The Basics of Stripping Wallpaper
Pro painter Nick Slavik uses a tried-and-true 3-step process to get rid of wallpaper. He takes you along on a job to show you how it's done
Wallpaper removals are variable depending on the house, wallpaper, what’s behind wallpaper, and so on. For this job, we were asked to redo the ceilings, walls, and re-varnishing all wood. Here are my steps to getting the job done well:
Step 1_ Getting the pattern off. Use a rugged wallpaper razor to start a corner and rip off first layer. If it comes off in sheets, great. If it comes off in small chunks you’ll need to bring out other “helpers” (i.e. chemicals and steam) to loosen up the paper for removal.
Step 2_ Getting paper backing off. Once the pattern is off, we fire up a garden sprayer filled with a DIF solution. If you don’t have DIF, just use the hottest water that’ll come out of your tap. Backing will start to bubble up and after 10 minutes or so. Use your wallpaper razor to get the backing off in strips.
Step 3_ Clean away glue residue. First work the area with a Scotch-Brite scrubber and a handle. Finish cleaning with a large sea sponge and water. Once dry check for and clean away remaining residue, then do any necessary patching and skimming in preparation for paint.
Nick Slavik is the owner and proprietor of Nick Slavik Painting & Restoration Co. in New Prague, MN. He's the newest member of the TOH family, providing pro painting content for sponsors like Behr Paint.
- To learn more about Nick and his company, Nick Slavik Painting & Restoration Co., to get a free quote, or to watch episodes of Ask a Painter Live please visit NickSlavik.com
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- Check Nick out on ThisOldHouse.com here and here
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