Let’s face it, removing wallpaper isn’t fun. It’s definitely a tedious job, but if you do it right and use the right tools you can make sure to keep your wall in good shape for your next project. Just follow this guide to make your project less stressful and just a little bit easier.
You’ll want to have a couple of tools on hand to make your wallpaper removal project easier and faster, or at least as easy and fast as it can be.
Before you even begin removing your wallpaper, make sure to use a screwdriver to remove all outlet covers. Wallpaper is usually placed behind covers, so you’ll need to have them out of the way. Next, lay down a drop cloth or plastic sheet to protect your floor. Once you spray the removal solution on the wallpaper, it will make the paste on the back sticky again. You definitely want to protect your floors and anything else in the room!
When you’re ready to remove your wallpaper, begin by trying to remove a small section. Try to pull it off at a 45-degree angle with moderate pressure. Sometimes you can pull off whole sections of wallpaper if you don’t pull too hard. The longer the wallpaper has been up, the smaller the pieces will be as you pull them off. If it comes off easily leaving the backing, then strip off the top layer throughout your room.
You’ll then go back through spraying the walls with a remover solution. It’s best to work in a small area while spraying, so you can remove the paper while it’s still wet. If the top layer doesn’t come off easy, then spray an area of the wall with the remover solution and let it soak in. After a few minutes, try pulling the top layer off again. It may take a couple of layers of the spray mixture to get the paper off depending on the type of paper and paste used, as well as how long the paper has been on the walls.
Once you have your top layer of wallpaper removed, begin
removing the backing by spraying your solution on the wall. Again, you’ll want
to let it soak in for a few minutes and work in small areas as you go.
Next, you can start scraping off the paper using a broad knife. Be careful to keep your broad knife flat as you scrape, so you don’t accidentally gouge your wall.
Once you have all of your wallpaper removed, go back through and spray the walls one more time with the remover solution to make sure you didn’t miss any spots.
Once you’re sure all the wallpaper is gone, wipe down your walls with a damp sponge or cloth. Let the walls dry completely before you begin your next project. To be safe, it’s best to let your wall dry for at least 24-48 hours.
There are a variety of ways to remove wallpaper, but the steps above are going to be the easiest way to remove wallpaper without damaging your walls. Other options are using a steamer, but this has some danger to it because many people end up burning themselves in the process.
Sometimes people try scoring their wallpaper to make holes in the paper, but you have to be precise while scoring, or you’ll end up damaging your drywall beneath. Scoring should be used as an absolute last resort because it is so difficult to do without causing damage to the wall behind the wallpaper.
While you can buy a wallpaper remover solution, there are a couple of homemade options too. First, you can mix warm water with fabric softener in a spray bottle. Use half softener, half water, and mix well.
You’ll want to mix the solution in small batches to keep the water as warm as possible. Once it starts to cool down, it will lose its effectiveness so be sure to add more warm water and fabric softener to the solution as you go. When you’re finished, you’ll want to thoroughly wipe down your walls and let them dry.
If you’re looking for a homemade, chemical-free solution try using lemon juice, white vinegar, and water. You’ll mix two cups of water, 1/3 cup of lemon juice, and two cups of white vinegar. This solution is quite acidic, so you may want to wear rubber gloves or just try to use your scraper as much as possible. The more you can keep your hands out of the solution, the better. The good news is vinegar and lemon juice are helpful when cleaning, so if you wipe down the walls as you go you won’t have as much clean up at the end. Just make sure your walls aren’t sticky at all, and let them dry before beginning any other projects.
With just a few simple tools, tips, and some elbow grease you'll be ready to tackle any wallpaper removal job that comes up. Remember, everyone knows that wallpaper isn't the best part of any remodel, but once you have that dated, or even peeling, eyesore down you can really start creating the room of your dreams.
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