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cheapchick 09-11-2009 05:39 PM

How to make wall smooth after removing tile?
 
We are fixing up my grandma's house to sell. In the kitchen is ugly grey plastic tile halfway up the walls installed in the 60s. I read online that to remove it I should heat it up with a hair dryer to soften the glue. I tested a few pieces and it comes off easily. I was expecting to see painted wall behind the tile but instead I see what looks like a paper grocery bag. The kitchen had been painted blue before this tile was put in so I don't know why I can't see the blue paint. I didn't tear off the paper over the drywall when I pulled the tile off. If I decide to go through with it and remove all the tile how can I get the walls smooth? The tile goes about 4 feet up the walls and the wall above is fine. Since the walls under the tile appear like a paper bag what should I cover them with so I can paint over it? If I peel off the tile the walls are going to be fuzzed up looking like when you scratch up a grocery bag so how can I cover that to make it smooth? And how can I blend it in with the wall above? I'm afraid I'll end up with a very obvious line around the kitchen with smooth wall on top and a badly iced cake look on the bottom!

bjbatlanta 09-12-2009 11:07 AM

You would need to prime the "fuzzed up" paper with Kilz or Zinser, lightly sand, then "glaze coat" the entire wall(s) from floor to ceiling with thinned joint compound. Probably 2 coats of mud, sand again, prime, touch up as necessary, and final paint. Or you could install some bead board with a chair rail trim to the same height.....

cheapchick 09-12-2009 02:02 PM

Ha! You must have read my mind about the beadboard! The kitchen is so tiny it would cost about $120 for the boards and there's no windows or outlets to cut around. Problem is the grey tile is installed at about 4 feet on one wall and the other wall at 5 feet...it's a bit high to cover with beadboard. I'd rather have the boards at 32 inches. If I did install beadboard at least there'd be less wall to smooth out!

KAdams4458 09-12-2009 05:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cheapchick (Post 326628)
We are fixing up my grandma's house to sell. In the kitchen is ugly grey plastic tile halfway up the walls installed in the 60s. I read online that to remove it I should heat it up with a hair dryer to soften the glue. I tested a few pieces and it comes off easily. I was expecting to see painted wall behind the tile but instead I see what looks like a paper grocery bag. The kitchen had been painted blue before this tile was put in so I don't know why I can't see the blue paint. I didn't tear off the paper over the drywall when I pulled the tile off. If I decide to go through with it and remove all the tile how can I get the walls smooth?

Fuzzy paper surface with no signs of the adhesive or the blue paint? Unfortunately, that does sound like the paper on the wallboard was torn up. It's not the end of the world.

Quote:

The tile goes about 4 feet up the walls and the wall above is fine. Since the walls under the tile appear like a paper bag what should I cover them with so I can paint over it?
I'd use Zinsser Guardz. I had never tried it until a year ago, and now I wonder how I ever got along without it. It's a real time saver.

Quote:

If I peel off the tile the walls are going to be fuzzed up looking like when you scratch up a grocery bag so how can I cover that to make it smooth?
Joint compound works for me. Sometimes I thin it, sometimes I don't. It depends on how thick of a coat I want to apply.

Quote:

And how can I blend it in with the wall above? I'm afraid I'll end up with a very obvious line around the kitchen with smooth wall on top and a badly iced cake look on the bottom!
Im my humble DIY experience, you don't. No matter how much care I take blending, there is always evidence of the repair. Maybe a pro could make it seamless, but that pro would be the exception, and not the standard. Texture always seems to give it away. I skim entire walls now, even if I plan to texture coat them afterward. It provides a clean slate, so to speak.

I think bjbatlanta is pretty much right on the money with his response. You could also post some pictures of the kitchen in the decorating section, where others could give you constructive feedback on whether beadboard would look good.


cheapchick 09-12-2009 07:02 PM

I went back to the house today to look at the wall. The coating is definitely gone off the drywall but only where the tile is...I didn't pull it off though; it's just not there! :confused1: My mom remembers when my grandpa put up the tile. Maybe he removed the top layer of drywall before he put up the tiles...who knows! I think what I'm going to do is remove the tiles and put up beadboard at the same height. There's no way I'm attempting to coat 3 walls with joint compound to make them smooth! I'm pretty good at icing cakes but still...:no:
There's too much to do in that house...I painted the ceiling in a bedroom and I see moisture coming through the paint! Always something...

Maybe I could post pics of the house...at least everyone would get a good laugh at the horrible decor...:laughing: Dark green carpet, grey paneling, blue and tan couch, peachy-tan recliners, and a purple lamp!

KAdams4458 09-13-2009 12:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cheapchick (Post 326982)
I went back to the house today to look at the wall. The coating is definitely gone off the drywall but only where the tile is...I didn't pull it off though; it's just not there! :confused1: My mom remembers when my grandpa put up the tile. Maybe he removed the top layer of drywall before he put up the tiles...who knows! I think what I'm going to do is remove the tiles and put up beadboard at the same height. There's no way I'm attempting to coat 3 walls with joint compound to make them smooth! I'm pretty good at icing cakes but still...:no:
There's too much to do in that house...I painted the ceiling in a bedroom and I see moisture coming through the paint! Always something...

Maybe I could post pics of the house...at least everyone would get a good laugh at the horrible decor...:laughing: Dark green carpet, grey paneling, blue and tan couch, peachy-tan recliners, and a purple lamp!


My wife would probably love the purple lamp. :laughing:

There is another option for the walls that hasn't been brought up. 1/4" drywall could be put over everything, and then you'd only have to worry about the joints. That would be a lot less work than skimming all of the walls. On the other hand, beadboard sounds better and better all the time, eh? I can't say whether it would look okay with 5' of beadboard everywhere, but maybe it would. Sure sounds like the easiest approach.

bjbatlanta 09-13-2009 12:39 PM

I have to agree that a wainscot should ideally be 32" to look good. I have seen 48". The 60" would look odd. "K" brings up a good point about the 1/4" drywall (I like to call it "industrial strength" wallpaper). Pull the base, butt to the door trim and flat tape any gaps, install new base. If by chance it's a 1" baseboard, just butt to the base and add base cap to cover. If the ceiling is textured and taping is a problem (or just more than you want to do), a small trim at the ceiling would work....

cheapchick 09-13-2009 02:21 PM

2 Attachment(s)
KAdams: Actually my mom brought up the thin drywall idea yesterday. Seems like too much bother though. Doesn't it have to be coated with something too? The kitchen is so awful...anything would be an improvement! The floor is like 30 something year old yellow-flowered linoleum! :sick: For most of my life the kitchen had that floor, mint green walls, the countertops with metal trim, and grey plastic tile. The colors were ones you'd associate with severe illness.

About that lamp: I thought it was ugly until my mom mentioned it was Fenton. After checking the prices of Fenton lamps on Ebay suddenly it become prettier to me! :lol:

I totally agree with bjbatlanta: Yes wainscoting would look best at 32". If it were my house then I'd take the time but the house isn't worth more than $45,000 in its current state plus there's so much work that needs done! Don't even get me started about that bathroom! :eek:
The grey tile is installed just below the height of a lightswitch on 2 walls; on the other wall behind the stove it's level with my eyeballs so maybe 5 feet high? It looks stupid. I was thinking of just taking the beadboard all the way to the ceiling on that wall. Not ideal but considering the rest of the kitchen...

And there's not really a baseboard. There's what I like to call Roll-o-Molding instead. It's that lousy vinyl stuff that you unroll and glue up as a baseboard.

I forgot to mention the tile is also installed as a backsplash on the sink wall. Just remembered I took pics last week. Something needs to be done about that backsplash as well! Notice the horrible cabinets. The doors aren't exactly wood...more like a compressed paper! I'd like to open the soffits too but...

I have pics of the living room too...maybe I'll post those on the decorating thread.

bjbatlanta 09-13-2009 02:46 PM

I did a powder room a couple of weeks ago where the customer wanted to run the bead board floor to ceiling (actually my sister-in-laws mother....). Several layers of wallpaper and paint need to go away. I was a bit apprehensive as to how it would look, especially in that small of a space (5'x4' approx.). It actually looked pretty nice. Ran a 1-5/8" crown at the ceiling (ceiling height was 7'). I did use the individual planks as opposed to 4'x8' sheet goods. Wouldn't have been able to get sheets in the room anyway, but the planks do look a bit better (and is reflected in the price). In your case, the panels would probably work out fine. Best of luck whichever path you decide to follow.....

Sephora 09-14-2009 08:23 AM

I agree beadboard and waiscot seems like a likely fix. We just started taking off white square tile in our bathroom on the walls. We have that paper bag effect but that is the sheetrock underneat (house circa 1965). We are putting up wainscoting once the tile is all off.

ARI001 09-14-2009 09:00 AM

Just something to think about: Trying to take the cheapest solution to any given problem usually ends up costing the most in the end. You should have left it as is if the budget was not there to replace the sheet rock. If it where me I would gut the kitchen and bathrooms and remodel them (nothing fancy just upgrade). Fresh paint every where else and new floor cover. Then rent it out, you'll make more renting it then you will selling it in the current economy.

KAdams4458 09-14-2009 03:49 PM

You know, the kitchen doesn't look too bad, and some people are really in to cabinets like those.

I am by no means an expert, but here's what I would do...

1. Beadboard the dining area. The tile there was/is overwhelming the space.

2. Leave the tile backsplash above the counters/sink/oven alone. That's a can or worms, so work around it.

3. Paint the cabinets in a colour that works with the grey tile backsplash. As long as the cabinets are working, there is nothing wrong with them. Let the next owner gut the kitchen if they wish, because doing it yourself won't guarantee a sale, and may only cost you a bunch of extra money.

4. Unless those counters are obviously worn, I'd probably leave them alone and try to make the cabinets and flooring go along with them.

5. Don't mess with the soffits. No really. Don't. It's another can of worms. Stick to doing things to make it serviceable and nice looking, and try not to get in over your head. You only want a ready-to-use kitchen, so to speak. Let the next owners do the improving. You should only be concerned with repair in this economy.

6.There's nothing wrong with sheet vinyl floors, and if the existing one is in good shape, you can usually get away with laying a fresh layer on top of it.

7. Ditch the rubber cove molding. If the wall is somewhat damaged behind it, you may be able to trim it out nicely with simple 1X3's after the new flooring is in place.

cheapchick 09-14-2009 10:17 PM

We aren't doing much to the kitchen. The new owners can gut the kitchen if they want and the awful bathroom too! I'm not getting into all that! We just need to make the house look appealing to younger buyers to get it sold! Renting the house out is no option either. There are 3 inheritors of this house (I'm not one)...2 of them are fighting over whether or not to rip out 20 year old green carpet (there are hardwoods underneath) and the other one is...well...you could write a book on that one! Could you imagine if they had to be co-owners too? :laughing:

Our budget for the whole house is about $2,000. My mom is paying out of pocket cuz the rest of the money is locked up in probate...

If I were the inheritor I'd take some classes at the local vocational school. Learn basic carpentry, etc. Then I'd use the house for practice and take my time...like a big art project. When I got it looking good I'd rent it out. But it's not up to me...*sigh*

cheapchick 09-14-2009 10:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KAdams4458 (Post 327721)
You know, the kitchen doesn't look too bad, and some people are really in to cabinets like those.

I am by no means an expert, but here's what I would do...

1. Beadboard the dining area. The tile there was/is overwhelming the space.

2. Leave the tile backsplash above the counters/sink/oven alone. That's a can or worms, so work around it.

3. Paint the cabinets in a colour that works with the grey tile backsplash. As long as the cabinets are working, there is nothing wrong with them. Let the next owner gut the kitchen if they wish, because doing it yourself won't guarantee a sale, and may only cost you a bunch of extra money.

4. Unless those counters are obviously worn, I'd probably leave them alone and try to make the cabinets and flooring go along with them.

5. Don't mess with the soffits. No really. Don't. It's another can of worms. Stick to doing things to make it serviceable and nice looking, and try not to get in over your head. You only want a ready-to-use kitchen, so to speak. Let the next owners do the improving. You should only be concerned with repair in this economy.

6.There's nothing wrong with sheet vinyl floors, and if the existing one is in good shape, you can usually get away with laying a fresh layer on top of it.

7. Ditch the rubber cove molding. If the wall is somewhat damaged behind it, you may be able to trim it out nicely with simple 1X3's after the new flooring is in place.

The countertops are actually a couple years old so at least that's done. Although they were installed badly. The backsplash may get painted with Krylon Fusion or removed and a peel & stick for backsplashes put up in it's place. The soffits aren't being touched. I lack the skill for that. The cabinets are staying. No budget for new ones and not worth it for resell. We found a nice peel & stick floor for the kitchen and bath. The kitchen floor is totally shot so it must go. Probably have to pull up the old linoleum cuz there's already multiple layers under it. The rubber molding is going...that stuff is gross! I'm sure with a miter box and saw I can cut new ones.

KAdams4458 09-15-2009 01:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cheapchick (Post 327856)
The countertops are actually a couple years old so at least that's done. Although they were installed badly. The backsplash may get painted with Krylon Fusion or removed and a peel & stick for backsplashes put up in it's place. The soffits aren't being touched. I lack the skill for that. The cabinets are staying. No budget for new ones and not worth it for resell. We found a nice peel & stick floor for the kitchen and bath. The kitchen floor is totally shot so it must go. Probably have to pull up the old linoleum cuz there's already multiple layers under it. The rubber molding is going...that stuff is gross! I'm sure with a miter box and saw I can cut new ones.


Sounds pretty good, but there's one little thing...

I don't want to seem negative, but I don't think the word "nice" can ever be used to describe any form of peel and stick tile. Most people (buyers and real estate agents included) consider that stuff pretty tacky, and will use it as a reason to question other issues with the house. Besides, that stuff will barely stay in place when it's not being walked on, and it sure doesn't go down neatly on anything but a floor as smooth as glass.

Are you really sure about the peel and stick? I'd research it a little and maybe keep an open mind about returning it and going with sheet vinyl for the floors. I know a 2K budget for the entire house isn't much, but some stuff just screams "I did this the cheapest way I could." Those things won't help the place sell. I'd find a discount flooring place and see about buying a remnant of last year's discontinued sheet vinyl, and let them install it. It will look about a million times better to you, me, and most importantly, potential buyers.

Just tryin' to help! :)


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