Can I Remove My Old Wallpaper?

Old wallpaper is more than just an eyesore. It can be a nightmare to paint over and a messy job to remove it. But removing your old wallpaper doesn’t have to be impossible. With the right tools and instructions, anyone can remove old wallpaper. By using these basic steps, you can quickly remove your old wallpaper easily and effectively.

1. Preparation: Before beginning the project, you’ll need to prep the room for the coming mess. Drop cloths should be placed around each wall. Remove all switch plates and outlets covers, and then turn off the power to the entire room.

2. Scoring: Because wallpaper is attached to the surface of the wall using an adhesive, it needs to be scored to penetrate past the outside layer of the wallpaper so that the wallpaper remover can reach the adhesive. A simple wallpaper scoring tool can be purchased at most paint stores.

3. Mixing the Solution: With so many solutions on the market, it can be difficult to choose a wallpaper removal solution that will work best for your wallpaper. You can easily create your own wallpaper removal solution by mixing two parts hot water with one part fabric softener. Mix small batches to keep the water as hot as possible. Load the mixture into a spray bottle for application.

4. Apply the Solution: Using a spray bottle, soak the wallpaper thoroughly. Spraying a small amount of wallpaper can help you from getting in over your head. Allow the solution to absorb into the wallpaper for a few minutes before attempting removal.

5. Stripping the Paper: Starting from the bottom corner of a wallpaper panel, gently peel back the wallpaper using a small putty or drywall knife. A hair dryer or hot paint stripper can help peel the wallpaper back in large strips. If any wallpaper is still stuck to the wall, you can add more wallpaper removal solution to the stuck-on paper. Be careful to not damage the drywall behind the wall with the putty knife.

6. Cleaning the Walls: Once you have removed all of the wallpaper, some adhesive will still remain. You may need to apply more stripping solution to carefully remove the adhesive. Once the adhesive has been removed, clean the walls using a mix of hot water and dish soap. Wipe down the walls with a damp sponge and towel dry. Be careful not to over saturate the walls with water as this can cause damage to the drywall.

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