the old wallpaper started pealing off , and most of them have a uneven texture (surface), stripping them off wasn't that hard with the steamer kit

after stripping the surface of the wall looks decent enough, apart from some area are covered by the old wallpaper glue, problem is they don't look 100% smooth

the options are :

  1. spread with PVC then re-plastering the surface,
  2. or just slightly sand the surface then apply the Matt finish paint directly.

I prefer the second option because it saves time and money any better options? what would a professional do in this kind of the job?

  • 1
    I would not put plastic sheeting on the wall. You could use a topping mud with a wide trowel to provide a smooth surface and a light sanding to remove any trowel marks.
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 23, 2016 at 13:02
  • It depends on your aesthetic preferences, and what the rest of the house looks like. Plenty of older homes that had plaster and lathe walls are quite rough. If you have nice clean drywall in your other rooms then you will need to get it smooth following Ed's comment.
    – DrewJordan
    Mar 23, 2016 at 13:37
  • cheers Ed, if you mean skimming it, I will give it a try
    – shanyangqu
    Mar 24, 2016 at 11:34
  • @shanyangqu, I think you mean PVA, not PVC. I.e. seal the surface with diluted glue to allow plastering, not cover it with plastic.
    – Carl
    Sep 23, 2016 at 10:36

2 Answers 2


Just wash it right off. Wallpaper glue is highly water soluble & should just wash right off to beautiful smoothness. Do the entire wall by spraying first & then sponging it all clean for a solid paint job.

  • 1
    Sugarsoap should help too. It's a bit gritty and contains soap which might make the job a bit easier than plain water. You'll need to use clean water to rinse it off before painting though.
    – Carl
    Sep 23, 2016 at 10:38

If the glue is stuck and is difficult to remove, steam the glue again and it should become soft. Then either wash it off with a sponge, or if that fails you should be able to scrape it off carefully with a putty knife. Beware not to make any scratches in the latter case, though.

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