I'm removing wallpaper right now. Removing the paper itself was easy. The problem now is there is a ton of glue left over.

I'm removing the glue using water+vinegar and then scraping it off. Most of it comes off easily, however there are a few spots where it's stubborn and refuses to come off. There's not much there at all, it looks like a faint stain.

Is it okay to leave little bits like that? I plan on applying a skim coat of mud to the drywall next.


4 Answers 4


I also think removing as much old adhesive as possible is what you want to do. I made the mistake of not removing it all a few years ago and now I have to go back. Also, seal with kitz oil based primer. The skim coat sounds like a lot of work to get it smooth. Is the wall that rough? Af for the need to prime, definitely after skimming, or on any holes you patch. I wouldn't prime before skimming unless there was still glue left.

  • BrianK, how much glue did you leave behind? I've got very faint, thin patches here and there. As for the skim coat, I damaged some of the paper in a few spots and I dug in a little bit into some of the old mud with my scraper.
    – mj_
    Oct 9, 2015 at 13:40
  • That's what I thought I had too - just faint patches, but it still showed through. But I did use latex primer sealer instead of oil based sealer. If you use oil based, you might be OK. You could always try a spot and see.
    – BrianK
    Oct 9, 2015 at 18:48

You will have to remove all of the wall paper paste otherwise the spackle will not get a solid bond to the wall surface. The best tool for wall paper and paste removal is this one: http://www.lowes.com/pd_40627-97-0282018___?productId=3033147&pl=1&Ntt=wall+paper+steamer . It removes the paper in sheets as well as the glue.


If you're skim coating, you might be alright. Though it's hard to tell without actually seeing it.

If it were me, I'd do my best to remove all the glue, even if I had to sand a few spots.

If you were planning to paint without skim coating, then you definitely have to remove all the glue.

  • If I skim, do I have to prime before or after? I've seen comments on the Internet that say both ways
    – mj_
    Oct 8, 2015 at 2:37

The wallpaper paste will bleed through layers of skimcoat and latex paint.

For best results, you will have to take a few steps. 1. Remove as much as the paste as possible. 2. Then use an oil-based primer over the wall. Oil-based primer will block wallpaper paste staining 3. At this point you will have a good surface to skimcoat over. 4. After skimcoating, another coat of primer (could be oil-based or latex). You need this layer of primer because of the uneven way paint drys over bare drywall compound. 5. Finish coat of paint!

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