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Removing painted, woodchip wallpaper from ceiling?

(16 Posts)
UselessOneThatIAm Sun 29-Jan-17 20:38:18

I am living in a house with a brown painted woodchip ceiling. This does not fill me with joy.

I have never stripped wallpaper from a ceiling before. I don't know how long it has been up there, and I don't know if there are other layers underneath.

I don't want to paint over it as I would prefer the ceiling smooth.

Any tips on how to get it off? I am on a tight budget and don't really want to have to pay for someone to come and re-do my ceiling. I am quite confident stripping the walls, but the ceiling is filling me with panic.

middlings Sun 29-Jan-17 20:42:35

I wouldn't. Sorry. We have a woodchip ceiling and I looked into having it redone and basically, three plasterers warned me off. I talked about taking off the paper (likely ceiling would have come with it), replastering, (huge and messy and we had cornicing that would have been lost) and attaching plasterboard (still could have lost the ceiling and cornicing.

If I were you, I'd paint it grey (best way of covering dark paint) and then white. Hopefully then you won't notice it so much. Since I did the room up, I don't.

MavisGrind Sun 29-Jan-17 20:43:39

How old is the house? I used a steamer in similar circumstances and it turned out it was the woodchip keeping the ceiling up...
Got a nice new ceiling now and loads of kindling from the 200 year old lath and plaster.

camtt Sun 29-Jan-17 20:46:59

I did it on one ceiling as my enthusiastic daughter had started the job (I had intended only to do the walls)! It was just about salvageable so I narrowly avoided having to get it replastered. I did have some plasterers out to look at it when I was trying to decide if salvageable or not and they said they would put plaster board on top of it so there would be not need to strip it then anyway.

Zombiepigman Sun 29-Jan-17 20:47:45

Not good sorry. There isn't much worse.
Steam or spray will really struggle to get through.
You can do this one of two ways.
You can either, use a metal stripper to scrape the paint and wood chips of then use a water spray or steamer to remove the rest or.
Plasterboard over the top and skim it with plaster.
Don't know who invented woodchip wallpaper but, they want f**king shooting. 😬

UselessOneThatIAm Sun 29-Jan-17 20:51:15

Yes, that's what is worrying me. I wonder if I should get a quote for plastering before I decide. I have to repaint the whole house, and this is not really the room I should start with but I think I will have to because it is the one where I don't have to move much furniture. I don't want to make a total hash of it and end up not being confident enough to tackle the rest of the house.

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Sun 29-Jan-17 20:52:07

i have just done this...sort of

about 15 years ago my youngest decided he'd like a nice deep bath in the shower...he managed to flood the bathroom and soak a fair bit of the dining room was plaster and lathe and the plaster sort of melted off

the patch was replastered, under insurance, but they wouldn't go for a complete job and I finally got around to dealing with the remaining three layers of woodchip that were up there before christmas.

A steamer is the best option

Underneath is a terrible terrible mess of flaky victorian god knows what combined with lovely government issue gloss/dust/ god knows from the years it was in their hands.

The plan is to persuade someone (ds1/ds2) to roughly sand it to get the loose debris off and then slather on as much cheap matt white as is possible.

This technique has worked well on equally dire walls

UselessOneThatIAm Sun 29-Jan-17 20:56:13

It's a 1970s council house. No features at all, apart from the woodchip. It is the biggest room in the house and I want to move into it. Currently DC in there in a toddler bed. I didn't want the room when we moved in because of the woodchip but I am fed up of having the tiniest room.

Zombiepigman Sun 29-Jan-17 20:59:34

Plasterboard and plaster then I'm afraid.
For a temporary fix, you could go with middlings idea and come back to it when you can.

llangennith Sun 29-Jan-17 21:03:16

I had to go the plasterboard and skimming route too. Bloody woodchip! What were people thinking??!!

UselessOneThatIAm Sun 29-Jan-17 21:05:12

Right, I will try the grey paint then the white. Thank you everyone. I will probably be back on here with some crisis once I get stuck in to it.

middlings Sun 29-Jan-17 21:08:34

Honestly Useless I'd try painting it white. All you'd be losing is the cost of the paint. Ours is a big room, and was one of the few not touched by a renovation and to be honest, by the time I came to this room, I ran out of puff and money to do a big job hence this solution. Two years on, it'll be a long time before I go to the bother of doing the big job.

Our house is a lot older than yours and we likely have Victorian rubbish up there too!

UselessOneThatIAm Sun 29-Jan-17 21:09:36

I grew up in a house covered in woodchip and artex. It was horrible.

Once, in the late 90s my parent went to look at a vast modern bungalow in the country. Before they went in, the estate agent said, 'I must warn you, the vendors do like brown as a colour'. We all trooped in and it was 70s chocolate brown carpet, chocolate velvet curtains, chocolate brown sofas. Everything brown. And my mum said to the agent 'ooh, will they sell the carpets and curtains?'. She thought it was just beautiful.

I am traumatised.

middlings Sun 29-Jan-17 21:10:26

Ah cross post! Well done. I'll keep an eye out for you - am sure it will all go fine!

TalbotAMan Sun 29-Jan-17 21:17:47

Had this problem in a 1950s house I bought some years ago. Woodchip all over the walls and on the ceilings of the two main downstairs rooms. Apparently the deceased former owner had been a painter and decorator . .

Steaming and a lot of work from various family members got it off the walls (though if you knew where to look there were still patches behind some radiators). For the ceilings we bit the bullet and paid a general handyman for two days' work to get it off. One ceiling survived but the other needed to be reskimmed. It was a huge amount of work but it probably put a few thousand on the value.

Woodchip is evil.

PigletJohn Sun 29-Jan-17 22:00:38

If it's a 1970's house, it is pretty certain to be a plasterboard ceiling, and will probably not fall down. But it might have been papered to hide cracks or waterstains.

Buy a good-quality matt white emulsion such as Dulux, Cheap ones don't cover well. If it is stained with tobacco, you will need a stain blocker first, which is more expensive.

If you insist on taking it off, turn off all the electricity in the house and use a garden sprayer, repeatedly, on a fine mist, so the paper is sopping wet. Unless you can turn the old paste to slime, there is a risk you will strip (some of) the tough paper skin off the plasterboard, unless it had been well-painted before being papered. Start, cautiously, in a corner.

Empty the room first.

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