My kitchen (late 90's contruction) has wallpaper that was glued to wallboard. I know this because all homes in my neighborhood have had same and I learned this when I had a bathroom remodeled. The bathroom, I had all the wallpaper removed, areas were spackled/sanded/ painted and is perfect. Since the bathroom was done several years ago and is perfect but was expensive for the small area, I knew as large as the kitchen is I needed to check see my other options. Two months ago I hired painters to paint my home interior and to paint over the wallpaper. I was told they would tear any lose areas, spackle the torn areas , and spackle the seams. They applied kilz and 2 coats of paint. Once the work was completed, there are large areas where the spackle was not smoothed and the areas are very visible. Several seams have areas that were not been spackled. I called the owner of the company, he came to the house and said they don't do drywall (which is odd since their invoices also mention wall board and the fact they took the job saying they could do it). I am at a loss with messed up kitchen walls and will be out even more expense to get it fixed. The only thing the owner offered to do is to repaint once I have the dry wall repaired. At this point I am not sure what is my best course for repair- I am concerned with the wallpaper on wallboard, the spackle, the kilz, and 2 coats of paint what will happen if someone says they can sand the areas and repaint. Any input regarding this will be greatly appreciated.

  • 3
    Some formatting would make this easier to read please. – Solar Mike Aug 7 '19 at 11:59
  • A picture or two would help us to have a perspective on the magnitude of the problem. If it just us a matter of getting a competent finisher to skimcoat the walls that would be far better than new drywall. After the finisher finishes it will be necessary to prime and repaint all walls. I’d choose a low sheen paint. – Kris Aug 7 '19 at 15:46
  • Thanks. I tried to get good shots of the wall areas but they really didn't show the true detail of the problem areas. – Home owner12 Aug 12 '19 at 12:55

"they would tear any lose areas, spackle the torn areas , and spackle the seams". Sadly, this never works. The fact that there are loose areas means that more can appear at any time. The painters should have done whatever was necessary to remove the wallpaper. Instead, they compounded the problem. The easiest solution and probably the least expensive would be to add new drywall over the entire wall. Good luck.

  • Thank you - I have a guy coming today to look at the walls. I am going to be very careful who I get to do the repair work. It's obvious the man who did the work didn't know what he was doing even though he said he did. Of course there were references given but I am thinking they were bogus. That's the problem anymore with references and reviews - you don't know what's legit and what's not. Thanks and believe me I learned my lesson. – Home owner12 Aug 12 '19 at 12:59

I suspect from the way you worded the text of your question...

Two months ago I hired painters to paint my home interior and to paint over the wallpaper.

... that it was partly your decision to do the paint over to avoid the cost of removing the existing wall paper. It has been my experience that painting over wall coverings like this is always a risky proposition and leads to unsatisfactory results in most cases. Based upon that I can see why the paint contractor would not want to take much responsibility for results that you got.

Your best way forward may very well be to take down the existing drywall to the studs and then install new to refinish the walls. Demolition and re-install of drywall is a bit of work but something that really can be done as a DIY project if you have any capabilities in this direction. The tools needed are not that expensive and you can save a lot doing such work yourself.

I am suggesting the removal and replace for a number of reasons as follows:

  1. Trying to add another layer of drywall on top of a compromised wall always leads to problems with thickness around electrical outlets.
  2. Trying to remove the paint and old wall paper can cause so much damage to the old drywall paper surface that it can be very difficult to get a decent wall surface for painting. (Believe me I've had to do that a few times and can attest to the amount of time sucked up trying to doctor up a compromised surface).
  3. Replacing drywall up to installed cabinetry can be done without having to remove the cabinets if you leave a narrow band of the old drywall adjacent to the cabinetry and then install backer strips to allow a screwed joint between the old and new drywall.
  • Painter didn't want to remove the wallpaper because it was glued directly to wallboard. Another guy several years removed in a bathroom - all paper glued to wallboard during builder's construction. Bathroom wall was perfect when finished but that guy has retired/moved. The painter recommended the process he did and said he had done this at other homes. Based on what he told me was bogus. The only areas that had lose paper was at the corners and that was when the corner protector strips were removed and pulled the paper lose. I have a wall guy coming today to look at the walls. Thanks – Home owner12 Aug 12 '19 at 13:07

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