Tips For Removing Wallpaper
Removing wallpaper can drive any sane person crazy. Especially when it is gold and blue wall paper straight out of the 1970's. I have discovered a way that is fairly easy and definitely cheap. I do not want to spend a lot of money peeling something off in shreds to put in the trash and I am guessing you don't either.
First you need to gather your supplies and I am betting that you have most of what you need on hand. We had everything we used in the house already. You will need the following:
- spray bottle
- something with a straight edge blade, we are using a box cutter
- towel or sponge
Are you wondering how it could be so simple? Many people told us we would need to use a steamer. We actually tried to rent one, but couldn't find a place that rented them. Then I remembered using vinegar and water to remove a wallpaper border many years ago.
Fill a spray bottle with about 1/3 vinegar and 2/3 water. Spray liberally on a section of wallpaper. If it is running badly, this is where the towel or sponge will come in handy. Just soak up the excess. I have found it best to wait 5-10 minutes before trying to peel the wallpaper off. Slide the blade under an edge and push it up. It should slide under easily, just be careful not to gouge the drywall. Once there is enough pushed up to grasp, pull it off as best you can. You might only get small pieces, but many times I get pieces that are several inches long. There might be some of the backing left on the wall at this point. Just spray again and wait a few minutes. The rest should come off easily.
If you are wondering if I just stand there waiting the 5-10 minutes after I spray the vinegar water on, I do not. I do other things such as cleaning, making my grocery list, reading to my kids, etc. Anything really. I do not have the time to waste staring at the wallpaper while the vinegar water is soaking in. I tried removing it right after spraying the vinegar water, but that was not nearly as effective at removing the wallpaper. So now I do other small things around the house while I am waiting. It makes it much more bearable when I don't have to stand in the same place pulling wallpaper for long stretches of time.
Yes this is tedious, but it is very simple and most important to me - inexpensive. So far I have not spent any money to get this project started since I had all the items in the house for other purposes. I do know that before I am done I will need to purchase more vinegar though. One gallon of vinegar is around $2.50, much cheaper than the expensive wallpaper removal products that your local Sherwin Williams will try to sell you.