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painting vs wallpaper

We need to sort a room out that got spoilt by the leaking roof. At the moment it has wallpaper on, and I have always been told that you can't paint a room, if it has been wallpapered previously.

Why not? Is it just down to preparation?

I've painted previously papered walls without problems. However, it was a lot of work as the glue often takes off the polished surface of the plaster. So after carefully stripping the old paper, washing down walls thoroughly with sugar soap and rinsing I went over the surface with a fine surface filler before they were dry.

I would check with a local decorator who's got plenty of experience if you're worried. You could always strip and line the walls with lining paper.

I stripped all the wallpaper out of our old house and this one. They both have/had proper plaster though. Dunno how easy/hard it would be if you had board and skim walls.

We don't have board and skim. All brick here.

TD do you do the skim when damp because of shrinkage?

Not a skim but a very thin layer to smooth over the surface. I did it when damp otherwise it would dry almost instantly and not let me smooth the filler over the wall.

If it's an old house (pre 1940ish with solid walls) and it has thick wallpaper - you might want to ask yourself why. It could have the original lime plaster and removing the paper could reveal blown and cracked plaster that will require a new skim coat at best.
If a more modern house with cement render and skim, or plasterboard and skim, then it is just a case of preparation.
Ty Gwyn

Anaglypta the wall`s once and paint forever.

It is oldish.


brick and plaster, not lime plaster.

I think we are going to strip the paper, and see what repair the walls are in. We can't remember, but I know when we stripped it last time we went right back to the wall, as opposed to the previous 10 decorators!

my favorite trades

pends what you got really

if it is 40;s onward chances are there is no oil based paint in the layers so a good spiking with the spiked roller things on a stick and a soak with water and sugar soap (lots of that before next bit)and a steamer will get it back to plaster easy as easy .

plaster as required ,filler is for little bits

1200 gm lining paper

piss coat of dilute paint n fill paper layer/edges etc

2 or 3 coats paint (sand with 180 grit between coats )

that will be fine for another century with cleaning n paint as needed

pull a discrete corner and let me know what you find Wink
Mistress Rose

We used wood chip wallpaper on our first house as it was 1870s and the plaster was in an awful condition and we also had to put a damp proof course in and replaster the bottom 3 feet. We wanted paint rather than wallpaper, so painted the woodchip. Not sure you can get it now, but Angalypta, as Ty Gwyn said, covers a multitude of sins.

We are stripping the wallpaper at the moment, and so far 2 lots of plaster have come off!

I think we may be wallpapering!

if the plaster comes of with the paper

A a skim might be a good option as loose plaster can be "just one of those things and nowt to worry about" for a variety of annoying but unimportant reasons


B poke the probes of a damp meter at it and respond as appropriate

C check for signs of movement just in case that is why the plaster is loose

filler in the holes and thick woodchip etc might look better than before but is never a good selling point or a cure for the real problem etc etc .

once the old paper is off it will be fairly obvious what remedy(ies are) is required
Mistress Rose

If you use a damp meter, make sure you use it correctly. In the 70s a lot of damp proof courses were sold on the grounds of incorrect (sometimes on purpose) use of them. I have never believed in them since.

We know why the plaster is coming off. The roof leaked. We had scaffolding up for 3 months over the summer whilst we replaced it!
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