Paint after wallpaper?
I have a 1970's house that needs a bathroom re-decorated. It has had about 3 different wallpapers as far as I can tell. Is it possible to remove the paper and have walls smooth enough to paint?
it will depend on how hard the wallpaper comes off. You might have to sand OR you could faux paint or put up breadboard to cover
As a faux finisher, it is always best to take down the wallpaper, however that isn't always possible or necessary. You'll need to take down any wallpaper that is loose. It will usually be the first layer that is stuck the worse. If it won't come off easily, you can paint over it. Make sure you wash all wallpaper paste residue off the walls. I usually use vinegar. Then spackle over the seams and any rough spots and prime with a shellac or oil-based primer. Then go for paint! Good luck!
Don't paint over wall paper unless it impossible. It takes a removal is worth it in long run. Once you do (esp 3 layers), it'll be hard to ever remove paper without significant wall damage. 70's mean it's most likely drywall; If it was 20-50s, it could be precursor to drywall falls DOES fall apart when you remove wall paper. Just get the round scraper tool and lots of scratches, use very hot water, work in small areas (one - two strips at a time), elbow grease and patience. End results will make the awful job worth it. Just make sure you COMPLETELY completely wash walls, several times, to get rid of all glue. Any glue means even primer will peel within a few week or month (learned this the hard way). Once the job is done, you will be so glad that you did the extra work. You will have to touch up; areas will get knicked. Use drywall compound not spackle for best results. Good luck and be patient. If you paint over it, the lines will always be visible in certain lighting and it will bother you for as long as you live in that home.
As stated above, using hot water in a spray bottle works but sometimes if you use a hot water with about a 1/3-1/2 mix of fabric softener works wonders! (great for cleaning paint brushes too). After you are done, a spray mixture of vinegar to get rid of the glue works too. Then wash the walls down with a clean rag. You can also use a steel putty knife and carefully slide it under the wall paper so not to gouge the walls. Good luck!
Zinsser's Guards seals in any residual adhesive. I always use it if the walls were not properly primed as the sheetrock or plaster will hold onto some adhesive. This adhesive can cause the paint to craze and alligator after a little while.