For walls, water works best. Along with a paper tiger, a good scraper, and
lots of patience. A steamer can soften the underlying drywall. I've tried
all sorts of things, and have removed a couple thousand square feet of
wallpaper. It's all different, and getting it to the right wetness so just
the glue and paper comes off is an acquired trait. Plus, don't forget to
wipe afterward to remove thin layers and gobs of glue that will affect the
finished paint job.
Spray popcorn ceiling with plain water. Let sit for a few minutes. Scrapes
off easier than pancake batter. Be sure to wear eye protection and have
down lots of visqueen.
A steamer works well on plaster walls, in my experience. But I'm
really replying to emphasize Steve's last point, about thoroughly
wiping down the walls afterward to remove the last glue residue. We
weren't as assiduous about this as we should have been in our master
bedroom (we had just moved in and wanted to get the room wallpaper
removed and walls painted before we settled in there), and I can tell
you that the paint over the last five years has just failed all along
the edges near the ceiling. I foresee massive sanding for me in
preparation for our next paint job.
Umm, but the question was about using one on a POPCORN ceiling, which
isn;'t held on with glue like wallpaper. I've never heard of anyone
using one for that, nor would I think it would work well. Also, if
it's popcorn, make sure to test for asbestos first and proceed
Just curious, do you recall if you primed over the area before painting?
If so, latex or oil? If there were long term issues and it was primed
with latex I'd buy into that. Oil base primer I'd be surprised. Not the
I didn't take your query as a criticism, rest assured. What you might
find particularly interesting is that the peeling of the latex has
been very gradual over the years. It's actually taken about five
years for the full deterioration to occur. Now the bad spots look
awful: rough wall texture (residual glue) covered with the original
blue paint surrounded by the intended peach, after starting out with a
slight stippling. So, when I get ready to repaint, I plan to sand
down the rough texture. I may not need to prime afterward if I hit
This has been my second big paint lesson: to properly remove all
residual wallpaper glue. My first was to follow paint manufacturer's
dry time instructions exactly. In my first house in the master
bedroom (gee, is there a theme here?), I was similarly anxious to get
the room done so I could move the furniture in there, so I did the
first coat of paint (Glidden flat, I think), but only allowed it one
hour to dry, as I recall. Then I did the second coat, and the lovely
result was an alligator texture to the wall. Ever since then, I've
religiously read the label of each can of paint to make sure I allow
proper time for drying, and I've not been disappointed.
Well, I had to remove a bunch of wallpaper boarder that had been on for
years. In some places it was caked pretty thick. Got off all I could with
putty knife, water, greenie, vinegar, etc. Hadn't bought wallpaper
After doing all that I could still see some "glaze" in certain light.
Latex primed it, mudded damaged areas, sanded mud, primed all of it again
then painted. Came out looking good since walls had some kind of texture
I guess in 4-1/2 years I'll have to do a follow up :-)
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