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Wallpaper Removal: How to remove wallpaper.

Updated on May 28, 2013

Wallpaper removal is often a challenge. How you choose to remove wallpaper may depend on a number of things. Often people choose to just cover it up. If done correctly, and primed with an oil based primer, then the room is complete.

Determing Factors

· You have to decide what the determining factors are when you choose how to treat the old wallpaper. Try to determine what is beneath that wall paper (most of the time, it’s hard to determine unless there is a closet or a hidden place to experiment).

· In a house that is 60 years old or older the base wall may be plaster. If you remove the paper, some of the plaster will probably come with it.

· How well was the paper put on the wall? If you have plaster walls and paint over old paper, you may reach a point later down the road where the old paper begins to peel from the wall along with the nice paint job. In this case, old walls can be covered with sheet rock and you will have a great surface to paint or paper.

What Is Under That First Layer?

Newer homes

· Some walls may have 3 additional layers wallpaper with one applied directly on top of the other. This is going to make the job tougher, or

· There may be one wallpaper layer, but the person who applied the original wallpaper didn’t prime the walls and removal becomes very difficult.

· Occasionally you might find wallpaper that was put on extremely well and could be painted over, but normally you don’t realized that until you are up to your elbows in pieces of sticky wall paper.

Options for supplies

· Most people do not like the gel products that don’t need to be diluted. The stores sell more of this product than any other, so it must work for some people.

· The majority of people like the product that has to be diluted with water.

· Very few people I talked to, including some folks who remove wallpaper as a second job, do not like the steamer.

· Most people use the small perforator that rolls across the paper and makes puncture holes allowing the product and steam that you are using to penetrate the paper.

Personal Experience

I first went with the diluted product and the perforator. It worked, but the paper, even with the use of a sheetrock troweling tool, came off in bits and pieces. The directions indicate to mix the solution in a spray bottle with hot tap water.

I found it worked better to heat the water in the microwave. Be careful how hot you make the water. (I had to heat the water separately and funnel the water into the tall spray bottle) One minute worked for me. The wall paper removal solution worked better with the microwaved water.

Still my paper was coming off in bits and pieces and only small ones at that. At the rate I was going it was going to take a year to get the paper off.

Steam Machine.

I decided to try the steam machine. I was able to borrow one. New steamers cost about $50.00. Only the person who loaned me the machine liked it. I went on the Internet and didn’t read any good reviews. Still I was determined to get the paper off in a reasonable time.

I loved the streamer. Yes, it is hot. Yes it can drip on you if not handled carefully. You shouldn’t do this work with children around, and it’s helpful to have someone helping you to either work the paper down with a trowel, or to hold the steamer while you put the trowel between the wall and the paper.

It only took about 4 hours to remove all four walls of wallpaper.

Notice: No matter what product I used some of the dry wall paper came off the sheet rock. I will have to have the walls skim coated. This can be done by a good dry wall man at a reasonable price.

If I did this again it would be with the steamer. Right now I hope to never see wallpaper again.

Warning: Even though the liquid products seem odorless, a paper mask may be helpful. Also disposal gloves will save nails and keep some of the old paste away from your skin.

Working at home
Working at home | Source
Steamer | Source
Baseboard | Source


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