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3 Ways to Properly Remove Wallpaper

When you're ready to paint or wallpaper a room, the thought of removing existing wallpaper can be daunting. Some people eliminate this seemingly overwhelming step and decide to paint or paper right over the wallpaper that's there, which may create problems down the road. And if the wallpaper underneath starts to peel, you'll be spending much more effort and money in the years to come repairing and patching.

Wallpaper removal takes work, but it's worth while in the long run. With the technics below, you will be much less likely to significantly damage the walls, making the whole process less stressful. Once you prepare your room (cover carpeting and furniture, and remove window treatments, wall hangings and nails), you're ready to begin.

Painter Removing Wallpaper

You can save a lot of time and effort if the wallpaper you're removing is a newer strippable paper. You can test it by loosening a corner of the paper and pulling. If it pulls off without damaging the wall beneath, you're in luck - just keep pulling until the entire sheet comes off, and do this with every strip of paper.

If you discover that the wallpaper isn't strippable, there are a few choices:

  • Score and spray. Score the wallpaper, then spray it with water, making sure you use enough water to get into the scored areas. The water needs to get behind the paper to loosen it. Wait about ten minutes, then use a putty knife to scrape the paper off the wall.
  • Chemical removal. Score the wallpaper, and then spray the chemical, soaking it into the wallpaper. Strip the paper by hand, then scrape the backing off the wall.
  • Steam stripping is the most labor-intensive, so you may want to try the other methods first. Whether you rent or buy a steamer, there will be instructions, which you should carefully follow. Generally, once the water boils and steam is produced, hold the steam pad against the wallpaper for about thirty seconds or until the paper underneath loosens, then immediately scrape off.

There are different challenges for drywall and plaster, so it is important to know what type of wall you are working with. If you want to make sure the job is correctly and efficiently, contact us; we'd be happy to discuss your project with you.

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