So I did something rash...

Questions and answers relating to houses built in the 1800s and before.

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nezwick
Posts: 331
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:45 pm
Location: Corsica, PA

So I did something rash...

Post by nezwick »

...and I think I'm in over my head.

Long story short, I was REALLY mad at my car today (spent all day replacing a bad water pump, thermostat, and harmonic balancer only to find out the head gasket is toast too so it has to come back apart tomorrow!).

So I came home and started pulling down wallpaper.

Only to discover there are three layers of wallpaper in this particular space. And the bottom layer is applied directly to the bare plaster.

Scraping the wallpaper off of the bare plaster is miserable. I got this far after about 2 hours.


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Once I get all of the wallpaper off, what am I to do with the bare plaster? There are some holes that need patched and stuff before any primer or paint can be applied.

I would have loved to have just kept that off-white paper with the red motif but our PO had put another layer of wallpaper on top of it and it didn't fare well when I pulled the top layer off.
The McCullough/Simkins house, built 1872-1877:
Progress thread on Old House Web

SkipW
Posts: 571
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:25 am
Location: Midcoast Maine

Re: So I did something rash...

Post by SkipW »

I feel your pain, BTDT.

I would highly recommend a wallpaper steamer to finish. It really helps get the final layer off the plaster.

Next, I would hit the srtipped wall with an orbital sander with 50-80 grit to remove the remaining bumps/glue/junk.

After that you can patch the larger areas with Durabond 90 and then sand again (just those areas if you want, but I do the whole wall) with a 100-120 grit.

Then skim coat with a loose plaster or joint compound mix and finish sand by hand.

Prime 2 coats, non water-based primer and finsh.

Easy as that! :mrgreen:

Just my .02, it works for me anyway..........
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Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you are right. - - - Henry Ford

angolito
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Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:57 am
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Re: So I did something rash...

Post by angolito »

take THAT you bad car!!!!! i LOVE it!!!!!

at least it seems to be a small "conquerable" space :D
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Abuela
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Re: So I did something rash...

Post by Abuela »

If you don't want to get a steamer, I was very successful getting the wallpaper off the plaster in my previous house just by spritzing it with water first, letting it sit for a few minutes, then scraping.

There may be some really good reasons NOT to do this that I didn't/don't know about, but it worked well for several rooms with no problems.
"Finished" is all a state of mind. ~Angolito

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou

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SkipW
Posts: 571
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:25 am
Location: Midcoast Maine

Re: So I did something rash...

Post by SkipW »

Abuela, I normally spritz with water too. I just found that the steamer really helps with that last layer of embedded glue that sits on the plaster. And with a steamer and scraper I ended up with a smoother finsh.
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Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you are right. - - - Henry Ford

nezwick
Posts: 331
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:45 pm
Location: Corsica, PA

Re: So I did something rash...

Post by nezwick »

Thanks for the replies everybody. I wasn't sure if I could use moisture (steam or water or vinegar mixture) on the bare plaster or not. We used a vinegar/water mixture to remove the wallpaper in the kitchen and it worked great, but the substrate was Formica.

My mom has a steamer that I could probably borrow, but I think I'll try moistening the stuff with a spritz first.

It's definitely a small, conquerable space - it might just take me a couple of weeks or a month to conquer. It's going to give me a good idea of how much work removing the wallpaper in the dining room is going to be. Though after a bit of quick investigative work, it seems the dining room was painted originally and then wallpapered over twice or three times.

This room is in the addition, which we estimate dates to the 1910's or so. The dining room is in the original house.

By the way I got the engine torn down again today, got the cylinder head off, and couldn't find any blatant problems with the head gasket, head, or cylinder walls. Cylinder #3 was full of coolant though. Now I get to take the head to a machine shop this week to be pressure tested and inspected for cracks not visible to the naked eye. Yay!
The McCullough/Simkins house, built 1872-1877:
Progress thread on Old House Web

kat
Posts: 383
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:35 pm

Re: So I did something rash...

Post by kat »

My goodness, feeling ur pain on car, new one might be cheaper, or is this a special car

Texas_Ranger
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Re: So I did something rash...

Post by Texas_Ranger »

My preferred method of wallpaper removal is taking a BIG brush (something like 4x6") and a bucket of cold water. Then I thoroughly wet the paper (a swatch of about 3x3 feet) and let it soak for 10 or 15 minutes - you can wet more paper while you wait. Then scrape. If it won't come off easily, wet again. If it's still reluctant, you could use warm water and add some dishwashing soap. Wallpaper steamers might or might not help - it seems people either love or hate them. I have to admit I belong to the latter group.

Personally I'd be very reluctant to paint the wall with oil or latex paint then. Of course it is easy to clean and lasts a long time, but eventually it WILL start to flake off and then it's a major pain to remove. My paint of choice is distemper (calcimine) but that might be hard to get by in the US. Milk paint and mineral paint are options that are supposed to last forever.
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chooseopen
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Location: Canton, IL
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Re: So I did something rash...

Post by chooseopen »

We have been attacking the wallpaper in our house too. My fiance uses a little garment streamer http://www.walmart.com/ip/Rival-Compact ... r/15758918 and I use a bottle of Zinnser http://www.amazon.com/Zinsser-2422-22-O ... B0010A87NQ. The steamer was $29 at Walmart. The Zinnser we buy as a concentrate and mix it into a spray bottle ourselves. Depending on the type of paper/glue one method will tend to work better than the other.
Jason Elwell - Canton, IL
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Sacto Diane
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Re: So I did something rash...

Post by Sacto Diane »

My preferred method is a garden sprayer with water and some dif. The garden sprayer makes it easy to soak an area while you scrap another location. The shot below was 3 layers of wallpaper. Those little spray bottles don't get enough volume to get the paper saturated quickly.

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Diane
Last edited by Sacto Diane on Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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