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Old 02-12-2012, 05:50 PM   #1
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Removing old grasscloth that has been primed and painted


We recently purchased a 30 year old home in which the family room was covered in grasscloth wallpaper. The paper appears to be original to the house. Other wallpapered surfaces which date back to the original owners were sized, and came down easily. We believe there is a skim coat of plaster over the drywall, under the grasscloth, based upon other rooms in the house and what the previous owners said. Now, here's the tricky part. The previous owners, in an attempt to "lighten" the room, had the grasscloth primed and painted. We found a can of KILZ primer in the basement along with the paint used, so am guessing that is the primer used. I tried to remove the grasscloth from a small area, and it was a disaster! In a half hour, I was only able to remove a 3" x 6" spot, and it is still not all removed. Water/steam doesn't penetrate the primer well. Scoring won't work with the grasscloth. HELP! I would just replace the drywall, but there are significant moldings/trim and husband is reluctant to attempt removal as we really don't want to do any damage. Any ideas?

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Old 02-12-2012, 06:01 PM   #2
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Removing old grasscloth that has been primed and painted


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We recently purchased a 30 year old home in which the family room was covered in grasscloth wallpaper. The paper appears to be original to the house. Other wallpapered surfaces which date back to the original owners were sized, and came down easily. We believe there is a skim coat of plaster over the drywall, under the grasscloth, based upon other rooms in the house and what the previous owners said. Now, here's the tricky part. The previous owners, in an attempt to "lighten" the room, had the grasscloth primed and painted. We found a can of KILZ primer in the basement along with the paint used, so am guessing that is the primer used. I tried to remove the grasscloth from a small area, and it was a disaster! In a half hour, I was only able to remove a 3" x 6" spot, and it is still not all removed. Water/steam doesn't penetrate the primer well. Scoring won't work with the grasscloth. HELP! I would just replace the drywall, but there are significant moldings/trim and husband is reluctant to attempt removal as we really don't want to do any damage. Any ideas?
Last year a customer of mine sold their house and wanted to remove some grass cloth wall paper in the bedroom. It was on the ceiling and walls and was no fun at all. It came down in strips because of the way the cloth was weaved. It eventually came down but I had to skim out a lot of the walls from the glue that was used.
I will be heading back to this home to remove the grass cloth wall paper that is in the open radius stairwell & entry.
There are professional wall paper removal companies out there as a last resort but I don't think you'll have any choice but to try harder to start ripping it off.

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Old 02-12-2012, 06:14 PM   #3
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Removing old grasscloth that has been primed and painted


Banick - thanks for the reply. Unfortunately the grass cloth won't come off as you mentioned because the paint and primer compromised the product. But, I didn't realize there was such a thing as a professional wallpaper removal company. If my husbands attempts to scrape it off don't work next weekend, I may just pull out the phone book! Thanks!
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Old 02-12-2012, 06:25 PM   #4
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Removing old grasscloth that has been primed and painted


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Banick - thanks for the reply. Unfortunately the grass cloth won't come off as you mentioned because the paint and primer compromised the product. But, I didn't realize there was such a thing as a professional wallpaper removal company. If my husbands attempts to scrape it off don't work next weekend, I may just pull out the phone book! Thanks!
The only thing I can suggest is a good 4" scraper http://www.warnertool.com/product.ph...WALSCR&mad=USA that has replaceable blades. Maybe once you get under it, removing it will be a lot easier. I dispise wall paper removal because you never know what you're getting into. LOL. Sorry I couldn't help more.

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Old 02-12-2012, 07:30 PM   #5
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Removing old grasscloth that has been primed and painted


How solid is the paint job? can it be sanded or scored? Usually I would use a 30 grit peice of sandpaper to break up the surface of the paint to let the moisture penetrate. Might even use a tool I usually don't recommend- a paper Tiger scorer.
If it looks like your getting some moisture to penetrate- wet, and rewet until saturated. then get some lightweight painters plastic - cut 4' sections ( usually 9'wide) and using a rag press to the wet wall in sections . This will hold the moisture in to penetrate deeper without evaporating.
Timing is everything- be patient- rewet as needed.
Keep wet until that 4' scraper starts to work easily.
Remove all material from a section, then clean the paste off using scraper, scrubbie and sponge. Move to the next section- wet about 1-2 sections ahead of you so by the time you get there they will be ready.
Hope that helps.

pic of plastic being used-


You see the handle in the bucket? I cut a sponge mop to about 3' long to wet the walls. With a short handle it is easy to use. Another hint...
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Last edited by Brushjockey; 02-12-2012 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:52 PM   #6
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Removing old grasscloth that has been primed and painted


,one thing that has helped me in this exact situation is scrape a back saw or a regular saw over grass cloth.also run a palm sander with course sand paper, you have to be resourceful they left this chapter out of the how to book.a garden pump sprayer is a must along with what brush said and you can remove it .its work but it can be done, or you can tear down walls and sheetrock with blue Bord and veneer plaster am just kidding
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:23 PM   #7
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Removing old grasscloth that has been primed and painted


Thanks so much for your ideas Brush and ltd! We knew there would not be a quick fix, but I couldn't quite figure out how to get the moisture to "stick" to the grasscloth. Although the blue board and plastic veneer is a very interesting idea ltd

Thanks so much!

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