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Can I Remove Wallpaper from Plaster Walls?


Question: Can I Remove Wallpaper from Plaster Walls?
Think twice before trying to remove wallpaper from your plaster walls. You might cause more damage than what is already there.
Answer: Old plaster and lath walls often have several layers of wallpaper that have accrued over the years. One reason for this, of course, is that the previous homeowners wanted to beautify the house. But there may be a more insidious reason: they wanted to hold together crumbling plaster walls.

Yes, not all homeowners care enough to properly maintain and repair their plaster walls. Some--in fact, the majority--just want the thing done, no matter how sloppy the work. So, you will find that your previous homeowner applied wallpaper to crumbling, cracking plaster walls chiefly as a method of holding the plaster together. The sad part of this is that it actually does work, to some degree. A few good layers of wallpaper over the years will keep the plaster hanging together. But eventually whatever is happening to the plaster will transfer to the wallpaper. So, plaster cracks will mirror themselves on the wallpaper. It's a short-term solution, and a lousy one at that.

Be careful before attempting to remove wallpaper from your old plaster and lath walls. The wallpaper may be holding together some horrors beneath. Be prepared for full-scale plaster repairs in the event of paper removal.
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