I have stripped some vinyl paper off in a bathroom and removed the lining paper as well as this had ripped. How do I clean off any paste residue on the wall which appears to have been glossed? As it is an old house I do not want to sand in case of lead in the paint.
Hi Richard, just clean the walls with some Sugar Soap that should get it off. No need to get it all off if you are going to paper it again though. If you are painting it, make sure it is all off or the paint may start peeling as it dries like a wrinkled effect. After washing with Sugar Soap wash it all down with clean water as it will say on the tub. You say that you don't want to use sandpaper on it in case of lead. The Sugar Soap will leave the finish with a slightly rough finish so should be a good surface to work on.
Thanks for the reply. I intend to paint the walls this time. Not sure whether to use silk emulsion or special bathroom paint. Would I have to use a coat of undercoat with either of these paints to make it adhere properly? The colour is a sort of mauve (yes its horrible!!) so I need to block that out and not have it bleed through the top coat.
Hi Richard, you are going to need to rough up the surface a bit for the emulsion to adhere properly. You could try using Liquid Sandpaper which can be bought at most DIY stores instead of normal sandpaper if you are worried that there may be lead in the paint that's already on the walls. Haven't used it myself but there will be no dust so probably just need to use gloves. I would use a couple of mist coats of emulsion first of white or colour close to what you are going to paint the walls. After this put on bathroom emulsion rather than normal silk. The bathroom ones are better than silk and are not much more expensive.
sugar soap may do it, alternatively you can use salt. normal table salt (not sea salt) solution in a bucket of warm water in a fairly high concentration. not caustic like sugar soap either and i find it very effective. in fact i use a salt solution when wallpapering to wipe the table down between pastings as it's far more effective than soap or plain water.
you will need to prep the gloss paint with some sanding. i have used the aforementioned liquid sanding and it's completely useless IMO. i couldn't actually see that it had done anything. from what i could make of it, it's just like a cream abrasive cleaner, nowhere near abrasive enough for sanding paint in my experience. it's not that expensive though, so you might want to try it anyway prior to resorting to sandpaper.
use a mask/respirator and even wet & dry sandpaper if worried about the dust. another advantage to sanding is that it will help remove any filmy traces of the wallpaper paste - it must all be removed as the paint will not stick to it.
you can get away with using silk emulsion in a bathroom provided that it's a good quality VINYL silk - i'd recommend Dulux Trade - though of course bathroom paint is specifically engineered for the application.