How to prep this old wall for painting?
September 2, 2014 10:17 AM   Subscribe

We have walls that desperately need painting, but haven't been able to adequately neutralize the glue left from the wallpaper. Hope us?

Sometime in the 80's, the previous owner of my house (basic 70's era midwest ranch) put up a lot of wallpaper. Early on, after we moved in, we removed a lot of the wallpaper and did the vinegar-water wash of the walls to neutralize what glue might be left on the walls. Then, we primered and painted. Unfortunately, this met with mixed success, and we have areas where the paint began to chip off.

Forward to today...One large wall of our bedroom has yet to be painted. The wallpaper is long gone, but I'm completely stumped as to what to do to neutralize the glue. For the life of me, there are sections where it doesn't look like they did anything to the drywall before they applied the wallpaper. Other areas, though, appear to have been primed.

Anyway, simple question...What is your sure-fire method for neutralizing leftover wallpaper glue?
posted by Thorzdad to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
They sell chemical products specifically for removing wallpaper glue. Have you tried any of these or just the vinegar+water mixture?
posted by phunniemee at 10:32 AM on September 2, 2014 [4 favorites]

I have an early 1900's house, and our solution is to skim coat basically every wall we paint before we paint it. It looks hard, but it's actually pretty easy to learn and it makes the wall look fantastic.
posted by anastasiav at 10:47 AM on September 2, 2014 [3 favorites]

If you have drywall/gypsum board: Make sure whatever product you buy can be used on walls where most, but not all, of the wallpaper has already been removed. Because what you're applying the product to now is probably just drywall/gypsum board. The top of that is just paper, so it may ruin or damage the drywall if you're applying some product to it now to remove the old adhesive. Whatever you do, maybe just apply it ONLY to the areas that still have adhesive on them.
posted by resurrexit at 10:54 AM on September 2, 2014

Something like Zinnser Gardz may help here, with or without a skim coat. I'm a fan of the skim coat approach, and it seems to help with painting.
posted by holgate at 1:43 PM on September 2, 2014

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