I’m new here. We recently bought a home built in 1984 and we’ve started removing all of the wallpaper.

We noticed that underneath the wallpaper are patches of what looks like chipping paint and the wall is made of a hard white substance that almost sparkles and leaves a fine dust like residue when you touch it? Anyone know what kind of wall this is and whether we need to take any special actions to prep it for painting.

Note: It’s only in certain rooms of the house, other walls just have regular drywall. We’ve watched videos on how to repair the regular drywall with the brown paper exposed from the wallpaper removal. But the other walls seem like a different material, not the normal drywall we were expecting. Wish I could add pics.

  • 3
    Use the edit button for pictures, under/in the mountain/sun icon. Or post a link from imgur.
    – crip659
    Commented May 3 at 20:22
  • 2
    Wall surfaces are typically drywall (gypsum board), concrete board (tile backer in kitchens and bathrooms) or plaster (mostly older homes). You likely have either an odd-looking drywall or plaster. If you post a link to a picture someone can probably identify it. Commented May 3 at 20:45
  • Are you sure it's not just dried wallpaper paste?
    – Huesmann
    Commented May 4 at 13:43

1 Answer 1


If you've got drywall in the other rooms, then you've probably got drywall in the rooms you're dealing with. Most wallpaper paste used back in the 80's was a cellulose type. After it dries, which you don't really see until you remove the wallpaper, it leaves a shiney, crystalized surface on the wall and if you rub it, it leaves a dusty residue on your hands. You'll need to wash the walls down with sponges and hot water a few times to remove all the old paste before priming and painting. Rinse out the sponges frequently so you're not just spreading the old paste around. Even if you have stripable wallpaper, You'll still have to wash the walls down.

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