This is a recent job we are doing: a two bed room small unit of complete wall paper removal and interior painting in Westgate. When it comes to wall paper removal, most people might be concerned of the cost increase for the painting works. It’s not necessarily a double of the cost. The cost is about extra time spending on removal and wall preparation most likely a level five wall plastering job.
However, the level of plastering workload is completely decided by the wallpaper striping off skills, the type of wall paper and the glue, as well as ages of the wallpaper. The right photos shows the wallpapered room.
There are different reasons that houses interior like 15 years away was popular, one of them is that water based paint is not practically wide available in the market while people consider oil-based paint for interior is not healthy; it was also about people’s taste changes over decays. A major problem of wallpapering is that you always see the gap between each strip like in the photo. The color fades away over years making the interior looks old. There’s no better way to clean it up either.
To remove the wall paper, we firstly strip off the top layer of plastic type of materials. This top layer needs to be completed removed, no pieces left which is critically important to next step of steaming works. The left photo show the first step. For a two bed room unit we collected in total 6 bags of top layer wall paper. Once the top layer of wallpaper off, we see the yellow color bottom layer of kraftpaper which is glued back to back to the gib boards.
To remove the second layer of kraftpaper we use a “steamer” which basically a boiler to create steams to worm up the glue at back and to we the kraftpaper so they can be easily separated from the wall.
This part of job repairs great patient and skills. The less damage to original wall the better because we have to do plastering to repair any damages. When it comes to plastering, sanding will be involved. We do not want duplicated unnecessary work loads, there are plenty jobs to do when it comes to painting.
These photos show the partly completed wallpaper second layer stripping. On the left we can see the gypsum panel the so called here in NZ the gib boards with joining compound, not perfectly sanded though because the builders know that it will not be for painting. Wallpapering does not require fine sanding as painting. The pieces and plastering is visible now. On the right they are the bottom kraftpaper. Each time we strip down one piece from top to the bottom. The reason is we do not want to wet the wall too much, the steam water is dropping and flowing downwards. When the strip is done from top to bottom, the top parts are dry already. Too much steaming is going to d a lot of damage to drywall. The most skilled and desired achievement of wallpaper removal is that after it’s done, you do not notice there were wallpaper at all, like nothing happened.
The next photo shows you a newly built wall, you wont tell that it is a wallpapered room for over a decade. When it comes to this level of preparation, the interior is back to right track of regular painting wall preparation works like finding the scratches and marks, uneven surface to repair
Wall Repairs and Painting Preparation
Now it comes to a procedure called repair plastering. The trick is to check the wall closed from one mall part to another making sure no parts are missed. Any paper damages will be sanded so the boundaries of damaged parts are not sticking out. A rough sanding with 60 gram sanding paper will do good job to remove all stripping debris.
Those yellow parts you see on the photo are “lite finish” compound. They are the finest easy to sand finish coats level of joint compound. We use them to make the wall totally smooth like new walls. Why it’s called Gib boards? GIB is one of the most popular available gypsum panels in New Zealand, there are alternative other brands as well but people in general call them gib board.
The finer the compound is applied on the surface the easier the next step of sanding work. All those yellow parts are evidence that we work hard to take care of all the details. The final painting results are 90% decided by the current preparation works.
The left photo is a after the undercoating. Undercoat sealer is to make the wall painting ready. The sealer covers the small marks, gaps and scratches so the surface is more smooth. Major ones are covered by compound by a practice we called plastering. We make sure the sealer covers everywhere where not painted yet. When it’s dry we will find some visible not so perfect parts, here we either sand the off with finer sanding paper like 120 to 180 grit. The higher the grit number the finer the result is. General 120 lite sanding is ok to move on with painting.
In this Westgate case, we only apply undercoat to the wall, not the ceiling. While one guy is painting the wall, the other painter will paint the ceiling. The ceiling needs to be paint before other parts because we do not wall small paint flies on finished walls, doors and frames.
Undercoating is always white as a base, it’s not actually painting but the practices are exactly as painting
Frames and doors.
All frames for doors and windows are polished to remove the old paint drops, cracking paints and cracks. Grinder, sanding paper, contract filler and normal gap filler together make the frames look totally different even they were poorly built from the beginning. Once all gaps and corner cracks are hidden, it looks the house is in the next level of fine workmanship.
We use semi gloss enamel paint for frames. We prefer Resene over Dulux, unlike the normal interior paints we use more Dulux. Resene enamel wins by it’s smoothness, easy to sand and more shiny and sticky. The enamel paints are water based too, you do not need to worry about health issues, no smells at all too.
The painting is to be continued in the coming few days January 2018.