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Removing Painted Wallpaper from 1940's plaster walls

  • 1.  Removing Painted Wallpaper from 1940's plaster walls

    Posted 18 days ago

    Does anyone have a reasonably quick method for removing 1940s wallpaper, glued to 1940s plaster walls, which has been painted over with oil primer and 2 coats of latex?  So far, scoring, glue removal spray-applied, and steaming , has made very little difference in achieving the removal.

     

    Margaret K. Chalk, AIA, NCARB

    Principal Architect

    MK CHALK ARCHITECTURE, PA

    PO BOX 622

    MOREHEAD CITY, NC 28557

    (252) 726-3099

    mkcarchitect@ec.rr.com

     



  • 2.  RE: Removing Painted Wallpaper from 1940's plaster walls

    Posted 15 days ago
    I wonder if just heat would work. This is an infrared paint remover

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  • 3.  RE: Removing Painted Wallpaper from 1940's plaster walls

    Posted 13 days ago
    i have successfully removed wallpaper from drywall in two houses I had.using a handheld steamer that I bought for about $45 in 2008. Wall coverings will come off the wall much more easily with less chance of damage if the drywall is prime painted first. This is in my standard finishes specs.

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    Edward Acker, AIA
    Winchester VA
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  • 4.  RE: Removing Painted Wallpaper from 1940's plaster walls

    Posted 13 days ago
    All:
    Vinegar and hot water.  I knoww from first hand experience after watched a really old guy do it with ease.
    BILL WARINNER
    ARCHITECT AIA  The Aachen Designers  www.BillWarinner.com 
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  • 5.  RE: Removing Painted Wallpaper from 1940's plaster walls

    Posted 13 days ago

    It's the moisture not the heat that loosen the wallpaper paste. Ward Bucher

     

    Ward Bucher, AIA, APT

    Cofounder Principal | Architect

    Encore Sustainable Design, LLC

    ward@encoresdesign.com

    410.770.9009

     






  • 6.  RE: Removing Painted Wallpaper from 1940's plaster walls

    Posted 12 days ago
    Not sure what your concerns are. Removing wallpaper is one of the hardest jobs ever. Maybe you’re thinking the plaster could damaged or torn up. What ever the case, I don’t see any special issues. The good news, plaster may be the easiest historic material to patch and repair. Just don’t use dry wall compound for patching. It retains moisture and will shadow later. Use finish plaster and let dry completely before painting.

    Baird M Smith, FAIA




  • 7.  RE: Removing Painted Wallpaper from 1940's plaster walls

    Posted 14 days ago

    All: To remove wallpaper from a plaster wall, use a wallpaper steamer, which can be rented. It's a plug-in device that heats water to steam, which comes out little holes in a plate (held by a handle) which is put against the wallpaper. The steam softens the glue and the wallpaper can be peeled off with a flat sheetrock trowel or plaster knife. Sometimes it just falls of or can be pulled off by hand. The underlying plaster wall is not damaged.

     

    Allen Roberts, FAIA

     

    Architecture Preservation

     

    801-635-6918
    allen@crsa-us.com

     






  • 8.  RE: Removing Painted Wallpaper from 1940's plaster walls

    Posted 13 days ago

    I agree with Allen Roberts, although I have removed wallpaper by just wetting with a sponge.

     

    Ward Bucher, AIA, APT

    Cofounder Principal | Architect

    Encore Sustainable Design, LLC

    ward@encoresdesign.com

    410.770.9009

     






  • 9.  RE: Removing Painted Wallpaper from 1940's plaster walls

    Posted 12 days ago

    Please permit me to add to this interesting discussion.  For wall paper on plaster, I have found that applying fabric softener full strength works like magic and allows for easy removal.  Tape poly sheeting over wood baseboards and spread lots of newspaper on the floor.  Apply fabric softener like paint with a roller or brush in about a 6 sf area.  Allow a little time to penetrate.  Scrape with a wide blade spackle knife. (6")  Let the wall paper drop onto the newspaper.  Apply again if needed to remove any residue.  The cheapest generic brand of fabric softener works the best.  (don't know why)  I like the lemon scent which freshens the whole house.   I think I got this idea from: "Helpful Hints from Heloise"!

     

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

     






  • 10.  RE: Removing Painted Wallpaper from 1940's plaster walls

    Posted 11 days ago

    Michael, that sounds like a great idea. Will take some time to do the whole room, but there you have it. Must have been the method people used 100 years ago, maybe without the lemon scent.

    I recently had to remove mold on a plaster wall. It showed up as black dust in a couple of weeks at the end of the hot moist summer. Consumer Reports recommended chlorine bleach and that seemed to work. Then primer and paint. Two long weekend work days.

    Thanks,

    Sherman Aronson

     
     
    Sherman C. Aronson, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
    Senior Associate
     
        
       
    1216 Arch Street
    Philadelphia, PA  19107‑2835
    Tel: 215 563 3900 Ext: 124
     
     
     


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  • 11.  RE: Removing Painted Wallpaper from 1940's plaster walls

    Posted 13 days ago
    I have done this myself and it is very labor intensive. The original wallpaper was directly applied to the plaster and there were 7 layers of finishes on top of the original paper. 2 of those layers were wallpaper and the other 5 were paint. We tried everything and finally found a great combination that worked.

    1. score the layers of paint in an X-type fashion, about 12 inches or so apart to make a sort of latticework of cuts
    2. mix white vinegar and water in a spray bottle
    3. spray the wall to saturation
    4. let the liquid set for 15-20 minutes
    5. scrape with a slightly flexible putty knife with rounded corners
    6. spray the plaster with the vinegar water and scrape again to remove the glue residue

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    Joy Coleman AIA
    Principal
    TreanorHL
    Kansas City MO
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