Q: Some walls of my house have foil wallpaper that I want to remove. I don't think a chemical remover or water will penetrate it to ease removal. Any suggestions?
A: Foil, vinyl and other impermeable wall coverings can generally be removed if they are perforated so that a chemical remover or water will penetrate and soften the adhesive. Perforation also speeds removal of painted wall coverings.
Some wallpaper-supply stores sell a special perforating tool called a Paper Tiger. The tool, which has rollers with many pointed teeth, is passed repeatedly over the wall surface so the points penetrate the wall covering. If the tool is used properly, the teeth will not harm the plaster or dry wall that form the underlying surface of the wall.
After thoroughly perforating the wall covering, apply a chemical wallpaper remover. One popular brand sold at many wallpaper stores and home centers is Dif. Dif, which contains enzymes that destroy the paste, is normally applied with a garden-type sprayer.
When the paste is softened, it is usually easy to scrape and peel off the wall covering. Use a blunt scraper on dry wall to avoid gouging the dry wall surface. A sharp scraper can be used on plaster walls.
Q: What kind of paint should I use to paint our concrete patio
next spring? We used house-and-deck paint, but it blistered and peeled.
A: Deck paint, also called porch-and-floor paint, is usually a good choice for concrete, but always read the directions to see if concrete is a specified surface for the paint.
Your problem might be that the surface was not properly prepared. Concrete often must be etched with an acid-type cleaner-etcher, sold at paint stores, before paint will adhere well. Scrape and sand off all loose paint and use an etcher before repainting. Since etchers contain acid, they must be used with extreme care; read the directions and follow all cautions.