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Old 11-03-2009, 08:22 AM   #1
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paint over wallpaper glue?

i removed some wallpaper from a plaster wall. house was built around 1920. i usually wash all the glue, then procede with plaster repair. three of the walls had two layers of wallpaper. one though, had the first one removed before the second was put on. it looks like they painted it with some white paint horizontally with a brush. when i was scraping the wallpaper off, i scraped some of the paint. i noticed that the glue was not washed off from the first layer before this paint was applied. its that old grey glue that after it is washed off, the walls look white and much cleaner. is there some kind of primer made painting over glue? i usually just wash it all off.


Last edited by drewhart; 11-03-2009 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:26 PM   #2
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You should really work at getting as much of the residue off as you can. I find it helps to have a live horse in the room with you when working on antique homes like yours because there is a sensed heredity bond between the living horse and the glue made from one and stuck to your ceiling.

Just kidding.

I would use Benjamin Moore's Fresh Start alkyd primer. It's solvent based so buy brushes to match and some mineral spirits or paint thinner to clean your tools. You can paint over the primer with latex products. Others commenting will suggest other brands which may be quite as good. If you cannot buy or use solvent based products where you are, I think the Superbond latex primer from MAB (now owned by Sherwin Williams) your best choice in a water soluble product. Ben Moores latex version of Fresh Start would be my second choice.

By the way, you are probably experiencing some "chalking" which is expected with the aging of oil-based paints. The bad news, given the vintage of your house, is that those paints probably have lead in them too so call in a pro to do the abatement work. Doing so will actually increase the value of your antique home since they will hand you certified documents when done. You do not want to risk inhaling that stuff or having your infants or pets chewing on it. Search the lead abatement posts on this site for more scary revelations.


Last edited by user1007; 11-03-2009 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 11-03-2009, 04:02 PM   #3
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I'm in the same boat you are in. The house I'm working on is 95 yrs old, and I've just removed 3 layers of wallpaper. I also had extensive patching to do. I don't know if I've really washed all the glue off the plaster, so I'm going to try a Zinnser product called Gardz to seal the wall. The big advantage is that it's water based, and should provide a glue free surface for the top coat. I've read positive things about it on the net, and have yet to find any complaints.
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Old 11-03-2009, 05:57 PM   #4
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Gardz is a great product but you should really try and remove as much of the adhesive as possible first.As sdsester said an oil based primer such as Fresh Start Alkyd would be ideal but if you don't want to mess with the oil, Gardz is the answer.I would be very hesitant to use any latex products as the resulting probability of re wetting the adhesive would be a real mess.There, that's my 2 cents.The horse idea is also good
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:01 PM   #5
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My house is 96 years old and I just stripped very thick painted wallpaper. I followed Chris's suggestions and had excellent results.

Numerous plaster repairs with setting compound (first two rounds) then ready-mix joint compound to finish up, sanding then Gardz and two coats of latex. The walls are beautiful and very smooth.

The Gardz will seal off any past residue and make a smooth but grippable surface for your paint to adhere to.

It's messy to work with but then so is the oil-base products, but the Gardz cleans up easily enough.
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by chrisn View Post
I would be very hesitant to use any latex products as the resulting probability of re wetting the adhesive would be a real mess.
I will say it again and please consider that I work on antique homes for a living. If you are allowed where you live, buy a good oil-based alkyd primer and some mineral spirits to clean up after yourself. You will be so much more a happy camper in this project doing so. As Chris hints, you will just re-constitute any water based adhesive remaining on the surface if you use latex products.


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