Rubbery Primer

Digital ImageDigital ImageI stripped off a solid vinyl paper in a bathroom today, and after soaking the backing, which came off easily, were spots like this. I was happy that the previous installer had used a primer, because so many do not.

But one of my complaints about latex primers is that they reactivate when they get wet, as they will when you are stripping old wallpaper. This primer became loose in some spots and pulled away from the wall. You can see how rubbery it is, in the first photo, where I am pulling on it.

It made a big mess, and required floating (kind of like patching with plaster), sanding, and then priming with my favorite oil-based primer, KILZ. Many of my paperhanger buddies disagree with using oil-based primers, but I have never had KILZ pull away from the wall, or lift, or stretch like rubber.

This is important, not just when stripping off old wallpaper, but when installing new paper. If you need to move or reposition a strip, or do a double cut, or pull something off and redo it, you want to feel confident that your primer will stay in place.

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