I just began my first attempt at stripping wall paper and i realize i
am not sure where the wallpaper ends and the drywall begins. First
there is a thin plastic layer I can just peel off by hand. Under that
there is a medium thick light brown layer, under that a thin whitish
layer and under that a thick dark brown layer.
How far down should I be stripping?
modern drywall is a layer of grey cardboard over white powdery rock,
gypsum. in the olden days drywall was tan cardboard over gypsum. do
you know that the walls are actually drywall, if the house was built
before WW2 it may have plaster walls.
your top layer sounds like vinyl-based wallpaper. i'd pick a small
area and soak the heck out of it with water and keep carefully
excavating til you know what you got.
if you have many layers, a steamer might be helpful, i've gotten 6
layers off at a time but had to hold the steamer in place for about a
minute, this was on plaster though - plaster you can do this with
because when you get through all the wallpaper you have that nice
smooth rocklike surface. on drywall when you get thru all the layers,
When you have peeled off the plastic coating, stop! What should be
revealed is the paper part of the wallpaper. Spray that with water a
couple of times (soaks in pretty fast). After the water soaks in, and
before it dries, start scraping GENTLY with a plastic scraper. That
should get you down to the drywall. You do not want to gouge, scrape or
peel away the paper coating of the drywall. After the first soak/scrape
of the wallpape, you probably have bits of wallpaper and lots of paste
remaining. Spray/soak again, scrape some more. When the paper is gone,
or mostly gone, spray again and scrape what remaining paste will come
off - easier than scrubbing. I always let it rest for a day at this
point so's not to soften the drywall. Scrub the rest of the paste with
an old towel and warm water. Little soap ok. Any paste remaining can
show texture after it is painted, so you want to be sure to get it all.
After more exploring. I've concluded that the thin white layer is paint
that the wallpaper was put on top of. It has some kids scribblings on
it. So the brown/tan layer under that is the drywall cardboard, and
indeed, I picked one spot and found the gypsum under that. the house
was built in the 1950s.
So, should i be leaving the paint on, or trying to strip the paint
also? I intend to have professional painters paint the room when I'm
done. I decided to try stripping the paper myself to save some money.
Already the paint comes off at times, so there are sections of the wall
with paint and sections without. The drywall itself is coming out
undamaged, I'm pleased to say.
Just a tip from someone who has spent more than 100 hours removing
Use plain water and let it soak in. If you just HAVE to scrape, use one of
the plastic putty knife things. Although, my favorite tool is a 99 cent
store metal spatula that has some sort of mystic qualities. Just be careful
not to gouge.
When you have it wet enough, it will come right off. It takes time,
patience, and a gentle touch.
There is NO fast easy way to do it.
YMM(and probably does)V
There is no reason to remove the paint, and you would likely damage the
drywall if you try. You might want to spot prime the spots where the
paint has come off so the painter gets more even coverage. Two coats of
paint? Make sure you know what you contract for before the painter
starts work :o)
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