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Wallpaper removal gone awry. Advice to get back on track?

2066 Views 13 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  RWolff
Hi! A few weeks ago I started this thread and got some fantastic advice: I am cross-posting this into this forum in hopes that the same kind people will respond.

I decided to do one section of the downstairs of the home at a time starting with the hallway. I tore down the paper, washed the walls, sealed with GARDZ, patched with joint compound, resealed with GARDZ, primed, and painted two coats. The hallway looks great - smooth, no bubbling or other issues.

I started to work on the large wall in the family room tonight and it's a disaster. They wallpapered OVER wallpaper and in some parts the first layer of wallpaper was put directly onto the plaster or directly onto some sort of putty they used for patching. The plaster is crumbling away in chunks. Will the steps I followed to do the hallway work? I would seal the wall and work on patching everything up with joint compound, but I am wondering:

Do the walls need to be re-plastered or patched with plaster instead? If yes, what specific product do I look for? I read that a product called EasySand could be used for this. Would that do the trick?

Here is an image of the current mess:
Here is a closeup of the plaster crumbling down to the concrete:

Thank you for the advice.
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You have discovered the worst nightmare that can face a person removing wall paper---

The paper was installed over raw drywall----no paint---little or no primer----

As you strip you will also be softening up the mud used to tape the walls----sometimes you will gouge or even peal off some of the face of the drywall---

Just keep going--do as little damage as you can----then come back and we will tell you how to seal the damaged drywall and skim coat it----

You job will take longer than you expected---but will look fine after the skim coat---
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Thank you. :)

In case I wasn't clear in my original post (and I think I might have left this bit out), the house is made from poured concrete. The surface behind the crumbling plaster is a concrete wall... Does that make a difference as to what steps would be suggested?

My plan was to seal with GARDZ after removing the paper and before doing any patching/repairs. Is this ok?
Yep--Guards to stabilize the material and keep the skim coat from softening the material---

Then, for the first coat (or two)--use 'Multi Purpose' mud--green lid---this is the mud used to embed the tape during a conventional drywall job----it contains glue and will bond well with the damaged surface---this mud is rather hard to sand----

Top coat with 'light weight'--Blue lid----this mud is softer and very easy to sand---

Use a 12 or 14 inch blade----very thin coats----less is best----seal with Guards before painting---
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Thank you. That sounds feasible.

Is this what you're talking about for the first coat?

If yes, I already have that on hand.
That's the stuff---sticks well dries hard-----many pros use that for top coating also---but it is hard to sand---and I suggest ,as a novice, that you use the blue lid 'Light weight' for your final top coat.
lol. A novice would describe me perfectly. ;-) Thank you for the suggestions and feedback and for your patience.
I watched as a very experienced painter ran into this very situation----He lost money on that job---

I had bid the wall paper removal at three times his cost---he was very unhappy---
My guy skim coated it for him---at a very fair price--

We have become friends over the years and he still remembers that job---he also removes some paper as a test, before bidding----something I had done before I gave my 'high price'-
Oh I have no doubt. This project is very labor intensive. We had a few contractors come through for estimates and none of them looked like they even *wanted* to do it. They kept stressing how much work it would be, what a mess, etc probably in hopes that we'd scrap the whole idea. And trust me, we were tempted to just live with the crazy wallpaper and colors...

My fiancee just keeps taking me into the finished hallway and saying, "Look to the future!"
You are kind of lucky with the concrete walls. The stripping process shouldn't do any further damage like it might with sheetrock.
There are tricks for stripping- have you run into those here yet? Like use a garden sprayer to put the water on
I like to get a cheap sponge mop and cut the handle to about 3' to sponge the walls
If it is real difficult to soften you can take lightweight painters plastic and press it ( with a rag- it will also stick to wet hands..) over the wall to let it soak without drying out. Cut the poly into 3/4 ' panels. When softened, remove one panel and clean all the way, then the next etc.
Because wall paper stripping is so unpredictable, many painters avoid the jobs.

Some painters have limited drywall skills ,so unless they can call in a taper, they might not want to bid on the stripping------

Often paint pricing is to cheap to make a living---and an unexpected delay caused by the skim coating would turn the job into a gift to the customer----
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Oh'Mike, I love the last part of your last quote......."would turn the job into a gift to the customer."
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sealed with GARDZ, patched with joint compound, resealed with GARDZ, primed, and painted two coats.

no need to prime twice. Gardz IS a primer
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You have discovered the worst nightmare that can face a person removing wall paper---

The paper was installed over raw drywall----no paint---little or no primer----
I had the opposite- they installed the wallpaper over the bare cement layer of the bedroom walls, they never had finished plaster on them.
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