Houzz Logo Print

How do I prep walls for painting after removing old wallpaper?

2 years ago

We have a house in Boston built in 1949 that has old wallpaper in the hallway and living room. Both are quite old, but not sure if they are original to 1949 or sometime thereafter. The hallway wallpaper is a fairly heavy grasscloth-like paper and will actually come off in fairly full pieces. However, the walls underneath still have a fair bit of residue and are hard to get fully smooth, especially at the top and bottom. (See photo.) I'm trying to figure out what we'll need to do to prep the walls. I'm not sure if we can adequately sand it all smooth, or do we need to skim coat it, or give up and just put new wallpaper? I hoped this would be an easy DIY project but am afraid I underestimated what it would take to prep the walls to make them nice and clean for painting. Has anyone dealt with 1950s paper and the aftermath? Thanks!

Comments (17)