Posts Tagged ‘nice smooth walls’

Time-Consuming Mess Under the Old Wallpaper

April 22, 2014

Digital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageWhoever papered this bathroom before me did a good job of using joint compound to smooth the textured wall. However, he failed to seal the new surface with a primer. So when I came along to strip that paper, which I do with plain hot water, the moisture reactivated the joint compound, and much of it clung to the old wallpaper and came away from the wall when the old paper was removed. Left behind was an uneven mess (see photos 1 & 2) that would have looked terrible under the new wallpaper, and especially since it had a metallic sheen which tends to show every bump and dip.

As I went along, I learned that if I didn’t soak the old paper for too long, it would be enough to loosen the paste, but not to reactivate the joint compound, and so I was able to get much of the paper off without too much damage to the wall.

Unfortunately, there were still large places that had to be patched. Once the surface was dry, I used more joint compound to smooth over the uneven areas. Three strong fans and a heat gun, plus the A/C cranked down and the house fan going, all helped dry the “mud” while I was working to strip the paper in the second bathroom.

Once dry, it was a matter of sanding, vacuuming, wiping, then priming the wall. And then, of course – finally – hanging the new wallpaper.

All of this added several hours and much more physical labor to my work day. But the finished result was really nice, smooth walls, and beautiful paper on top. The homeowner understood the work involved and appreciated that I had insisted on having the wall smoothed properly, because that ensured a lovely finished room.