I've peeled old paper and some patches of old emulsion came off with it, leaving bare pink plaster. The paint which is still on the wall, (quite a lot), is hard now it's dry but crumbles when wet. So the wall has now got new filler in holes etc, old plaster and nervous emulsion clinging. I've got a bad feeling about trying to hang new paper. Any advice welcome.
if the paint is coming away and leaving bare pink plaster then it sounds as though the walls were never sealed properly before being painted. this is why it is now peeling.
firstly you need to try and remove as much of the loose paint as possible with a wallpaper scraper, especially where it is flaking. if it crumbles when wet then dampen it down with a sponge to help the process.
then make sure that you 'size' the walls before you start to wallpaper. this simply involves applying a weak, watered-down wallpaper paste to the walls and allowing to dry fully before hanging.
if you buy a proprietary brand such as Solvite then details of quantities for sizing will be given on the packet.
sizing will have a triple benefit:
- it will dampen the walls and give you a clue as to how any remaining paint will react with the adhesive, so if it starts coming away you know you need to remove it.
- it will seal the bare plaster ready to accept your new paper.
- it will help you immensely when it comes to hanging the paper, especially if you don't do it very often. sizing prevents the adhesive on the back of the paper from soaking into the walls to quickly thus giving you more working time with the paper. also the paper will slide around more easily on the wall making it much easier to make good joins and to get a good line-up on matching paper.
alas there are no real short cuts to sort out the paint problem, if it's loose it needs to come off. otherwise your paper may peel off or at the very least you will get bubbles appear where the paint has come away from the wall behind the paper.
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