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Question DetailsAsked on 5/4/2011

Can I just put Kilz over a wallpaper border and paint over it instead of stripping it off?

I'm trying to remove wallpaper border from my plaster walls and I've discovered that I did a very good job putting the stuff up in the first place because now I'm not only peeling off border and paint, but the plaster from the walls. I'm using the border stripper stuff as directed, but I'm still pulling off chunks of plaster. I've had problems with the plaster on this wall before, so I'm also concerned it might be more than just the border glue. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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4 Answers


I, too have had lots of trouble removing wallpaper when the proper [wikipedia:sizing] wasn't used. The wallpaper becomes one with the drywall and it becomes very difficult to remove one without the other. It's not much fun to patching the resulting craters that remain after the exterior surface of the drywall is compromised. It could probably be repaired quite easily if you could find a person to re-mud the damaged areas (consult The List!). Or you could replace the border with a new border in order to hide the damage. I personally don't like the look of painted wallpaper; the edge remains visible and it never seems to have the same surface characteristics as the non-wallpapered areas.

If it's actually plaster and [wikipedia:lath], you should be able to repair the damage with a tub of [wikipedia:spackle]. Plaster is tough stuff; I once had to refurbish a bathroom that had plastic tiles glued to the walls (apparently this was popular in the 1960's) and I used a blowtorch to loosen the glue without harming the walls. I do not recommend that you try this with drywall and wallpaper!

Answered 9 years ago by MichaelL


Thanks for the suggestions. It's pretty much what I figured, not to mention what my co-workers are telling me. And BTW, not only was plastic tile very popular in the 60s (I, too, had that in my bathroom, but covered the damage with ceramic tile), but wallpapering with Contact-paper was quite in vogue as well. Yeah, try scraping *THAT* off your drywall. Fortunately, it's just the utility room and I'm not too picky with how that room looks....

Answered 9 years ago by Chastity1053


If plaster (not drywall) is coming off in chunks, then you have more of a problem than stuck-on wallpaper. Plaster shouldn't be that fragile. At my old house I peeled off 7 layers of wallpaper that had paint inbetween every layer. It was a nightmare job, but the plaster walls (other than a few dings from my putty knife, held up very well. Is this a bathroom, utility room or someplace with a lot of moisture? You might want to have a professional come in and check it out before you do anything else.

Answered 9 years ago by Jeannie


This is a "middle" bedroom in that it is between the living room wall and another bedroom wall. It (obviously) only has the one window on the exterior wall and the peeling plaster is along that exterior wall in the corner area between the window and the other bedroom wall. I had the same concern you did about possible dampness.... Yuck.

Answered 9 years ago by Chastity1053

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