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Wallpaper and Strange Wall Behaviour Underneath and an Artex Queston

Postby spookypony » Sat May 06, 2017 3:34 pm

Hello all! New here, so please excuse if rehashing old material: search terms didn't help me find what I needed...

I'm stripping some old wallpaper in a cottage conversion, with a view to painting. The wallpaper is textured. My understanding is that the original cottage is probably 19th-c., the conversion was done in about 1980, with more recent-looking redecorating on top of that at some point possibly in the 2000s.

We're stripping the paper with a steamer and scraper. This is proving very difficult on some of the walls: the wall underneath appears to be almost like cardboard. When the top layer of paper is peeled off, a very thin sticky brown filmy stuff appears, and attempts to gently pull it off often take bits of the cardboardy stuff with it. The resultant effect is rather like onion skin, and very messy.

1. what might this wallboard be?
2. how do I prevent it from doing this peeling?
3. the bits that have already "onioned" how do I fix it? Sanding, plastering? A layer of paper before paining?

My second, related question concerns removal of the wallpaper near the ceiling, which I strongly suspect of being Artex or similar that falls into the "dodgy" asbestos-containing time. I'm rather worried that by scraping so near the ceiling to remove the wallpaper, I may inadvertently be releasing dangerous material. We've only worked on this room today. What precautions might I take in the future? Should I be freaking out? I'd never heard of this Artex stuff before!
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