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Old 03-24-2013, 06:39 PM   #1
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Decal Removal Holding Up Paint


I have a serious decal problem and I'm at my wits end for how to deal with it. The previous owners of my house put serious wall decals all over the first floor. After doing a great deal of research they don't seem to be the vinyl decals mentioned in most removal guides. I'm not sure what they're made of but painting over them isn't really an option. There's a very obvious change in texture and you can see the outline of the decals quite prominently, even after 2 coats of Kilz.

Today was science in the house and I did some experimenting. A hairdryer doesn't cause them to be peelable, just soft. I've also tried steam, which makes them very soft but leaves the adhesive on the wall and isn't very effective. It's serious scraping with little result. Mineral spirits and wallpaper remover have no effect. Rubbing alcohol causes them to break down, but not very quickly. Acetone is the most effective so far. It really breaks them down. There's a little bit of smearing but the decal and glue get pretty much obliterated. If this is the solution it's going to be pretty toxic and labor intensive.

If anyone has any tips on how to deal with these things I'll be eternally grateful. Not having them in the house anymore will make the wife and myself very happy!

I'm attaching a picture of half of one wall to give you an idea of what I'm up against.
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Decal Removal Holding Up Paint-kitchen.jpg  

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Old 03-24-2013, 08:01 PM   #2
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Decal Removal Holding Up Paint


Just a thought- try and google who makes them and ask them about proper removal.

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Old 03-24-2013, 08:14 PM   #3
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Decal Removal Holding Up Paint


replace the drywall.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:25 PM   #4
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Decal Removal Holding Up Paint


..what??!!

If it is really bad you could prime and skim. Replace the drywall is just stupid.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:27 PM   #5
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Decal Removal Holding Up Paint


Never seen anything quite like it. One trick I use when up against it like this is to use DIF wallpaper removal gel......spray it on heavy and let it marinate........to keep it wet put Saran Wrap or any thin plastic over the whole thing. Pull back the plastic from time to time and spray more gel......cover it again and let it work. Hey, it's worth a shot and if it works, it's not toxic like the acetone.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:41 PM   #6
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If it is really bad you could prime and skim.


Replace the drywall is just stupid.

what is prime and skim ?


not for me. removing wall paper/whatever, is a major pita. i would rather replace the drywall
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:44 PM   #7
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Decal Removal Holding Up Paint


You do that then. I could fix that in a couple of hours.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
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You do that then. I could fix that in a couple of hours.
what is "that" ? the whole room ? wall? what is seen in the pic ?
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:52 PM   #9
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Decal Removal Holding Up Paint


If you don't know what " prime and skim " is, then what does it matter?
What a good painter can do. Lock it down, use taping compound to make smooth, sand, reprime paint- done.
Ya a few hours i could do the room.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brushjockey View Post
If you don't know what " prime and skim " is, then what does it matter?
What a good painter can do. Lock it down, use taping compound to make smooth, sand, reprime paint- done.
Ya a few hours i could do the room.
this is a DIY site. i am here to learn. i have not heard of prime and skim. so i asked.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:38 AM   #11
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Decal Removal Holding Up Paint


It's highly possible they applied these decals to a flat paint, in which case they may be permanent. Removal might require extensive damage which would result in having to skim the walls entirely anyway. I would take BJ's advice, cut your losses, prime them with an oil primer or Gardz and then skim coat with joint compound. Then sand, reprime, finish.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:24 AM   #12
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I think the op needs to identify what they are dealing with and go from there. I have never, ever, seen any "decals" like that. Looks like a very fine painted mural to me. probably cost much $$ to paint.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:34 AM   #13
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Decal Removal Holding Up Paint


Thank you all for responding.

I have never done a skim coat before, so while I'm familiar with the concept I'm worried it'll end up looking even worse! I think drywall work is magic and the people who are good at it are wizards. I would end up with a 1 inch thick layer of joint compound and never get it even.

I looked up the environmental impact of acetone and strangely enough it's not that bad. Is there any reason not to do this if precautions against contamination are taken? I had a friend mention some things make it extremely difficult to paint the wall. I think this solution is the closest to my skill level.

Gymschu, this stuff laughs at wallpaper remover. I sprayed some on and it actually followed the edges of it as it ran down the wall! It was afraid of the decals, as I am.

Tearing down the walls is not an option. Too expensive, too time consuming, and too much work.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:36 AM   #14
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Decal Removal Holding Up Paint


It's not a hand painted mural. It's a decal. Copyright symbols, each fence post identical to the other, and we found backing on parts of it. There was debate for years about it but it's definitely some sort of wall applique. There's no maker's mark anywhere on it that we've found, though, so I wouldn't begin to know how to find the manufacturer.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:41 AM   #15
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Decal Removal Holding Up Paint


I googled Remove wall decals and found things to check out- try that.

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