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In my area we have a lot of older Victorian homes . Not uncommon to encounter multiple layers of wallpaper. I swear some of these papers were installed with horse hoof glue, not paste. These houses are well over 100 years old. About the toughest paper removal you'll ever see. Always used a propane steamer on these. It was the only thing that worked, and generally worked quite well.
Can you recommend a good brand of propane steamer?
 

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Can you recommend a good brand of propane steamer?
I sold mine when I retired a couple of years ago. I bought it second hand about 30 years ago, and it was probably 20 years old then. I don't recall the brand, the only writing on the unit was on a small metal plate that I never bothered to read. I believe the design and concept is still in use on modern steamers. Basically a 5 gal reservoir sitting on top of a propane burner. There is a heavy lead plug in the top of the reservoir that acts as a pressure regulator. A hose then runs to a cookie sheet sized perforated steam head. Hold steam head on wall a minute or so, paper lifts right off. Hot and messy, but effective. I've never used any of the electric steamers , but I doubt they are as effective as the propane ones.

Pretty basic concept and simple machine, so I imagine brand name is not too important. If it looks and feels heavy duty, it's probably a good one. I would expect to pay close to $1,000 dollars for a good one new. If I recall correctly I sold my used machine for $300, and that was a good deal.
 

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In my area we have a lot of older Victorian homes . Not uncommon to encounter multiple layers of wallpaper. I swear some of these papers were installed with horse hoof glue, not paste. These houses are well over 100 years old. About the toughest paper removal you'll ever see. Always used a propane steamer on these. It was the only thing that worked, and generally worked quite well.
I just never liked using them, it was like working in a steam room all day, not to mention the feeling of water running down your arm into your pits!
 

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I sold mine when I retired a couple of years ago. I bought it second hand about 30 years ago, and it was probably 20 years old then. I don't recall the brand, the only writing on the unit was on a small metal plate that I never bothered to read. I believe the design and concept is still in use on modern steamers. Basically a 5 gal reservoir sitting on top of a propane burner. There is a heavy lead plug in the top of the reservoir that acts as a pressure regulator. A hose then runs to a cookie sheet sized perforated steam head. Hold steam head on wall a minute or so, paper lifts right off. Hot and messy, but effective. I've never used any of the electric steamers , but I doubt they are as effective as the propane ones.

Pretty basic concept and simple machine, so I imagine brand name is not too important. If it looks and feels heavy duty, it's probably a good one. I would expect to pay close to $1,000 dollars for a good one new. If I recall correctly I sold my used machine for $300, and that was a good deal.

Propane steamer is the way to go..
Check out video of removal over bare drywall with propane steamer..

 

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I bought a wagner steamer years ago that works well. Holds a gallon or so of water and has a 10"x12" or so steam head, also has a smaller head for tight areas. For the amount of removal I do, thankfully not much, it has been real handy.
 

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Sorry to jump on an old thread, but you guys seem to know what you are talking about here... So I recently started stripping old peeling painted wallpaper from my bathroom. I thought I was dealing with one layer of painted wallpaper - I couldnt have been more wrong. I have discovered that under this, there is at least 3 other layers of wallpaper, probably dating back to the 1950's (at least), and there are parts that appear to have been skim coated too. In short, it's a total mismatch of different types of materials.

In some parts, I have been able to get right down to the original wall, and in other parts it seems nigh on impossible with incredibly strong adhesive used on what appear to be the original paper - it looks like somebody attempted to get of what they could and then just skim coat/paint/paper over the top. Some parts of the current layer of painted on paper are actually adhered really well too. In short, from looking at the photos provided, would I be able to simple lift what is coming away easily and then sand/seal/skimcoat the gaps, or should I be looking to remove absolutely everything and skim the whole lot?

I have seen conflicting advise online, some guys seem to think I can just prep and skim coat the gaps, sand the lot and paint, and others seem to think I should be removing absolutely everything. I know which I'd rather do, but I also want to do the job properly. I have done plenty of simple painting/filling work on property in the past, but nothing with quite so much history under the walls so to speak, so I just wanted to get some other opinions before I continue. Any help would be massively appreciated!

Cheers guys
 

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I have seen conflicting advise online, some guys seem to think I can just prep and skim coat the gaps, sand the lot and paint, and others seem to think I should be removing absolutely everything. I know which I'd rather do, but I also want to do the job properly. I have done plenty of simple painting/filling work on property in the past, but nothing with quite so much history under the walls so to speak, so I just wanted to get some other opinions before I continue. Any help would be massively appreciated!
Cheers guys
You see conflicting advice online because no 2 old homes are the same. Look at your home and note the layers of paint.
Now think about whether they're Lead-Based, Oil-Based, Latex/Acrylic, or other.
Next, try to determine exactly how much preparation was done before each successive coat.
After that, ascertain whether or not the applicator of each new coat followed proper recommendations by manufacturer as far as paint thickness, dry-times, etc.
Once that's finished, consider what percentage of the surface is failing, and where the failure is in regards to the layers of product on the substrate.
Oh, and make sure to take into account potential effects caused by any roof or plumbing leaks, insufficient venting from HVAC, miscellaneous surface contamination, etc...

Can you do this in your own home that you know better than anybody else in the world? No, you can't. I couldn't either, so don't feel bad. What works for some might not work for others, depending upon the infinite variables from the past which is rarely identical to the person seeking answers from others off the internet.

As a general rule, if the coating is in tact, you can proceed. If not, the failed portion must first be removed.

If you're not a professional painter, please post your question at www.DIYChatroom.com. If you're not already a member of DIYChatroom.com you can sign up for a free account by going to Register. Many of our members here are also members there, so you should be able to get some further assistance. Good luck.
 

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Thanks for such a quick response. I just wanted to make sure that it wasn't a definite no no to skim the gaps - as you stated, the failed portions will all be removed for sure. However the rest (about 80% of the wall) isnt bubbling or anything, it all feels very in tact to be honest which I why I wanted to confirm it wasnt a one case fits all situation. I feel pretty confident that filling the gaps properly will be sufficient - I will join the other forum though, as I am not a professional painter at all. Thanks again.
 

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Sorry to jump on an old thread, but you guys seem to know what you are talking about here... So I recently started stripping old peeling painted wallpaper from my bathroom. I thought I was dealing with one layer of painted wallpaper - I couldnt have been more wrong. I have discovered that under this, there is at least 3 other layers of wallpaper, probably dating back to the 1950's (at least), and there are parts that appear to have been skim coated too. In short, it's a total mismatch of different types of materials.

In some parts, I have been able to get right down to the original wall, and in other parts it seems nigh on impossible with incredibly strong adhesive used on what appear to be the original paper - it looks like somebody attempted to get of what they could and then just skim coat/paint/paper over the top. Some parts of the current layer of painted on paper are actually adhered really well too. In short, from looking at the photos provided, would I be able to simple lift what is coming away easily and then sand/seal/skimcoat the gaps, or should I be looking to remove absolutely everything and skim the whole lot?

I have seen conflicting advise online, some guys seem to think I can just prep and skim coat the gaps, sand the lot and paint, and others seem to think I should be removing absolutely everything. I know which I'd rather do, but I also want to do the job properly. I have done plenty of simple painting/filling work on property in the past, but nothing with quite so much history under the walls so to speak, so I just wanted to get some other opinions before I continue. Any help would be massively appreciated!

Cheers guys
once wallpaper is painted in my opinion it is not removable anymore.
quarter inch drywall would be the right way to re-do that room (imo), then plaster and paint.

Or (the bandaid fix):
1. seal raw/damaged areas with Gardz
2. Plaster (joint compound) skim damaged areas to correct surface
3. Prime fresh plaster
4. Paint
 

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Hi all
My first time in this site I hope I’m posting on the correct spot
We bought a home built in 1856
Slowly remodeling it Most wallpaper came off because it was 4-6 layers
Hot water steam and that scratch tool did the job.
BUT... I have the hallway it has paper that seems to have melded to the horse hair plaster as we try to remove it the plaster comes with it not sure how to remove it??? Suggestion welcome!
Was going to skim over it but it has (ugly) velvet raised flowers so not sure if I can????
It's wrong, as this is a professional forum only, not for homeowners or DIYers.

If you skim coat over the wallpaper it is kicking the problem down the road. How many years, who knows. Could last beyond your life, could be peeling again in 2-3 years.

If you remove the wallpaper you might need more than a fabric steamer but a sort of professional gas fired one. But even then, I don't know how much the plaster is falling off, you're probably still going to need a real plasterer to fix it all. If the plaster is coming off a half inch thick directly off the lath, it means its lost its mechanical key in that spot. If the wallpaper glue and plaster has mixed, and it is a sound surface without moving cracks/falling off chunks of plaster, and it's just a rough surface, instead of just skimcoating it you might want a traditional two coat plaster system with a basecoat designed to be applied thick, and then a veneer, and not just layers and layers of joint compound as a skim coat.

This dude has probably the best plastering channel on Youtube. But in your case if you want a longterm solution it will probably end up being hiring a plasterer or new sheetrock in the room (not as good of an option in some ways, as old houses had wonky framing as the plasterer was expected to straighten the walls.) Obviously you can DIY plaster, but it's not a common trade in USA anymore and takes some natural talent or a lot of practice to get good, much moreso than painting imo. You can't sand it after like normal joint compound.

Anyway, mods will direct you to the sister DIY site.
 

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It's wrong, as this is a professional forum only, not for homeowners or DIYers.

If you skim coat over the wallpaper it is kicking the problem down the road. How many years, who knows. Could last beyond your life, could be peeling again in 2-3 years.

If you remove the wallpaper you might need more than a fabric steamer but a sort of professional gas fired one. But even then, I don't know how much the plaster is falling off, you're probably still going to need a real plasterer to fix it all. If the plaster is coming off a half inch thick directly off the lath, it means its lost its mechanical key in that spot. If the wallpaper glue and plaster has mixed, and it is a sound surface without moving cracks/falling off chunks of plaster, and it's just a rough surface, instead of just skimcoating it you might want a traditional two coat plaster system with a basecoat designed to be applied thick, and then a veneer, and not just layers and layers of joint compound as a skim coat.

This dude has probably the best plastering channel on Youtube. But in your case if you want a longterm solution it will probably end up being hiring a plasterer or new sheetrock in the room (not as good of an option in some ways, as old houses had wonky framing as the plasterer was expected to straighten the walls.) Obviously you can DIY plaster, but it's not a common trade in USA anymore and takes some natural talent or a lot of practice to get good, much moreso than painting imo. You can't sand it after like normal joint compound.

Anyway, mods will direct you to the sister DIY site.
Thank You for the info
I wasn’t expecting this to be easy nothing has been easy on this house! I love it ( it has beautiful bones) but every job has been like opening can of worms why did I think this would be easy or cheap LOL
 

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Thank You for the info
I wasn’t expecting this to be easy nothing has been easy on this house! I love it ( it has beautiful bones) but every job has been like opening can of worms why did I think this would be easy or cheap LOL
Feel free to comb through our archives for any/all info you need. There's a ton of gold in there, but it does take some digging to find usually. If you're not a professional painter, please post future questions at www.DIYChatroom.com. If you're not already a member of DIYChatroom.com you can sign up for a free account by going to Register. Many of our members here are also members there, so you should be able to get some further assistance. Good luck.
 

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Thank You for the info
I wasn’t expecting this to be easy nothing has been easy on this house! I love it ( it has beautiful bones) but every job has been like opening can of worms why did I think this would be easy or cheap LOL
Definitely watch some of Kirk's videos, though, to see what you're getting into. He's a very funny guy and a great and kind teacher, too.
 
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