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Historic Preservation - Technical Procedures

Spectitle:

Removing Wall Covering To Restore Plaster Walls

Procedure code:

0995001R

Source:

Internet - Stripping Wallpaper

Division:

Finishes

Section:

Wall Coverings

Last Modified:

02/24/2012

Details:

Removing Wall Covering To Restore Plaster Walls



REMOVING WALL COVERING TO RESTORE PLASTER WALLS


PART 1---GENERAL

1.01 SUMMARY

    A.   This procedure includes guidance on removing wall
         covering from plaster walls to restore the original
         plaster finish.  A process of dry stripping or use of a
         commercial wallpaper stripper and scraper is outlined
         under Execution.  

    B.   Wall covering is sometimes inappropriately applied over
         historic wall finishes when spaces are renovated or
         modernized in order to minimize maintenance.  Depending
         on the function and location of the space, these
         coverings are often inappropriate and poorly maintained,
         which ultimately detracts from the character of these
         areas.  Therefore, when feasible in areas of
         significance, removal of the wall covering and
         restoration of the plaster walls is recommended.

    C.   See 01100-07-S for general project guidelines to be
         reviewed along with this procedure.  These guidelines
         cover the following sections:

         1.   Safety Precautions

         2.   Historic Structures Precautions

         3.   Submittals

         4.   Quality Assurance

         5.   Delivery, Storage and Handling

         6.   Project/Site Conditions

         7.   Sequencing and Scheduling

         8.   General Protection (Surface and Surrounding)

         These guidelines should be reviewed prior to performing
         this procedure and should be followed, when applicable,
         along with recommendations from the Regional Historic
         Preservation Officer (RHPO).


PART 2---PRODUCTS

2.01 MANUFACTURERS

    A.   William Zinsser & Co., Inc.
         173 Belmont Drive
         Somerset, NJ 08875
         800/469-4539
         FAX 908/469-4539

2.02 MATERIALS

    A.   Household vinegar

    B.   Wallpaper stripper such as "DIF" (William Zinsser & Co.
         Inc.), or approved equal.

         1.   For 22 oz. bottle of "DIF", mix contents with 2
              gallons hot tap water in ordinary garden sprayer or
              bucket.

         2.   For gallon size bottle of "DIF", mix 3 cups per 2
              gallons of hot tap water in ordinary garden sprayer
              or bucket.

    C.   Clean, potable water

    D.   Clean, soft cotton cloths

    E.   Sandpaper (20 grit)

2.03 EQUIPMENT

    A.   Wall covering scoring tool such as "PaperTiger" (William
         Zinsser & Co., Inc.), or approved equal.

    B.   Wallpaper scraper or putty knife (4"-5" wide is
         recommended)

    C.   Garden Sprayer

    D.   Bucket

    E.   Wallpaper steamer - available at local tool rental, paint
         or wallpaper stores.


PART 3---EXECUTION

3.01 EXAMINATION

    A.   If possible, try to determine the type of wallpaper being
         removed.  It may help in deciding what technique to use.
         In general, however, a standard process of removal is
         outlined below in Section 3.03.

         1.   For Paper-backed Vinyls, Foils or Mylars:
              Application of stripper (as described below) should
              remove the top surface of these types of papers,
              leaving the paper backing on the wall, which can
              probably be removed with a second application of
              stripper.

         2.   To test for waterproof wall coverings such as
              coated (washable or scrubbable) wallpaper, painted
              wallpaper, or papers that can't easily be pulled
              off, spray the surface with water; if spray beads
              up and runs down the wall, wall covering is
              waterproof.

         3.   Fabric-backed vinyls or other strippable wall
              coverings can usually be easily pulled off the
              wall, if it has been properly sealed.  If not,
              follow stripping procedures as outlined below.

3.02 PREPARATION

    A.   Protection:  Cover floor with newspapers or dropcloths.
         Protect carpeted areas with waterproof drop cloths.

3.03 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION

    NOTE: USE THE GENTLEST MEANS POSSIBLE WHEN REMOVING WALL
    COVERINGS FROM HISTORIC FINISHES TO AVOID DAMAGING SIGNIFICANT
    MATERIALS.  CONSULT WITH RHPO TO DETERMINE THE BEST MEANS OF
    REMOVAL.

    A.   Dry strip as much of the paper as possible.  Start at a
         top corner and work down along the vertical seams while
         peeling back the paper.

    B.   Lightly score remaining paper using 20-grit sandpaper, or
         use a perforating/scoring tool.  

    C.   Apply a 50/50 solution of vinegar and hot water using a
         hand-held spray bottle and scrub the surface with a 3M
         scrubbing pad.

    D.   If wallpaper still remains, apply an enzyme wallpaper
         stripper.

         1.   Apply wallpaper stripper using a garden sprayer if
              working in a controlled environment, or apply
              stripper using a hand-held sprayer or sponge.

         2.   Saturate wall with solution, starting at the top
              and working down to the floor.

         3.   Allow solution to sit a minimum of 15 minutes.

         4.   Reapply solution, and allow to sit again for a
              minimum of 15 minutes.

         5.   Strip paper working in a small area at a time.  Wet
              surface again and peel off paper using a wallpaper
              scraper or putty knife.

         6.   Apply remaining solution to remove traces of paste
              left on the walls.

    E.   If other procedures are not effective, try steaming the
         walls to remove the paper.  Also, for small stubborn
         areas where paper remains, try using "Goof-off"
         (available in most hardware stores).  Follow
         manufacturer's instructions.

    F.   Once the paper has been successfully removed, remove
         residual paste by scrubbing the surface with a blue 3M
         scrubbing pad, water and a sponge.

    G.   Rinse walls thoroughly with clean clear water and allow
         to dry at least 24 to 48 hours.

    H.   Clean plaster wall surfaces and remove loose paint.  See
         09200-08-R and 09900-08-S for guidance.

    I.   Make plaster repairs as required and repaint.  See 09200-
         01-S, 09200-03-R, 09210-02-R, 09210-03-R, 09210-04-R, and
         09900-07-S for guidance.

                         END OF SECTION