Painted over wallpaper

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Topic by mission76 posted 08-06-2010 03:49 AM 2849 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 3984 days

08-06-2010 03:49 AM

Just came over from lumberjockers to try to get some advice. I just bought my first home, and when I went to prep the walls in the bedroom to repaint I found out that they painted over the wallpaper. I didn’t even kniow you could do that…anyway I have been looking online and see that removing painted over wallpaper is an absoulte nightmare. I am thinking about just tearing the walls down and redoing the sheetrock…that way I could at least see what the insulation looks like and maybe give that an upgrade.

Any thoughts or tips would be helpful. I will be staying at my parents home until this bedroom is complete so I really need to get going on this.

View UnionLabel's profile


70 posts in 4116 days

08-06-2010 04:15 PM

Mission76, your right, never paint over wall paper. Ok, this has worked for me in the past, but requires some elbow grease.
Large vinyl drop cloths, eye protection, gloves, couple of different size taping knives, TSP, buckets and sponges
Zinsser Paper Tiger
2 gal. plastic garden pump sprayer
Zinsser Dif concentrate
Take the paper tiger and make large overlapping circles, winding in tighter and tighter to give yourself the best penetration. Then mix the Dif concentrate according to label instructions. Then spray the walls heavily, wait about 20 minutes, then spray the walls again. After an additional 20 minutes, begin the scraping. After you scrape all the loose stuff off, use the paper tiger on any areas you may have missed, then respray those areas and any other difficult areas you may still have.
Depending on when the house was built, you may want to do a small test area to see if the walls are any good. A lot of times, wallpaper was hung to cover up bad plaster. If it is drywall, be careful with the paper tiger and try not to go to deep. You don’t want to damage the drywall paper.
After removing the wallpaper, you need to wash down the walls with TSP to remove all the wallpaper paste residue and the sizing from the walls. Leaving any of this will stop paint and primer from sticking or can cause bubbling.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View djb25's profile


2 posts in 3900 days

08-10-2010 03:54 AM

Oh wow… the dreaded painted wallpaper!

In my last house the previous owners had not only painted over the wallpaper, they had wallpapered over the wallpaper (about five times) then painted the wallpaper, then texture-painted, then painted a few more times (the house was about 110 years old).

The walls were peeling in different places, and it seemed like each place was peeling to a different depth. I eventually ended up using those “red devil” wall paper scrapers with the replaceable blades… half the time I was using the scraper with a hammer, essentially chipping the the layers off the walls. After what seemed like eternity, I managed to get down to the original horsehair plaster, which was now nicely pockmarked and gouged everywhere. It was absolutely horrible…

I tried every imaginable type of wallpaper remover, evil cleaning agent, etc. Nothing worked (because of the millions of coatings).

However, it was not as bad as stripping the oil-based paint off of the oak staircase, that had been stripped down to bare wood in parts and then repainted (for no particular reason).


View mission76's profile


7 posts in 3984 days

08-10-2010 07:46 AM

Hey guys thanks for the replies..I just decided that getting the stuff off the walls wasn’t really worth it, so I took the sheetrock down. It was a good thing, for starters the sheetrock is fairly old and I think was 3/8, so I’ll upgrade the thickness as well as put in all new insulation. I have my father coming tommorrow to check out the wiring in the room to see if it needs replacing. Since the walls are down I miight as well install a new door for the bedrrom and the bathroom, both are not very nice looking. So there it is, prepping the walls for new paint turned into a 2 week job and 1.5k (estimated) gone. I hope it gets easier from here…but I doubt it.

View djb25's profile


2 posts in 3900 days

08-10-2010 07:00 PM

Excellent choice taking down the old sheetrock!

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