Stablizing a Crumbly Wall

My Facebook paperhanger buddies recently had a discussion about crumbling sub-surfaces.

Today I removed a British “pulp” paper from a ’40’s home, and beneath it was latex paint over semi-gloss oil. The latex started flaking off, and it was going to result in a very unstable surface.

So I left the wallpaper in place to hold the crumbly wall together, and used a product called Gardz, which soaks in and seals the wall nicely. Then I skim floated (likda like a layer of plaster) over that – no bubbling at all. If I had not sealed the wall, bubbles almost always develop.

The Gardz also seals torn Sheetrock, and no bubbles when floated. It also nicely sealed the places where the two layers of paint were exposed and flaking off, and helped hold it all together.

Tomorrow I sand the wall smooth, and will seal again with Gardz, to be sure the new paper does not wet the mud or paint beneath. That will provide a good surface for the new wallpaper.

Last week, and again today, I was irked that Sherwin-Williams did not have the primer I usually use, so I had to go to Southwestern Paint a few blocks away and buy Gardz for another job. Because I had it in the van today and needed it, that ended up being a blessing in disguise.

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