Peter John
Quality Painter and Decorator

Posts Tagged ‘Wallpaper’

Preparing Interior Walls for Painting and Decorating

Friday, August 13th, 2010
If you are looking to emulsion your walls and need to strip old wallpaper, you can use a variety of methods. The cheapest method is to lightlyscore the old wallpaper with a wallpaper scraper and them heavily dampen the paper with a wet sponge. It should then be easier to strip the old wallpaper off the wall. This can be a more time consuming method, then using a steam wallpaper stripping device. However, this is dependant on how many layers of paper you need to strip off, and what the condition of the walls are like underneath, and also the strength of the wallpaper glue originally used. As previously mentioned, you can use a steam based, wallpaper stripping device. This is a device that you fill with cold water and plug in to the mains electricity. It then heats the water up like an electric kettle, forcing the steam out of small holes, thus creating a steam vacuum. The head of the unit is then placed over the area of wallpaper that you need to strip for around 10 seconds, which is usually enough time to loosen the paper. All you need to do now is scrape the paper off (the section where the steam has soaked the paper). Once the wallpaper has been completely stripped (or you have a wall that didn't need wallpaper stripping), your walls are ready to be prepared for painting. Always remember to lay down dust sheets to protect your floor from dust and paint spills /splashes. Once you have done this, use a scraper to identify any loose bits of plaster on the walls and ceiling. Knock the loose bits of plaster out. You can always tell when a piece of plaster is 'blown', as we say in the trade, by tapping the wall. If it sounds hollow, it is a sign that the plaster is fragile and may need to be re-done /repaired. Using a filler knife (aka Palette knife), fill any holes or cracks. For small cracks use a fine filler, for larger cracks and holes use a more dense, stronger filler. Check your local DIY store for appropriate brands. When the filler has dried, you are now ready to sand down the affected areas. When you fill any holes or cracks in the wall, it is better to overfill the area slightly, and then sand it down with a quality sandpaper until it is level with the surrounding wall area. When you have finished sanding down the walls and ceiling to a level that is satisfactory for painting, use a dusting brush to remove all traces of loose dust and debris. If you want to go the full distance, then you can also wash down the walls and ceiling with sugar soap. However, this is not always necessary, especially when using darker coloured paint. Your walls and ceiling are now ready for painting and decorating.