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Old 01-30-2017, 06:39 PM   #1
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Removing wallpaper glue from plaster - HELP - old home


I am remodeling a room in my house, built in 1941. Various renters have lived here since 1986, so the walls have been painted more times than I can count. I originally thought the walls that I am re-doing in my daughter's room would have to be totally re-drywalled and so I was just going to add, yet another, coat of paint until such a destructive renovation could be done. Upon closer investigation I realized the original walls, which are plaster, were covered with wallpaper. The paint jobs have all been OVER the wallpaper...so I figured scraping the walls would be more cost effective, albeit I am realizing now, incredibly time consuming.
I bought an LED heater to help get the paint to come off easier, but I am having a really hard time with the glue. Is there an effective way to remove the glue and get the plaster clean again that isn't so unbelievably laborious? HELP!
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Old 01-30-2017, 07:57 PM   #2
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Re: Removing wallpaper glue from plaster - HELP - old home


No easy way here. In the history of home improvement projects, removal of painted over wallpaper is definitely in the top 5. Adhesive just takes lots and lots of elbow grease and hot water, lots of it. Use a garden pump sprayer to wet the walls. Keep wetting it over and over and over. Use a wallpaper scraper with a thin, sharp blade or a 6 inch putty knife to scrape off the adhesive. Sometimes mixing in a little DIF wallpaper removal liquid with the hot water helps. Wetting and scraping, wetting and scraping. Just learn to be patient and let the hot water soften up the adhesive.
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Old 01-30-2017, 08:01 PM   #3
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Re: Removing wallpaper glue from plaster - HELP - old home


Wallpaper paste is water soluble. Wet it down with hot water and let it soak for about ten minutes. That should soften it up. Sponge should take it off with a little elbow grease. Scraper helps too, with a light touch. Once you get all the glue off, walls are going to need to be patched, sanded, and primed.
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Old 01-30-2017, 10:22 PM   #4
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Re: Removing wallpaper glue from plaster - HELP - old home


As gymschu and firehawk said, patience and wetting are the keys. I've used DIF before and it works well. There's also something called a paper tiger which scores the surface of the wallpaper so the wetting agent that you are using can penetrate the paint covered paper and get to the glue easier.

Resist the temptation to force the scraper. That just leads to wall gouges. Use a broad stiff blades scraper because it's less likely to gouge.
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Old 01-31-2017, 03:26 AM   #5
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Re: Removing wallpaper glue from plaster - HELP - old home


Wallpaper glue that old may not dissolve, esp if you see no open seams-meaning some kind of excellent glue. I've seen crystalized glue that didn't work with water, maybe steam. Wallpaper may also hide damaged plaster. If you see the paper seams, you can gouge the seam, 2 coats oil base prime, compound repair with mesh tape, prime the whole area, then paint. Unless you want to restore to original, you'd want to remove the plaster or live with it. The old paint has lead in it, which is fine unless you start scraping and sanding it. Your proposal is bound to burn out your enthusiasm.
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Old 02-12-2017, 10:59 AM   #6
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Re: Removing wallpaper glue from plaster - HELP - old home


Because of the risk of wallpaper paste residue, consider painting the substrate (plaster) with Zinnser "Gardz" sealer, before applying any subsequent "normal" primer & topcoat.
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