How to Strip Wallpaper

So you want to strip that old wallpaper out of the guest room and replace it with a more up-to-date wall covering. First, put down that phone. You will have no trouble with this one; so don’t bother calling the neighborhood handyman. All you will need are a few inexpensive tools, an empty Saturday, and a little know-how. I can help with the last one, just read this simple how-to and you will be off scraping walls in no time.

How to Strip Wallpaper

You are going to need a broad knife, a drywall pan, a large pump sprayer, wallpaper remover, an abrasive pad, and possibly a wallpaper perforation tool. You can get all of these items at your local hardware store. Before you jump in to deep, always start with the simplest approach. You may get lucky and thank yourself later.

Try grabbing any loose wallpaper with your hands and pulling straight down and away in a slow, smooth motion. If you’re lucky, the paper will come off in large strips and your day just got a bit easier. If the wallpaper doesn’t come off easily at first don’t worry that’s what the sprayer and wallpaper remover is for.

Now use the sprayer to apply an even coat of remover onto all parts of the wallpaper to be removed. Wait about 15 to 20 minutes for the remover to completely soak into the wallpaper. Reapply the remover and wait again. Now pick up the scraper and begin to gently scrape off the wallpaper. Remember to pull straight down and away on large sections, and ventilate the room. Reapply the remover as necessary, and use the drywall pan to catch the small pieces.

On the tough areas you may need to use the specialized wallpaper perforator to poke many small holes in the paper and break up break it up so the remover can better penetrate to the adhesive. Apply the remover, wait and scrape. In rare instances the perforator may not be enough to do the job. In this case, you may need to rent another tool. This tool is a professional steamer. Most tool rental companies will have this on hand and rental is relatively inexpensive.

When 90% of the wallpaper has been removed, there will likely be small bits of backing left behind. To get rid of these pesky little bits you will need to use the abrasive pad. Fill a small bucket with the remover and use this with the abrasive pad. Simply soak the pad and scrub the wall. This should take care of that little problem.

If you are going to replace the old wallpaper with new wallpaper keep this in mind. In most cases, it is best to remove the old paper before you repaper the room. The few instances that may change this rule are: Foil papers, wallpaper that has already been placed over old wallpapers, and wallpaper that was placed directly over new drywall. These types of wallpaper can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to remove. In these cases, secure any loose seams with glue, and apply a paper-to-paper primer before wallpapering over them.

How to Remove Foil Wallpaper

If you need to remove foil wallpaper try this method: Since the foil will be impervious to water, you will need to break it up before spraying with remover. First, attack the walls with a coarse sand paper. Then apply wallpaper remover and scrape the foil off with a broad knife. This method may not work every time, but it does work in most instances. If you notch the drywall behind the wallpaper, cover the notch with drywall compound and sand smooth.

Now take my advice and run wild.

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