tile guy that worked for my father's construction company always acted weird- wasn't till years later I realized it was from him inhaling all those VOCs in the stuff, in an enclosed space, with zero protective gear.
But on to your question about cleaning up the residue. Short answer-Life is too short to screw with it. Bust out the wallboard or plaster down to the studs and rerock with the appropriate product. Green damp-resistant drywall (or cement board for around the shower) is cheaper than solvent, and will be less work than a month of scraping. And nice smooth walls will provide a MUCH nicer finished job than any scraped and skim-coated old surface. If you are not confident in your own drywall skills, doing the demo and maybe the basic rock hanging yourself, and having a pro finish it ready to spot-tile and paint, won't be that expensive. Bonus- while walls are open, trivial to add the extra outlets and lights a 1960-spec bathroom is probably lacking. And if bathroom or especially tub is on an outside wall, also to bring the wall and under-tub insulation up to snuff, to ease that January-morning chilly feeling in there. I'd also strongly recommend upgrading the tub faucet and shower riser while you are in there.
aem sends....
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