My house is over 100 years old. The ceiling in the living room is made of plaster and has a large plaster medallion. There are some areas where water damage has caused the plaster to fall off leaving the lath exposed - I am in the process of restoring the plaster to these areas. 

My question is that there is some wallpaper that is glued onto the plaster and I am looking for a solution to remove the wallpaper - I have seen some articles that talk about using hot water to soak the wallpaper - I have also seen some articles that talk about using fabric softener. I am looking for a recommended solution that will work and not adversely affect the plaster.    

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The easiest way, that I have found after using the fabric softner with scraper knife is..... a wagner power steamer. I got a wallpaper scoring tool (it is round, and a wheel inside has teeth on it) and ran it all over the wallpaper I wanted to remove. Then I just put the steam plate on the plaster, hit the button (careful not to let the hot water drip on you, bec it really hurts), let it sit a few seconds, then used a putty knife to easily remove the wallpaper. Don't try this on drywall though, since it would destory the paper that holds drywall together. But on plaster, it will be just fine.. won't hurt it.

I bought 2 differen't types of steamers.. one was just for taking off wallpaper, the other was kind of like for cleaning, and removing wallpaper. I would suggest the cleaning one, since you could use it around the house, and on your wallpaper. It also has wheels on it. Either one wasn't very expensive, and you end up using them more than you expected.

Hope this helps :)
I think I have used every paper removing system ever discussed. The steamer works very well for big jobs but if you are just doing a small area or just a ceiling I would go low tech. I just use a spray bottle with hot water and a few drops of Jet-dry ( the stuff for dish washers) Spray the ceiling until it just starts to drip and walk away. 5 min later repeat the process, and repeat until the paper is saturated then scrape it off. Let the water do the work for you. It will take some time but it is easy to find another project to work on in the 5 minutes wait time. If that doesn't work, get a steamer. I forgot, the jet-dry makes the water wetter for some reason.
I will have to try the jet dry process. I never thought of that before :)
"the jet-dry makes the water wetter for some reason"

That's because the Jet-Dry breaks the surface tension of the water by interfering with the chemical bond between water molecules. Similar to how soap works but without the suds. Without the surface tension, water can't bead up on a dry surface. Without beading, it covers more surface area thereby finding more places to soak in.
I prefer the Wagner 705 wallpaper steamer. A very versatile tools with many uses for about $50.

Hot steam will not hurt your plaster and it pulls off everything... paper, glue, paint, etc.


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