Dealing with textured (fuzzy) wallpaper

10 Replies

OK, another renovation question.  House is a 1970's vintage that looks like it is stuck in the 1970s . . . and one feature we are trying to figure out what do do with is textured wallpaper.  We have addressed regular wallpaper in the past by painting over it with oil based Kilz and then using a latex paint to make the look of the wallpaper to go away.  In this case, the wallpaper is textured and the design has a "fuzzy" feel to it.  Unfortunately it seems to be really attached to the wall (of course, when you want it to stay on it comes off, and vicea versa).

I have had someone suggest doing the entire wall in drywall mud and sanding but waaaaay too much work.  

Does anyone have any recommendations to cover it, paint it or maybe a better technique to remove it so we can move the house into 2021?

The dining room has the upper half papered and then the entire entry foyer / hallway has it floor-to-ceiling.

The photo below shows the dining room and as you can see it is stick in the 1970s . . . anyone want some stunning curtains to go with the long forgotten leisure suit?


 I have used a wall paper steamer to remove old wall paper. There are also various wall paper removers (sprays, gels, etc.) on the market. It can be messy and some what laborious, but definitely less $.

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You can remove those wallpapers by heating it with a steamer, a hair dryer, or anything that warms up the glue. There are also wallpaper removal chemicals from Home Depot. Scratch the paper to make it easier. Not that hard.

Thanks . . .have had recommendations to drywall over it but renting a steamer from H-D for $37 / day seems like the less expensive option to start with.  Even if I have to skim coat spots it is less work than going teh drywall route . . . will update as to how it works.  Thanks

@Andy Sabisch please do not paint over wall paper, ever. It is just putting lipstick on a pig and leaving a problem for someone else to deal with. Most old wallpaper comes off very easily with a steamer. Do it right and you only do it once.

Hi Andy,

Flocked or not, you might want to consider paying a service to remove it.

It's a lot of arms overhead scraping and at the end of the day you'll be glad you did.

A good painter might have the equipment to do it.

And with 3 guys on it--bingo--gone like it was never there.

Just have them leave the wall in paint ready condition--and you may have to prime before painting.

Also spec broom clean when done and provide them with somewhere to discard the demo refuse.

Good Luck!

@Andy Sabisch I agree with Joe 100%. Painting over wallpaper is a half measure approach and just leaves a problem for someone else. For me it is a big clue that the flipper took shortcuts. If they took a shortcut on something simple and obvious like wallpaper, they probably took a shortcut on something complex and costly buried in a wall somewhere. Big red flag, and I will walk on buying the house most times. Cheap flips are just a problem waiting to happen.

Do it right. Don’t take shortcuts.

@Andy Sabisch I read on painttalk.com that the best way to remove wallpaper was to "skim coat and paint". my feeling is sheetrock is paper coated gypsum, so whats one more layer of paper. skim with a roller of watered down mud and a squeegie. if you have already started removing, seal the ripped up parts with guardz.

@Andy Sabisch   what is this wallpaper over?  Is it over plaster?  a skim coat?  Score and white vinegar and water or steam. A wallpaper scorer is key.  Paint over is just a poor choice and will look bad.  You can see about a skim coat but you never know if it will adhere well. 

Now if they put it right on drywall the steaming is not such a good idea.