Wallpapering Over a Limewashed Wall?

April 13, 2020

Any idea how to get wallpaper to strick to an old internal Victorian house wall that has previously been limewashed. I've firstly washed the walls several times and then brushing the walls with wallpaper paste, allowing to dry, then wallpapering using the thickest mix, but it still comes off.


I see lots of questions on here about wallpaper not sticking to walls and I suspect that lots of the old houses had limewash on and that this is a far more common issue than is appreciated. If you can rub your hand on the wall and it leaves a milky/chalky dust on your hand, it's likewash.
Thanks in advance everyone.


April 14, 20200 found this helpful
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I've read up on this, removal and installation of wallpaper as this is one of my projects in the near future. My home is near 100 years old and I actually have cheesecloth behind some of this wallpaper in this house that I've found. That's been tacked down with Thousands if nails, thank you! Anyway, your question hon. I would take a wall sander (looks like a broom handle but you can put a piece that screws on the end where a piece of sandpaper attaches). I would attack these walls, which really shouldn't take long with the handle sander using probably a 120 grit. Be sure to cover anything in that room with visqueen or painter's throw because the dust will get everywhere. You, also be safe with glasses and mask. After sanding, I like to follow with a warm bucket of water and TSP or Simple Green.


Let the walls completely dry. By the time you finish sucking up all the dust, the walls should be dry! Lol. This one method I read of was to make a liquid cornstarch paste which actually sticks to your walls like a heavy paste yet doesn't do any damage to your walls when you're ready for it to be taken down. The one quirk they did say, if you were a renter, was to make sure you used a paper, fabric, sheets of paper, etc., that didn't bleed or run. If you can't find liquid cornstarch, I'll upload the recipe I found. I retyped it in my own words earlier so I could understand better but I also edited mine and added a little at the end hoping this helps since this was really the few things I could find. Hope this helps you sweet. Good luck, Cindy Daigle

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April 14, 20200 found this helpful
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Using a scouring brush would help with this. It cuts a little deeper ,leaving indentions. This will provide more of a suction after applying glue.


This will hold your paper better, with a little work for a beautiful affect that you can enjoy for a long time!

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April 14, 20200 found this helpful

I have heard of painting a limewashed wall - lots of work - but never wallpaper so I'm wondering if you will ever be able to make wallpaper 'stick' in every spot as this could be a real problem. Wallpaper has to adhere completely or it will have bubbles and sometimes will eventually turn loose in even larger spots.
Any lime residue left on a wall will 'eat' away paint and it's very easy to miss a spot when sanding and sealing.

Have you talked with anyone at a specialty wallpaper store? Seems like someone there could help you as I'm sure they have crews either working out of their stores or contractors who buy supplies from them.


I'm talking about a true wallpaper store and not a 'department' store.

Although there may be some contractors who buy from Lowe's and Home Depot. I'm always in favor of asking a 'pro' when it comes to projects like this.
I always discuss any unusual painting projects with someone in a paint specialty store (where contractors purchase their wares).

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