Is it possible to strip wallpaper and paint straight on to the wall and achieve a smooth finish. My girlfriend has a hatred of lining paper and would like to avoid it at all costs - even replastering the walls! Is there a cheaper and simpler way to get the smooth finish, or is it going to be a toss up between lining paper and replastering?! Are there any products on the market that could be used to prepare the walls prior to painting? Please help!
I really wouldn't simply paint walls once wall paper removed. Unless the walls were previuosly newly plastered and you managed to remove the existing paper without marking the plaster, the you will find yourself endlessly washing, filling and sanding prior to painting your walls. Honestly, take it from someone who has renovated 2 houses myself, the easiest and cheapest way to get the look you want is to line the walls with paper once you've removed the old wall covering. There are some fantastic products out there which even the most inexperienced decorator can do. B&Q sell a 'renovation wall covering'; it is much thicker and a deeper width of paper than traditional lining papers, and another plus is, you paste the wall rather than the paper. Simple! Tip - hang the paper horizontally not vertically... less easy to spot the joining lines. I've lined and painted many rooms and for me the result looks better than the rooms we had plastered and can be done at a fraction of the cost!!
Yes, it may be a lot of work washing, filling and sanding walls, but if you hate wallpaper as much as I do, you'll think it's worth it.
I agree though that it's only really worth doing if the walls are in relatively good condition underneath . This is usually not the case if you have a period property, especially one that has suffered from a dodgy conversion. If you're thinking of replastering the walls, try a ready mixed plaster, but I would suggest only doing it yourself if the areas to be replastered are quite small. If there's old, flaking paint underneath you may need to give it a really good sand.
If your walls are not in good condition, I also agree that lining paper is a good idea, but not sure about hanging the paper horizontally. If you don't want to see the lines where the sheets join up, I've used a very fine filler and it's worked very well. It's a bit more work, but it's worth it.