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berrys
Wallpaper removal

I need to remove one layer of 10 yr old wallpaper from a bedroom and bathroom walls so I can paint them. What is the best method for doing so ?

Jeanne
Re: Wallpaper removal

If the wallpaper was hung correctly, it should be easy. Pull up from a bottom corner and it should pull right off the wall. Then wash the wall to remove all the glue. Repair any wall damage, prime and paint. Priming is important when painting over a wall that used to have wallpaper on it.

If the paper was not hung properly, it will be a little more work. Pull off as much as you can and wet what is left with a spray bottle and gently pull it off. It can be tedious. You want to try not to damage the drywall underneath. If the paper is a foil type paper, peel the foil off first, and the attack the backing. If the paper is made of something that isn’t letting the water penetrate, then you may need to use a “tiger” which pokes little holes in the paper to help the water penetrate. If the paper is still giving you difficulty you might need to rent a steamer.

If hanging wallpaper, always prepare the wall with wallpaper sizing (just paint it on) and use strippable wallpaper. That will make removing it later very simple.

CeliaP
Re: Wallpaper removal

If the wall paper is tough to get off the wall using a steamer helps. Also helps to have wide sc****r to peel off those stubborn pieces. If you damage the wall make sure that you repair it before painting.

I had to take down wall paper from walls that weren't properly treated prior to papering. It is a long and tedious job.

dj1
Re: Wallpaper removal

I know somebody who had a tough time with a wallpaper removal job, and no matter what he did, the walls looked like crap.

He tore the drywall to the studs and started anew.

A. Spruce
Re: Wallpaper removal

Something that hasn't been mentioned yet is the use of a wallpaper removing solution. You can buy the commercial product DIF, or you can simply make your own with a 1/4 cup of fabric softener in a gallon of hot tap water. Basically, what the solution does (including the fabric softener ) is break the surface tension of the water so that it will penetrate the paper's surface and wet the backing and glue.

Start by protecting your floors with plastic, if you're careful, painters plastic will work, if you're accident prone, get yourself some 6mil plastic. Tape it to the baseboards to keep it in place. Lay walkway runners, because you're going to have water and wallpaper stuck to your feet.

Next, start picking at a seam or finding a loose corner and try to pull the surface of the paper off. This will be over half the battle right there, removing the surface of the paper, sometimes it's easy, sometimes not. The more moisture/remover solution you can get behind the paper, the easier - relatively - it will be to get off. Since water flows downhill, I like to start at the top of the wall and work down, the water will wick in all directions, but why not use gravity to your advantage?

As was said, shiny, vinyl, and foil surfaced papers are going to be the most difficult to get started and remove because the surface creates a barrier, preventing your remover solution from getting to the backing and glue. If at all possible, avoid using a wallpaper tiger, as it will damage the wall behind it, and it will be more likely that you'll start peeling the surface of the drywall off too, and that would be a very bad thing.

Steam is supposed to help, you can rent wallpaper steamers that are specifically made for the task. I've never used one, so I can't speak to how well they work.

Your biggest friend will be time and patience, I've never had a wallpaper removal job go easily or quickly. Be prepared for at least some wall damage that will need to be repaired before you either paint or install new wallpaper.

CeliaP
Re: Wallpaper removal

Agree that you should not use wall paper tiger - that's what damaged my walls. We used steamer with just water and with fabric softener. Did not notice a big difference.

One thing that you need to make sure that you do is to get all the glue off the wall:p. In one room we had the paper come off easily but there was still a lot of glue on the wall. You have to get the glue off before painting the wall. Getting the glue off can be a challenge. :p

A. Spruce
Re: Wallpaper removal
CeliaP wrote:

Agree that you should not use wall paper tiger - that's what damaged my walls. We used steamer with just water and with fabric softener. Did not notice a big difference.

One thing that you need to make sure that you do is to get all the glue off the wall:p. In one room we had the paper come off easily but there was still a lot of glue on the wall. You have to get the glue off before painting the wall. Getting the glue off can be a challenge. :p

Generally speaking, wallpaper glue comes off the wall fairly easily, it is when not-so-handy DIY'rs use other types of glue to hold down a peeling seam or minor tear. Older paper is much less friendly than newer papers. Usually, all it takes is a wet sponge to remove the glue. You are right, though, it absolutely does need to be cleaned off before painting.

Handyman-Painter
Re: Wallpaper removal

Is your wall plaster or drywall? This is important to know once you get started.Determining which type of wall you have can be as easy as knocking in several places. If it sounds hollow, it’s probably drywall.
If you test a corner and cannot remove the paper without any serious scraping, you’ve got traditional wallpaper. Curse the DIY Gods for your bad luck and get ready to work.

- First, score or sand the wallpaper you want to remove.
- Next, mix up a wallpaper-stripping solution. While you can buy chemicals specifically designed for the task, a 70-30 solution of water and vinegar or fabric softener works just as well.
- Using a sponge or spray bottle, apply the solution to the wall. Try to work in small sections, saturating only what you can get done in about fifteen minutes before moving onto the next section.
- Alternatively, look into buying or renting a steamer from a hardware store.

- With wallpaper removal solution, soap, and hot water, wash any remaining glue or paper residue off the walls.

The main thing is that removing wallpaper is a time consuming tedious process. So patience is a virtue and be diligent as well.

Good luck

Re: Wallpaper removal

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Nurse
Re: Wallpaper removal

Just bought a 1950 house that has painted over wallpaper walls. Should I just get a plaster person to redo the walls because they look kind of wavy in a few spots anyway and not sure if it is because of the wallpaper or there are defects in the wall?

A. Spruce
Re: Wallpaper removal
Nurse wrote:

Just bought a 1950 house that has painted over wallpaper walls. Should I just get a plaster person to redo the walls because they look kind of wavy in a few spots anyway and not sure if it is because of the wallpaper or there are defects in the wall?

The only way to know what the wall condition is would be to remove the wallpaper, then address the walls accordingly. Wavy doesn't necessarily mean damage, bulges would be likely damage, but waves could just be the by product of the application process. Plaster is rarely baby's buns smooth, heck, even sheet rock is rarely baby's buns smooth. Pull the paper and go from there.

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