Easy Stripping Job Today

Digital ImageI’ve got a four-day job repapering a large master bathroom in the West University neighborhood this week. Twenty two rolls is a lot of paper to remove, but I worked happily today – because THE PREVIOUS INSTALLER USED A PRIMER!

Most paperhangers who work in new construction skip the primer. Wallpaper hung directly on the Sheetrock can be murder, if not impossible, to get off, and frequently causes much damage to the Sheetrock. A layer of primer costs little and does so much to protect the drywall, make installation easier, ensure adhesion, and facilitate removal later.

“Easy” isn’t the same as “fast,” though. There are still several steps to go through, plus waiting for paper to soak. In the photo, you see the original paper on the left. In the middle, you see the white area, where the top printed layer has been pulled off, leaving the white backing. This backing requires soaking. I use plain hot water, no chemicals. Once it’s wet enough to reactivate the paste underneath, this backing layer can be peeled off or scraped off.

On the left of the photograph, you see the wall, with it’s coat of white primer and a little of the tan clay paste used by the first installer.

Once all the paper is off and the surface has dried, I will prime the walls. Once that’s dry, all that’s left is to hang the paper!

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