Removing Distemper

(11 Posts)
engineersthumb Sat 16-Jul-16 19:22:53

Hi,
I'm currently preparing my hallway and landing walls for plastering. I have at least two layers of paint over distemper. I've removed the paint and most of the distemper with a steam stripper, hot water, a scraper and a sponge. As I've scrapped back I'm left with large patches that of what I think is the remains of the distemper. These patches are not like the full layer of distemper they are not soft / sticky and only seem to come away by scraping the top layer of the plaster away. Rubbing your hand over the wall it still comes away dusty but this could be plaster due to scraping. I'm going to try sugar soap and hot water tomorrow.

Has anyone else had similar problems removing distemper and if so how did you clean it off?
Also how "Clean" did you get the wall?

wowfudge Sat 16-Jul-16 20:09:31

Could you sand the patches? Wet and dry paper used wet will be less messy.

engineersthumb Sat 16-Jul-16 20:35:42

I'd rather not sand the wall as its a horrible job. Though I'd probably opt for ali oxide dec roll if I had to with a bit of water to kill the dust. Mainly on grounds that plaster clogs wet and dry quite quickly...and I'm cheapsmile

The patches are large, some walls are fine others less so. I may of course be being totally over pedantic and its fine to plaster in this condition!

PigletJohn Sat 16-Jul-16 23:44:42

hot water and a scraper. It is made with ground chalk and a glue of boiled up dead horses, hence the unpleasant smell, which dissolves in hot water but not in cold. It needs to be hot so do a small section at a time. You can also scrub it off, if hot. Start at the top. You can use old towels to rub it off before it has the chance to dry. I don't know the correct temperature, but hotter than you would wash your hands in, so find your Marigolds and wear an apron. Sugar soap is not necessary and I have never used it on distemper, but you can give it a try if you are scrubbing.

Sanding it is a mugs game.

At that age you probably have lime plaster, which is greyish white. A breathing paint, like Supermatt, would be more appropriate than a vinyl.

engineersthumb Sun 17-Jul-16 09:13:35

Thanks for all your replies I'll just keep scrubbing! At least I'm done with the paint now.
It's a 1953 build but I don't think its lime plaster. Construction is cinder and brick, cement render and pink plaster. Top skim will be multifinish.

engineersthumb Sun 17-Jul-16 11:43:33

Top tip. Two buckets one for clean from the kettle and one for squeezing out in. Oh... I was beung pedantic! Most of these patches are changes of surface finish where I scraped the surface away rather than distemper!
Thanks for all replies.

StorminaBcup Sun 17-Jul-16 11:51:08

I had a similar problem, what I was recommended was to scrape off what you can, coat the wall in a stabilising solution (Wickes, B&Q etc., all sell it) and then a coat of pva. Paint as normal. Worked fine on our wall where previously any paint would just bubble and peel off.

PigletJohn Sun 17-Jul-16 13:07:22

Opinions differ about PVA. I am strongly against putting glue on a surface you hope one day to paint.

PigletJohn Sun 17-Jul-16 13:15:24

As is this glue manufacturer

StorminaBcup Sun 17-Jul-16 17:49:48

Never knew this. I've always been recommended to pva plaster prior to painting to seal it. Although it is a 1:3 pva to water mix (or thereabouts).

engineersthumb Sun 17-Jul-16 22:34:13

I've always been cautious about PVA but it may help to prevent the surface tension changes associated with distemper activating and drying though SBR coild be better as it's not water soluble. In this instance I'm prepping for plastering anyway. Thanks for all suggestions.

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