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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I've been stripping paint off of my mother in law's bathroom walls in preparation for painting because the previous owners used 1 coat of poor paint and it was bubbling, cracking, etc. The largest wall is almost done, and it appears to be drywall (this house was built in the 1920's). We started stripping the other walls, and just under the surface, it appears to be some sort of brown, papery substance. Unfortunately, the previous owners used this on the rest of the bathroom walls (we think they remodeled things). I have no idea how we are going to paint this. Does anyone have any ideas? I'm not 100% sure exactly what these walls are made of, but it appears to be drywall. I am new to DIYing and very frustrated at this new revelation. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

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Hello,

I've been stripping paint off of my mother in law's bathroom walls in preparation for painting because the previous owners used 1 coat of poor paint and it was bubbling, cracking, etc. The largest wall is almost done, and it appears to be drywall (this house was built in the 1920's). We started stripping the other walls, and just under the surface, it appears to be some sort of brown, papery substance. Unfortunately, the previous owners used this on the rest of the bathroom walls (we think they remodeled things). I have no idea how we are going to paint this. Does anyone have any ideas? I'm not 100% sure exactly what these walls are made of, but it appears to be drywall. I am new to DIYing and very frustrated at this new revelation. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Can you post some photos please?

You might be able to seal it up with Guardz and then paint over it, but I'd have to know what your have first. It would be plaster in a house that age.

If you can show some pictures it will be a lot easier than guessing as to what is going on.
 

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I think it is drywall, you can check by chipping away at it a little and seeing if it is white / crumbly. It was done during a remodel. I know of nothing like that used in the 1920's.

It looks like much of the paper face has been ripped right off with the paint, leaving you with few options.

The right way to fix it would be to tear it out and replace it with the proper moisture resistant board rated for use in bathrooms / wet areas. It is really the only way it is going to look good.
 

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Is moisture resistant board a type of drywall?
As far as I know, all Moisture Resistant board is still gypsum based product, with a special coating. So if the coating is gone, then the protection would be gone.

For bathrooms, you either want to use Moisture Resistant drywall or cement board. Cement board is required around tubs / showers.
 

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My next question is how do I remove the drywall? It's being held in place with nails, but I don't want to damage whatever is under the drywall.
It should break pretty easily. It is likely just nailed to studs with nothing under it. You can carefully break some away at first to make sure. Once you start you can just break off more pieces by hand. Then use a hammer or flat bar to pull the nails out of the studs. Just don't swing at it really hard with your hammer and smash pipes that are in your wall. It really should not be hard to break up and remove.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sadly, I didn't know it was drywall. The big wall in the bathroom that I had already stripped the paint off of was plaster, so i thought that's what the rest of the bathroom walls were as well. There was a huge hole behind the bathroom mirror (the previous owners apparently really didn't care) and I can see through to the wooden slats. Is it possible they just attached the drywall to the original plaster wall? The wall I posted pics of it now drywall free, but I am scared to rip down the rest of it. Does anyone have any advice?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
On a side note, whoever did this did such a poor job, they didn't even do the corners right. Instead of putting the strip down and using mud, they used SCOTCH TAPE to hold it down. Horrible!
 

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Sadly, I didn't know it was drywall. The big wall in the bathroom that I had already stripped the paint off of was plaster, so i thought that's what the rest of the bathroom walls were as well. There was a huge hole behind the bathroom mirror (the previous owners apparently really didn't care) and I can see through to the wooden slats. Is it possible they just attached the drywall to the original plaster wall? The wall I posted pics of it now drywall free, but I am scared to rip down the rest of it. Does anyone have any advice?
In any renovation there is a process of 'discovery' and it is usually an unsettling experience. Occasionally it is good - like finding hardwoods under the old carpet, or learning your painted trim is in fact mahogany, but mostly what you learn about the previous work done on your house is troubling and annoying in a way that you ask yourself, 'what were they thinking?'. Since you have already identified at least two problematic areas (painting and drywall), and the drywall issue isn't just bad but egregious, I would seriously consider redoing everything that was done wrong.
 

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In any renovation there is a process of 'discovery' and it is usually an unsettling experience. Occasionally it is good - like finding hardwoods under the old carpet, or learning your painted trim is in fact mahogany, but mostly what you learn about the previous work done on your house is troubling and annoying in a way that you ask yourself, 'what were they thinking?'. Since you have already identified at least two problematic areas (painting and drywall), and the drywall issue isn't just bad but egregious,:eek: I would seriously consider redoing everything that was done wrong.

had to look that up:laughing:
 

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Is it possible they just attached the drywall to the original plaster wall?
Yes.


The wall I posted pics of it now drywall free, but I am scared to rip down the rest of it. Does anyone have any advice?
Your scared to rip down the plaster?

It's is messier than drywall, but there will still just be studs behind it that you can re-attach new drywall to. Likely over wood lath strips. The plaster will break off. The wood lath is excellent kindling.
 

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p.s.

Save your lungs while removing the plaster:



Link to mask on Amazon - I've also seen this brand locally.This is the one I use.

Also; Highly recommended that you buy one of these filters for the shop vac your using:

Product Font Brand


I have one for my Ridgid and my ShopVac. They last a very very very long time and work very well for tiny dust particles.

ShopVac Cleanstream Filter


Ridgid Cleanstream Filter

They have them at HomeDepot for Ridgid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good idea on the mask, we've been using other masks but I don't think they are working that well. I just started taking the paint off of the door frames and at least the wood underneath it is nice. It appears to be pine, is that a common wood used in door frames in the 1920's?

On a side note, I guess breaking down some drywall knocked an already worn out pipe lose from under the sink...had to have the handyman come fix it this morning. :mad:
 
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