Best technique and tools for stripping paint off wall
December 26, 2008 2:18 PM   Subscribe

Best technique and tools for stripping paint off wall?

This has got to be the messiest, least rewarding, DIY ever. Unfortunately I'm already a few hours into it. The paint had to come off because it is peeling and I want to wallpaper. I tried dry scraping but it didn't work. There are 2 coats of paint.

- What do you do when the scraper is full? Have tried scraping against edge of a cardboard box. Paint goo falls on both sides of edge and on to floor. Have tried wiping with rag. Rag gets full fast.

- What sort of scraper works best? The plastic kind they sell for this doesn't seem very sharp but works the best in areas where the paint comes off with little effort. I also have a sharp wide flat silver scraper that gets more off per stroke in tougher areas, but it doesn't have a well to hold the residue like the plastic one and it is nicking the plaster.

Home site articles I've found just tell you what stripper to buy, not how to do the job efficiently.
posted by eeyore to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Try using another stripper to scrape at right angles to the blade scraper when it gets full. Or cleaning the scraper before it gets full.

Are you leaving the stripper long enough to do the job?
posted by Solomon at 2:28 PM on December 26, 2008

You're using a chemical stripper to strip a drywall or plaster wall, just to prep for wallpaper? Holy cow, that's a lot of work and toxicity. Unless the paint is peeling very, very badly, I'd just knock off the loose stuff with a mechanical scraper or wire brush and paper over it.
posted by jon1270 at 2:37 PM on December 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Stop now. To do this properly, you're going to need to buy or rent a heat gun-- stripper sets, you attack an area with the heat gun to further loosen it, paint comes off without denting the plaster, or without much effort at all really.

A side effect is that fully softened paint will plop off the scraper into an empty coffee or paint can more easily. A cardboard box is not sturdy enough to be hit with the force you need to use to really free the scraper though. Find any sort of plastic or metal container with a sharp lip, tap the scraper sharply (goop side down) and quickly pull back against the lip. I once tried to use an old beach toy bucket, and it sucked because the lip was rounded. Make sure the lip of the container is a right angle to the walls of it.

That said, you probably don't need to strip the walls bare. Save that for when you're sick of the paper and want to paint. Go over it really hard with a stripping brush to clear off the loose paint and just paper. (this is assuming that the paint isn't so thick that the missing parts will be visible under the paper. If it is, you might as well do what your sister did and get to stripping.)
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:02 PM on December 26, 2008

First of all, what kind of wall is this? Don't scrape drywall. They make stuff to level the wall with before you put up wallpaper. It's called sizing. Scraping the paint off drywall or using stripper on it is going to screw your drywall up.

If it's a wood or concrete wall, you will be better off sanding.
Keep in mind that wallpaper will hide fairly large imperfections, especially the textured stuff.
posted by cosmicbandito at 9:36 PM on December 26, 2008

Forget scraping. Use a power sander.
posted by randomstriker at 10:37 PM on December 26, 2008

I find wallpaper steamers (used for stripping wallpaper) very useful for dealing with paint on plaster (although you do get the occasional bit of exploding plaster). I've found them to be more effective (although messier) than heat guns, and without the toxic byproducts (or your home smelling like it's been set alight for three days afterwards).

That said, I agree with the posters above - if you're wallpapering afterwards, stick with removing the loose stuff and then wallpaper on top. Textured wallpaper will cover a multitude of sins, or use lining paper first if necessary.
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 3:17 AM on December 27, 2008

« Older Which (Canadian, hiking) GPS? Criteria inside   |   There are so many laptops out there! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.