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wallpaper on cloth

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Nov 11, 2013, 09:12 AM
wallpaper on cloth
While removing wallpaper from old home, found wallpaper glued to cloth which is nailed to the walls. The wallpaper and cloth came off easily, but left strings on the nails. I have tried burning the strings with some success, but would like to find a better way to remove these strings. Any suggestions?

Nail with cloth strings

Nov 11, 2013, 12:00 PM
remove the nails, or if they're in too tight, grind off the head, remove the string, then recess the rest of the nail and fill the dimple
Nov 11, 2013, 12:27 PM
Hi nancymarie,

How you deal with the remaining threads from the cloth you removed can depend on what you wish to do to decorate the wall afterwards.

The wood appears to be in good shape except for the large headed nails which will stand out with the threads stuck behind it. You could use a sharp utility knife and cut around the head tracing its outline and this would free up the remaining threads and you could use a putty knife to carefully scrape away the loose the remaining threads. It may be tedious but will do little damage to the wood if you are careful. Once it is finished you would have a wood wall but with large head nails exposed all over which may or may not be a problem for you. Removing the nails will be tedious and once removed you will have a clear view of where they existed even if you used a wood filler to match the wood finish colour. The location of the nail holes will likely stand out once complete. With this in mind it would likely be best to consider painting the wall a preferred colour. Below is an explanation of how you might accomplish this.

If you plan to paint, the nail heads will need to be dealt with as they will stand out. You have a couple of options to deal with them. You could first use a palm sander and sand the head head and remove all excess threads and then use a punch and set them deeper, say an 1/8" deeper, in the wood and then apply a several coats of wood filler or drywall compound to cover them. The sanded wood is a better surface for the drywall compound to bond more effectively. Use an 80 grit or 120 grit sand paper in the palm sander. The wood finish may stick readily to the sandpaper and you may need to periodic cleaning and/or replacement the sandapaper. Then apply several thin coats of drywall compound, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before adding a new coat, feathering each coat over the nail hole a small amount larger than the previous one. Once you have the compound feather out and fairly level with the wood surface and it is completely dry, lightly sand the compound smooth. Dust the walls completely and vacuum up all the dust. Then add a coat of quality primer, such as Zinsser 123, which is available at Walmart, Home Depot and many quality paint stores, to the surfaces where drywall compound was applied and allow it to dry thoroughly. Then use the primer on the entire wall and allow it to dry. Once dry you can finish the wall with a quality latex paint of your choose and colour.

Others may have additional suggestions.

Good Luck!

PS. If you use nona's suggestion of grinding off the nail heads, it may be best to use a Dremel toolor similar device, as it is much smaller and can be easier to maneuver and thus cause less damage to the surrounding wood.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Simply_Me,