DeAnn C
DeAnn C
  • Hometalker
  • Tyler, TX
Asked on Jan 15, 2013

Wallpapered Ceilings!

DeAnn CBonny CaiazzoBarbara
+13

Answered

We purchased a home 2 years ago that had too much wallpaper but we've been able to take care of most of it. The last projects are the border in the kitchen/dining room and on the 10-foot ceiling. The other wallpaper we've taken down was an absolute nightmare. We have tried steam, fabric softener, removal products on the other projects and nothing worked well. We finally painted on top of the well stuck paper in the master bedroom. The wallpaper on the ceiling scares me to death. It is probably about 700 feet of ceiling. Any other ideas?
q wallpapered ceilings, cleaning tips, home decor
q wallpapered ceilings, cleaning tips, home decor
16 answers
  • The trick is to have the paper properly prepared. Steam works ok on boarders but is very time consuming and does not get all the glue off once the paper is removed. Forget about all the home remedies to do this. You need to do this job as follows for any sort of success. However you must understand one thing. Unless the wallboard was painted prior to putting the paper up, nothing will successfully remove the paper if was not. You must purchase a adjustable paper tiger. This neat little device cuts the surface of the paper just enough to reveal the backside and perhaps some of the glue without cutting into the drywall that the paper is applied to. You need to run this device over the paper a lot. Put thousands of tiny holes in the paper to get this removal process to work faster. Less holes, more time. Simple as that. Then place plastic down on the floor to protect it from water. Then using lots of old towels, rags and drop cloths put them down to help soak up the water as well. Using almost boiling water and DIFF or any other commercially available wall paper removal chemical mix it and put it into a garden sprayer. Now wearing eye protection, spray, spray, and spray. this will take about an hour to do. Keep the ceiling wet. Keep spraying it on and allowing it to soak into the tiny holes you put in with the paper tiger. After about 20 min of keeping it wet, one person should begin attempting to pull one sheet down. If its sticking still, your not waiting long enough to allow the water/chemical mix to do its job. Stop and spray again. The paper if you properly put the holes from the paper tiger in, wet it long enough should begin to peel off just like would when it went up. If not keep spraying. After only one sheet comes down with little to no effort, Do NOT remove any other paper. Using additional chemicals in fresh water take a sponge and clean the glue off of the ceiling or walls before it dries. A plastic, not metal putty knife will help scrape the glue off without damaging the walls. When done, rinse with a clean sponge again and fresh water. Then move onto the next piece of paper. When doing this, you need to keep the rest of the ceiling wet. If it dries out, you have successfully have moved to the beginning of the project again. The whole trick is to get the glue wet. And not to rush this process. It is messy and wet, but if you follow the directions, take your time, Perhaps have one or two more helpers working with you it will come off easy and if you clean behind each piece that is removed before it dries you will be doing very little in the way of prep for paint. The other method is to simply pay someone else to do this for you.

  • Straight Nails Construction
    on Jan 17, 2013

    I have used "scorers" in the past with little success. They usually damage the sheetrock to the point of having to skim the wall with sheet rock mud to repair the damage. Woodbridge provides a very detailed solution to your problem, but will require a lot of work. Another option (depending on your skill level) is to seal that wallpaper and paint over it. (You have stated that you have done so in the past). I am currently starting a project in which the homeowner has a very large kitchen, and has opted to have me seal, rather than the expense of removal. All seams, including tears are sealed with sheet rock mud. This is a two coat process. Once the walls (seams) are smooth, I apply one coat of high quality primer to all repaired areas. Then a second coat of primer is applied to the entire surface. At this point, you can paint away. (I have done this a number of times, and visiting repeat customers, there is no visible signs of peeling, even after a couple of years). The only other option would be to re-sheetrock the ceiling. A 3/8" sheetrock is available that you could install, then would have to tape and mud all seams. But sheetrocking a ceiling is not an easy task (we use a special lift that allows the sheetrock to be lifted to the ceiling before installation, which can be rented).

  • Peace Painting Co., Inc.
    on Jan 17, 2013

    As you say, if it is well stuck then paint it. The only 'finesse part' would be to skim the seams with a thin coat of joint compound. This would require someone good with a drywall knife. Before skimming the seams, it's best to run a razor blade flat along the seam to remove any curled edges. In addition, I like to use a high build/high solids primer to help the joints not to show. If the paper is starting to come loose or has many bubbles, then first prime with an oil-base primer. It's work, no matter how you do it! Best, Charles

  • Selina @Rockin' Redesigns
    on Jan 17, 2013

    The wallpaper on the ceiling would scare me to death too. Good luck! We removed wallpaper from our entire house, unprimed walls. If I had known, there is a good chance I would have walked away from this house instead of buying it!

  • One of the issues with any painting or mudding the walls is that it contains moisture. The same moisture that will loosen seams and bubble the paper. As far as those paper tigers as they are called in my area. You can purchase them that are adjustable so you do not damage the wallboard behind it. The low cost ones are pre-set and oftentimes will cause damage. But remember, if you paint and seal the paper and it begins to bubble and in many cases it does, you cannot easily go back and remove the paper as the paint now prevents the solution from getting behind the paper face and softening the glue.

  • Peace Painting Co., Inc.
    on Jan 18, 2013

    I should have mentioned that we do always prime first with a Kilz type product to prevent the glue from loosening, before any drywall compound or paint.

  • Straight Nails Construction
    on Feb 17, 2013

    I wish I would have taken before pictures, but this is covering 80's floral wallpaper with sheetrock mud (2 coats), and very high quality primer (2 coats) and four coats of the new color of paint. My customer was extremely happy with the result, my professional painter (exterior) gave it "two thumbs" up, and the listing real estate agent was very impressed. Wallpaper can be covered if completed properly.

    q wallpapered ceilings, cleaning tips, home decorq wallpapered ceilings, cleaning tips, home decorq wallpapered ceilings, cleaning tips, home decorq wallpapered ceilings, cleaning tips, home decor
  • Lori
    on Dec 14, 2014

    DeAnn, I have to ask you had you ever removed wallpaper before you bought this house and if you did, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? Was this the only house left for sale? I'm sorry, I understand this is serious, but seriously, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? I feel your pain and Peace Painting really sounds like sound advice. Painting over paper would be a so, last resort for me, but that was before I saw your ceiling. All kidding aside I wish you luck and hope whatever you do turns out really well for you.

  • Linda Thomas
    on May 21, 2015

    I used a spray bottle with very hot water. Spray on walls wait a few minutes and scrape it off with a spatula. Worked for me

  • Barbara
    on Dec 10, 2015

    In the kitchen area, I think removal is your only answer unless you are willing to cover it up with faux ceiling tiles or bead board. Cooking odors and grease can collect on the paper and create a different issue with insects that thrive on the older wheat based wall paper paste, so I'd want it out, despite the labor intensive hassle it represents.

  • DeAnn C
    on Dec 10, 2015

    Thanks for all of your input. We finally hired a contractor who removed it, textured and painted. It was a nightmare but so glad to have that ugliness removed!

  • Bonny Caiazzo
    on Jan 23, 2016

    I had to remove 10 layers of wallpaper from my 120 yr old kitchen and it rolled right off the wall. I used a spray bottle of water and dish soap. The soap and hot water deactivates the glue and then just scrape off

  • Bonny Caiazzo
    on Jan 23, 2016

    Other options are to cover the ceiling with tin tiles or since i had wallpaper on my bedroom ceiling too i boght paintable wallpaper and went over the existing paper. It has a raised pattern. I painted it white and it looks like it is plaster and original to the home. I love it, its beautiful.

  • DeAnn C
    on Jan 23, 2016

    We finally gave up and hired a pro

  • DeAnn C
    on Jan 23, 2016

    We finally gave up and hired a pro

  • DeAnn C
    on Jan 23, 2016

    We finally gave up and hired a pro

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