Food Stains on Wallpaper

his wallpaper is on the backsplash of a kitchen counter. Over 30+ years, you can see splatters that have stained the paper.

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On these pieces that I have stripped from the wall, you can see that the stains have leached through to the back of the paper. Since stains like this usually contain grease, they can bleed through to the new wallpaper, too. So it’s important to make sure that none have gotten onto the drywall behind the wallpaper. If so, a stain blocker will be needed to seal them off. Oil-based KILZ and shellac-based BIN are two good options.
On the right is the KILZ that I used to seal off these stains. It’s important to use the ” Original ” oil-based version, and not any latex or water-borne formulas…. they simply don’t perform as well, no matter what the label says. And know that the fumes are … well, they will get you high and knock out a few brain cells, so wear a respirator, or at least open the windows for good ventilation. Wallpaper paste will not adhere to oil-based products, nor will it stick well to the glossy surface of BIN. So, once the stain-blocker is dry, I go over it with my usual wallpaper primer, Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime.

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