Posts for Tag : White Bear Lake


Wallpaper Removal

Super hard or super easy!  Wallpaper removal is all based upon one issue.  Were the walls properly prepared prior to hanging?  When hanging wallpaper the walls must be primed or sized with a sealing type paint or primer that is made for this process.  Back in the ’70s and 80’s I hung wallpaper almost every day.  It truly was the in thing.  The very best way to size the wall is to use an oil-based slow dry primer with a flat or Matt finish. Don’t use quick-dry oil primers, they are shiny and the paper may not adhere.  The next best thing to size is a water-based sizing specifically designed for under wallpaper.  Oil-based primers are best because they bond great to the existing latex wall paint and they insure and will not let the paste or the water at removal time penetrate into the underlying paint and wallboard.  The removal is a snap with oil-based primers. 


1:   If the walls were not sized and or the paper installer hung the paper over raw sheetrock or over cheap latex paint then the problems just got worse.  The wallpaper will come off in small pieces and you will do a lot of damage to the wall creating a lot of patching to get the wall looking nice for paint.

2:   Pre-pasted, vinyl-coated wallpapers:  Water will not penetrate the vinyl coating and they can seldom be removed in large pieces or sheets.

The process for removal!

Tape the baseboards and cover the floors with two layers of protection.  You will be using a lot of water.

Step # 1:  Test the existing wallpaper.  Locate a seam, joint or edge of the wallpaper.  Use your fingernails or a flexible putty knife to see how much of the top layer can be removed without any water.  Three things can happen.  If the top layer or all of the paper is solid vinyl, then it will come off in sheets.  This is the best outcome.  If you start at the bottom corner or a top corner and slowly pull away at an angle the paper may come off in sheets just like it went on.  If the paper is fabric backed then the only thing left behind will be the adhesive (more on that later).

Step # 2:  If the wallpaper is paper backed vinyl (i.e. the top layer came off and there is a fuzzy paper layer still on the wall) or if you were unable to remove the top layer then there are additional steps.  It’s time to break out the pump-up garden sprayer.  A one or two-gallon unit will suffice.  It’s also helpful to buy some paste removal products like DIFF.  Mix as per instructions using hot water (hotter the better) and wet the wall down. Start with maybe an 8’-10’ wall.  You will need to soak the paper with 2-3 applications of hot water over a 10 – 30-minute time frame.  Make sure you test after each layer of water to see if the paste has softened.  You will need putty and or patching knives for this process.  When the paste is soft, you should be able to slide the putty knife under the paper layer.  Apply pressure to the putty knife against the wall and slide the blade under the paper removing the paper layer.  If the paper gets too wet or if it is too dry you will have trouble.  At this point do everything you can to prevent wall damage.  Priming, patching, sanding all take a lot of time and a fair amount of skill to make the walls look nice. 

Step # 3:  At this point, all the paper has been removed.  The walls may have a very heavy layer of paste or a very thin layer. The paste could be so thin that you can hardly tell it is there.  It’s time to test again.  Use that pump-up garden sprayer and wet down a small area about 2’x2’ you may have to wet it down again as stated above.  Use your fingers and test the wet down area.  It will be slippery or sticky.  At this point, you will need 5-gallon buckets, 3M scotch bright pads, and sponges.  You will need to keep wetting down the wall and washing off the paste until the walls are clean and free of paste.  The wall is free of paste when your wet finger grabs to the wall rather than slides on the wall.  The idea here is that you will be washing the paste off the wall and rinsing the sponge into your bucket.  You will need to continue to change your water.  Washing the wall with dirty (paste filled water)  is pointless.  If you don’t remove all the paste from the wall then the new layer of paint may not adhere or it may bubble up.  It is very important to remove all the paste from the walls.  Use lots of light and be patient. 

Problem wallpaper (vinyl coated).  If you can’t remove the top layer and or the paper won’t get wet with the sprayer then you will need to sand.    The point here is to break down the coating on top of the wallpaper.  When the wallpaper was manufactured they used a varnish type vinyl coating and sprayed the front of the wallpaper.  This is preventing water penetration and preventing the underlying paste from getting wet.  Buy or borrow a random orbit sander and find some 40 Grit sandpaper to sand the coating off the wallpaper.  You will need to test wash to ensure that you sanded enough.  Sanding will create scratches in the varnish type coating this, in turn, will allow the water to penetrate and soften the underlying glue and or adhesive.  When you are able to wet down the paper, then complete as stated above with steps two & three.

Finally, it’s time to patch the walls to ensure the walls look nice for painting. 

Feel free to call Lake Area Painting & Decorating with questions or for a price to complete all this work as stated above. We would love to hear from you.


Three Part Blog Series-On water damage/texture & painting repair caused by frost or ice dams

If you have good insulation and good ventilation you won’t get frost damage or ice dams.  Water damage is a serious issue that can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.

If you do see a stain on your ceiling, usually it’s a dark spot or grayer spot when it’s wet.  When dry it’s that sickly dirty orange-yellow color and it may have some dark streaks mixed in.  You will need to solve the immediate problem.  If you remove the snow and ice from your roof you will have solved the short term problem.  If you decide to do this yourself, be careful!  Ice and snow on a steep roof with a long drop to the the math!  In addition to the dangers involved you can cause long term damage to your roof using a pickax and/or shovels.  The simple solution is to remove the snow and then use salt and lots of it.  Salt pucks or salt in a nylon sock or pantyhose seem to work well.  In some cases you will not need to climb onto the roof, this will allow the water to drain safely.  You can go online and find some of these products or you can hire a professional to steam or hot water blast away your ice dams.

Ok, so now the problem won’t continue.  The snow and ice are gone, but what about that ugly stain on your bright white ceiling?  When you first notice the stain watch it like a hawk.  The first question would be is the stain growing or getting larger?  If it is not growing then it’s not an immediate problem.  The stain can be as big as a dime and up to the size of a trash can lid without being a serious problem.  The more serious problems happen when the stain starts to change in shape.  Is the texture starting to droop, sag, fall off or crack etc.?  Is water starting to drip or run off the ceiling?  If so, it’s time to take more extreme action.  Water is building up above the ceiling and if you don’t eliminate that excess water it will move into other areas of your home.  You will need to drain away the excess water!  Get a couple of buckets, a ladder or stool and take action.  Find the nastiest looking spot and drive a screwdriver into the sheetrock or any hard pointy object will work.   You may need a hammer to break through the sheetrock ceiling.  Water will start to drip out of the hole you just made.  Capture the water into the bucket.  More holes are sometimes needed to remove the water.  More holes will also allow the ceiling to dry out thus eliminating the potential for mold.  The faster the ceiling dries out the less chance for mold.  Get some fans and heaters pointed at the problem right away to further aid the drying process.  In extreme cases make a larger hole, as large as your fist may be necessary to eliminate the water and dry out the ceiling.  Once the water is gone, the ceiling is dry and spring is here it’s time to repair the ceiling.

Check back soon for part two & three in our series on water damage/texture repair.


Why Does My Exterior Paint Job Fail?

A paint job can only be as good as the surface we are painting over. Many layers of misapplied paint result in massive failure. All paint manufacturers and industry analysts agree that preparation on an existing painted house normally takes about 70% preparation and 30% painting, most painters and homeowners do quite the opposite.  We are in the progress of removing all the paint from this home in North Oaks, Minnesota due to this problem. Preparation, preparation, and more preparation is the key to a long lasting paint job and that’s exactly what Lake Area Painting does!


Centerville Cement Board Home Painted with Aura Low Lustre in August of 2017

This home in Centerville, Minnesota and was only 10 years old, but the paint job looked like it was 20 years old. The original paint was of poor quality and was put on thin by an airless sprayer.  It started to fade and oxidized within 3 years.  Lake Area Painting & Decorating came to the rescue and power washed with hot water to cause and locate failure and to remove the oxidation, dirt, and mildew.  We then painted with Aura Low Lustre paint and it was applied by brush this time around.  The body color is Aura Fairview Taupe and the peaks are Night Horizon.  What a difference with the two-tone color, this home really pops!  We also stripped and refurbished the front entry door.