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
MK CHALK ARCHITECTURE, PA
PO BOX 622
MOREHEAD CITY, NC 28557
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
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
I agree with Allen Roberts, although I have removed wallpaper by just wetting with a sponge.
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"!
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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.