We are selling a home and (stupidly) decided to strip the wallpaper.

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We found that there are multiple layers and the stripping process isn't going well. At the rate I'm going, we'll never get the house on the market. Since it's partially stripped, are there any ideas for changing tracks to make the room presentable. Skim coating? 1/4 inch sheet rock to cover? Help please!!
  21 answers
  • Audrey Bunch Audrey Bunch on Feb 19, 2017
    Fill you a bottle of warm water with dish washing liquid, use your flat trowel the kind you do sheetrock with.... Take a deep breath spray wall down really good, start peeling! Be patient, but it really is not hard, and you will be done before you know it! Been There Done That

  • Audrey Bunch Audrey Bunch on Feb 19, 2017
    You will have to refill bottle several times but it is not hard peeling the paper off.

  • Susan Jackson Susan Jackson on Feb 19, 2017
    Thanks for your advice. I think the problem is that the original wall wasn't prepped correctly because the paper peeling off of the sheetrock. I think we're going to have to do something to the walls whether we continue the stripping or not.

    • Patty S Patty S on Feb 19, 2017
      I once had a wall papering business. I found that if someone used pre-pasted wall paper and then still made paste and applied it, the wall paper became part of the sheet rock. I would suggest covering it with a wood paneling.

  • William William on Feb 19, 2017
    In your situation with the drywall paper peeling, I would lightly sand the rough drywall smooth. Fill any gouges with drywall patching compound. Sand the edges of the remaining wallpaper feathering them to the wall. Then use a stain blocking primer and paint.

    • Susan Jackson Susan Jackson on Feb 19, 2017
      Thank you! I like your answer best!!! It's my deceased inlaw's home which has to be sold and I pushed to strip the wallpaper. Worst decision ever. I feel like I either have to move in there and finish stripping it into the wee hours of the night for weeks, or use your method. You saved my relationship with my siblings-in-law.

  • Lovesunique Lovesunique on Feb 19, 2017
    Be sure you get all the glue off once the wallpaper is removed. And as William suggests use stain blocking primer on any patches. I did not and in certain lighting all my patches show up (it's call flashing--google it). Good luck.

  • Hillela G. Hillela G. on Feb 20, 2017
    Oh wow, goodluck!!! Please keep us posted as you go so we can learn too!

  • Kimberly Jones Lambert Kimberly Jones Lambert on Feb 22, 2017
    I had a house I wanted to remove the wallpaper from and I rented a steamer, it saved alot of time and my sanity,

  • Kay Camenisch Kay Camenisch on Feb 22, 2017
    It's also possible to buy a wallpaper that is made for the purpose of covering a wall to paint it. It has another name that i don't recall, but a wallpaper store would know. You would still need to follow the advice above to smooth the surface before covering it, but it is a possible fix.

  • Susan Jackson Susan Jackson on Feb 22, 2017
    Yes, we tried the steamer, too. It worked great on the first layer, but it's the second and third layers that are the problem. I think because the wallboard wasn't prepped so the paper is coming off the plaster. I wish I could go back and not be the daughter-in-law who said, " we HAVE to strip the paper because no one will buy the house." In retrospect, it's not worth it.

  • Sheilah Kernan Sheilah Kernan on Feb 23, 2017
    If the wallpaper is really stuck, you can simply paint it. Try sealing with KILTZ and watch for bubbles. Then paint.

  • Susan Jackson Susan Jackson on Feb 23, 2017
    Thank you, Sheilah.

  • Mary-Ann Mary-Ann on Feb 24, 2017
    I once painted wallpaper-worst decision ever. The water in the paint made the seams curl up and you could see that it was paper below... You can buy heavy paper at Home Depot etc. This would mean re-papering the entire area, making sure the new seams are not near the old ones. If you do not have a house full of wallpaper I would suggest putting new sheetrock in the area and then priming and painting. Less money and aggravation in the long run.

  • Jamie Staub Jamie Staub on Feb 24, 2017
    Straight up white vinegar did the trick for me in a similar situatio... your home might smell like a salad, but it works!

  • Dixie Dixie on Feb 28, 2017
    How about just having new sheetrock installed over it? Tape, float, sand and paint! Good as new and LOOKS new!

  • Kristil Albof Kristil Albof on Mar 01, 2017
    Use fabric softener in a spray bottle, spray like crazy, let it sit 10 min or so and SCRAPE. No fun but it's the proper way...

    • Danielle Whatsittoyou Danielle Whatsittoyou on Mar 15, 2017
      Idk that there is a "proper" way that involves household products sold for other purpose, but I can tell you this! I have had a similar problem and I tried the fabric softener (so called) trick...didn't work worth a hill of beans for me!
      I ended up renting a tool at the rental place for like $25/day, it steamed the paper off. It worked well, (a heck of a lot better than the laundry products did!!) however...it was still a lot of work. I feel for you! Good luck!

  • Michele McDevitt Michele McDevitt on Mar 01, 2017
    My friend is an independent property manager and is working on a property now that has up to SIX different kinds of wallpaper sandwiched in between as many layers of paint throughout the house. Apparently the family that sold it to him liked to paint over the wallpaper and THEN wallpaper again!! He is getting as much as he can off with commercially available wallpaper stripper (the hot water and vinegar I suggested was no match for this mess) and then he's getting a contractor buddy to skim coat just about the whole house. It sounds crazy, but the walls are plaster, not drywall, so there's no point in trying to get all the way down to the wall . . . the wall might come down with the last layer of paper/paint. It sure is fun finding new wallpaper patterns in the meantime! PS - I've seen the tool used to skim coat a wall . . . it looks like a 5 foot wide putty scraper, so once these guys get going, it doesn't take as long as you think.

  • Susan Jackson Susan Jackson on Mar 01, 2017
    Ugh. I guess I'm going to be learning to skimcoat.

  • Margie Margie on Mar 04, 2017
    Here's a good video on how to skim coat. First, try to remove any wallpaper that wants to come off. Then sand any raised areas. Use a good primer to seal the wall and any remaining wallpaper. You don't have to get up tight against the trim. Then, skim coat with pre-mixed drywall compound. Let dry. Sand any imperfections, like raised bumps. Tape off any trim and paint your finish coat using a "paint and primer all in one" (ask at the store) two coats. Hope this helps.

  • Susan Jackson Susan Jackson on Mar 05, 2017
    Yes, it does! Thank you.

  • Susan Jackson Susan Jackson on Mar 05, 2017
    Thank you to all of you who responded. What we ended up doing was to strip as much as we could, then let it dry. This weekend we went down and sanded it all, feathering in all the rough areas. We'll prime it with a quick drying bin-type paint and see how that goes. It may need another sand if it lifts up any of the seams as one poster mentioned, but then the plan is to paint if we can or skim coat if the paint isn't enough. Such a process! The worst part is that it was my idea. My sister-in -law and her husband weren't on board, but my husband and I, emphaiss on "I" went ahead anyway. (if you ask my son, he'll tell you that I am...ahem....assertive. I really want to make this right since it was my folly n the first place. Thank you all, again.

  • Chabella Chabella on Mar 06, 2017
    Good job on recognizing the consequences of one's own strong assertiveness. It only took me 60 years or so!