Monday, June 1, 2009



green stairway w/view of mud room

The front hallway is finally painted. I began this project in, um, November. These two photos showing the completed painting courtesy of the always lovely Audrey.

green foyer w/view of dining room and air lock

Stripping the wallpaper glue was a pain in the neck. We managed to complete the removal of the glue in the second floor hallway and about halfway down the stairs before I got completely discouraged. I recalled a suggestion that we could put a coat of Killz over the glue, a skimcoat, and another coat of Killz. What I failed to remember was that this would only work if the glue has relatively little texture.

Skimcoating took forever, as did sanding it. The entry hallway, however, is finally done. Last night, I painted the second floor hallway with the roller. I also did some brushwork - enough to finish up the paint I had in the tray. Tonight, I'll finish the second floor hallway and hopefully clean up this mess, too. Ugh.

In unrelated news, the trap on the paint sink started leaking last night. From the looks of the corrosion on it, this has been an issue for quite some time. Ugh. We'll put a bucket under it for now and add it to the list.


Karen Anne said...

Looks beautiful.

I am just about to pull off some wallpaper, my second wallpaper experience. The first time was decades ago when I had to resort to razor blades and infinite soaking to get all the remnants off.

This wallpaper pulls off very easily, but I was wondering about getting the glue off. Your posting does not bode well...

How did you try removing it? I'm not sure what my old wallpaper was even over, my guess is plaster. Now there's drywall under this stuff.

For me, a simple but very long cleaning process is probably better than trying skimcoating etc. which I've never done.


Christopher Busta-Peck said...

Karen Anne,

I've got a method for the removal of the wallpaper glue that works well, for the most part.

I began by using a slightly wet sponge to dampen the wallpaper glue. After a little while, I'd repeat this, four or five times. Then I used a good quality, wide putty knife to scrape the glue off. I then scrubbed the walls using 3m heavy duty commercial scouring pads - they're green, like the basic Scotchbrite model, but considerably thicker and more textured. They easily scrub the wall free of the glue. I found them at Home Depot, but you can probably get them anywhere. They're great for so many projects where you need a really abrasive scrubbing.

The method I describe above is highly preferable to skimcoating. It's just as messy, but doesn't take nearly so much time. The finished walls look better and cleaner when you remove the glue, too.

The only reason why I tried skimcoating was because I was really tired of the project and I thought it would go more quickly. I had, in the space of about an hour, removed all the wallpaper from the entry hallway, the stairs, and the second floor hallway. I slowly dealt with the glue on the second floor and got partway down the stairs before the work utterly bored me. I guess what I'm saying is that it's usually better to start small.

I hope that helps to answer your question.

Karen Anne said...

Thanks, Chris. I am guessing you have plaster under the wallpaper, though? I am thinking scrubbing would massacre drywall?

Christopher Busta-Peck said...

Karen Anne,

Yes, there was plaster underneath, with several coats of paint on it. I can see your concern with the drywall. I suspect you'd be ok if you just scrub with a bit lighter touch. Was the drywall painted at all before the wallpaper was put up?

Karen Anne said...

No, no paint.


Christopher Busta-Peck said...

Karen Anne,

I've never encountered a situation like that, nor have I heard about someone else dealing with it. I've got no clue. Your concern about damaging the drywall is quite valid.

If the glue isn't very textured, I'd amost be inclined to sand it flat and just use a heavy duty stain-blocking primer.

I'd suggest that you talk to someone at your local paint retailer - surely they've dealt with this before and can offer better ideas that I can.