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Help: Right order of steps in wallpaper removal to painted walls?

15 years ago


Situation: I've got old (horse/cattle hair) plaster walls and my goal is to get the wallpaper removed and the walls painted and have it look decent. :-)

I've been learning as I go, reading a lot of postings here. Just when I think I have the order of steps laid out and feel like I know what to do next, I see something about my walls or another posting here that makes me rethink what step comes next. I'd appreciate any feedback on this so that I can be more sure of what I'm doing.

I think the order of steps is:

a. Rip off top layer of wallpaper. (Done. This came off easy for me--from baseboard line to ceiling).

b. Plastic sheeting/drop cloths, taped along baseboard joint to protect hardwood floor from wet in step (c).

c. Remove underlying paper layer and wallpaper paste from wall using liquid of choice (hot water, Dif, Chomp, Safe & Sound, etc)

d. Wash walls using Dirtex.

e. Gardz on walls to seal any remaining paste, etc.

f. Repair holes, dings, etc.

g. Sand repaired places.

h. Gardz again after repairing steps.

i. Paint with color.


1. Do the above steps and order look OK? Anything missing or in the wrong order?

2. About removing the underlying paper and paste layer: I've scraped off the underlying paper/paste layer of a portion of the wall. When I drag a fingernail down the wall, I can pick up gunk still. My question is whether I need to go over the wall again with a scrubby sponge and hot water to remove the gunk I feel by hand and then wash with Dirtex in a 2-step process OR wash with Dirtex and scrubby as one step to get rid of the gunk I feel by hand.

Or is it just try it and see how gunky it stays after the Dirtex, and then repeat again?

3. Caulk and the baseboard/wall joint:

So, this room was probably done over 50 years ago, and there is a definite gap between the baseboard and the wall. I hadn't read know anything about caulking this joint before I started, so when I was wetting one portion of the wallpaper, and noticed the water running down and hitting the baseboard joint, I started to freak out. :-)

Soooo, what am I risking when/if some wetness gets into that gap? What protective step should I take and in what order of my steps for removing the wallpaper?

I'm a bit worried because I haven't gotten to the point of washing the whole wall, prior to putting the Gardz on. The postings that I read about caulking implied to prime first and then caulk BUT with this wallpaper paste, don't I need to wash first and then prime with the Gardz?

Should I caulk up that baseboard gap before I attempt to go any further with the wet removal of the wallpaper?

Thanks for reading this long note and thanks in advance for any advice you have!


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