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Wallpaper in a Bathroom


(DavidJ) #1

Hello. Went to see a customer yesterday who wants wallpaper in her bathroom 8O Thankfully, just a feature wall. I’ve got no issue with this, apart from I’ve never done it before so don’t want her calling me back in six months saying it’s peeling off!

Her bathroom was plastered a year ago and remains unpainted. She has bought vinyl wallpaper and a spray can of sealant to apply on top.

The plasterer, I think, has applied a second set to the sloping ceiling above the feature wall, and the PVA he’s used can be seen in a shiny band running along the top of the feature wall. With lots of drips. Not sure if this would be an issue.

I’m thinking seal the plaster (and why not all of it?) with Halls Primer Sealer, cross-line, seal that too. Paint out in acrylic eggshell. Hang her wallpaper then apply her spray. Cross fingers.

Is there anything I’ve missed?


(Andy Crichton) #2

Sand out any imperfections and use the Primer Sealer for the feature wall before lining and papering.

Not sure you want to be lining the whole bathroom, unless the plastering is that bad? If it is poorly skimmed, I would be suggesting skimming with Toupret TX120/130 and sanding it to a beautiful finish. Adds a day to an average bathroom, I would think, but the plastering should be up to snuff to not need any more work doing beyond a de-nib, sealer and 2 topcoats.

With sealing over vinyl paper, again, I dont get that. Over a pulp paper maybe, but vinyl is impervious anyway?


(DavidJ) #3

Hi Andy. Thanks for your comments.

No, I’m not planning to line the whole bathroom. Just wanted to recommend to the customer that she have her feature area lined, though it’s often difficult to get agreement on this, in my experience.

The walls are fine, so I’d probably just seal them then put a first coat on before filling and sanding, just to make it easier to see defects.

I was wondering, is there any hard and fast rule about putting sealer above or below filler? I have actually done both, with no reported problems, but I’m sure I’ve read here somewhere that Halls PS should go on after filler, and not before. I get that it will seal the filler and help stop it failing, but is there any reason filler would stick poorly to a sealed surface?

The sealing vinyl paper thing is something the customer mentioned, said she’d read somewhere (though perhaps for regular paper) that it was necessary, so bought a can of something. I’ve actually never hung vinyl paper myself before, so don’t know how steam-resistant it is. Should it be okay on its own?


(Andy Crichton) #4

Some filler sticks better than others to a sheeny surface, but it is not a great idea to seal a wall to prevent ensuing paste creating its own kind of havoc on the substrate, only to put filler on top of that sealer, leaving it vulnerable to a good soaking in wallpaper paste?

Im being picky in that for many years many paperhangers have not used anything like Beeline or gardz (ie good old glue size) with no detrimental effects on filler. But where many have used diluted wallpaper paste as a size, I wouldnt be so sure they have never had problems with filler that has let go. Here’s what can happen with filler directly in contact with paste


(DavidJ) #5

What I was getting at was more whether the rule was hard and fast: filler then sealer. But not to the exclusion of sealing any filler.

If, for example, you had some blown plaster with dusty render underneath, it would make sense to seal the dusty parts first, fill, then sand and seal the filler. If that makes sense. But it is picky and you’ve kind of answered it anyway.

It’s difficult, isn’t it, balancing “best practice” without wasting time and adding unnecessary steps? For example, is it really necessary to key anything you’re going to put Zinsser BIN on, assuming your surface is already smooth? Not really, it sticks like no-one’s business. Is it necessary to sand AND use Glosskutter? If so, which one first? And why? Does oil-based gloss really need an oil-based undercoat? Why not a good-quality acrylic primer undercoat? And so on.

You can tell I mostly work on my own… :wink:


(DavidJ) #6

What I was getting at was is there a hard and fast rule, ie, sealer must go on after filler? If, for example, you had some blown plaster with dusty render underneath, it would make sense to seal the dusty bit before filling, then sand and seal that filler if you were going to paste (or even paint) over it. But I think you’ve answered the question anyway.

It’s difficult, isn’t it, balancing “best practice” without wasting time on unnecessary steps? For example, it is not necessary to sand anything you’re going to put Zinsser BIN onto, assuming your surface is nice and smooth. The stuff sticks like no-one’s business. If you’re sanding wood, do you really also need to use Glosskutter? If so, which one first? And why? And does an oil-based gloss really need an oil-based undercoat? Why not a good quality acrylic primer/undercoat, if the topcoat is really doing all the work? And so on.

You can tell I work mostly on my own… :wink:


(DavidJ) #7

Sorry Andy, first time I submitted that the post didn’t show, I swore a bit then did it again. Not sure how that works.

[color=be2826#]EDIT: there seems to be a delay with posts appearing in the threads. They are sent to email subscribers immediately butthere is a lag showing up here, so dont go rehashing the same posts, it isnt lost. Will endeavour to track down the issue.[/color]


(DavidJ) #8

I read the article you linked to. The author said there was an alternative to washing off old traces of wallpaper paste and size, but he didn’t refer specifically to what that was. The most obvious thing was that he meant just using a sealer, but that doesn’t seem quite right to me? Surely if you applied something wet, like watered down Halls PS, to a surface with old paste on it, that paste will just reactivate? Not that I’m a fan of washing down walls, just trying to get it straight in my head.

Sorry for the questions. Did I mention I work on my own a lot?


(Andy Crichton) #9

You can sand old pasted walls and ceilings back to bare with CEROS and Abranet.


(DavidJ) #10

I see, so a good sand then sealing with Halls means no washing.