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Removing PVA Glue From Walls

I have stripped a 12’x9’ room today. It is the worst room I have ever encountered in terms of stripping wallpaper!

I don’t know whether the paper was hung using neat PVA but it took forever to remove and once stripped nearly every inch of the plaster has the old glue residue left on there (and it is like a glue not paste).

I have sprayed it with both sugar soap and Krud Kutter then scrubbed it with a stiff brush. This eventually loosens it into a milky white solution. I have then been wiping it down with a damp sponge but this takes 4-6 goes before I can make any impression on it. To do the whole room is going to take me ages.

Are there any suggestions of better ways of performing this task please?

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Had a simpler problem with a border, have you tried dif,may even be a option to power sand, hope that helps. Cheers Jason

it might be worth phoning Zinsser,they have a excellent product called gardz,which seals down old adhesive but give them a call ,and tell them the problem ,while on the subject they do a free excellent booklet ,I cant find mine otherwise I would print off and send to you ,but there is sound advice in there, the only other way is hope Andy or Russ or one off the other masters come online .

Hi Jason

Thanks for your reply.

I fixed myself up with a full Festool kit before Xmas. The glue was still tacky today so I may just see what it’s like tomorrow and if it’s fully dried get the sander out and give it a try.

I haven’t tried Dif. Will have to get some.

The problem I have is that the glue residue is quite thick in some places, rough/coarse in others and bobbly elsewhere. I can only see that total removal of it all is the only option.

I also have the Zinnser Bible but it doesn’t really help me in this instance.

As you say perhaps Andy or one of the other TP’s will have some ideas.

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its only a suggestion, you could try fluxaf green,i have used this for removing paint from stone ,stripping paint from doors, it can remove artex and adhesive read up on it, hope I don’t get
shot for writing this ,even better phone fluxaf yourself but I am sure it will work.

This article shows how I prepped walls and ceiling before applying gardz or Beeline Primer Sealer.

If it is bone dry, the old residue will sand off. You seem to have all the kit for that approach?

DIF may be appropriate, it breaks down paste. If it is paste that is!

Thanks Andy

The sander will be out first thing as long as the residue is bone dry.

Well that was a successful day.

The sander worked a treat (what a fantastic bit of kit the Festool sander/extractor combination is :smile:) removing all the glue residue leaving a lovely smooth surface. I have ordered a tin of Gardz and will seal it later in the week.

Thanks for your advice Jason and Andy.


Have you thought of trying krudcutter ?

Good tip passed onto me was washing up liquid in pump up spray bottle ,spray
wall and use a wallpaper smoother large one worked really well.

I had the same issue a couple of months ago and spent hours sanding it down, wet it to check if it was sticky and it wasn’t but still had Grazing problems. I didn’t treat with Gardz!! Lesson learnt.