Removing wallpaper is one of those tasks we put off for a long time. If one or more of your walls is covered in wallpaper the previous owner of the home installed, you probably avoid removing it because you don’t want to damage the walls. But there is no reason to let this faded paper cramp your decor. Removing wallpaper is a job that can be done by anyone, so long as they follow a few guidelines. This article will examine those guidelines and walk you through the safe and headache-free removal of any wallpaper.
First you will need to do a small test to determine what type of job you are dealing with. Find an edge at one of the corners of the wall and attempt to peel the paper back. If it peels away easily, it means the wallpaper used was strippable and will be relatively easy to remove. Removable wallpaper is among the most common sold today. If it tears and leaves paper backing or dried adhesive, it means more work.
But this doesn’t mean it will be impossible. Certainly, there are some jobs more difficult than others. Wallpaper installed improperly, without primer, with too much adhesive, these things can cause problems. But for the most part it will still be removable if you follow these steps. We will proceed assuming the wallpaper did not peel easily from the wall and requires more effort to be removed.
Purchase a wallpaper removal solution. This can be found in any home improvement or decorating shop. Some of these solutions require mixing with water. Whatever you have, follow the instructions and make it ready for use. The next step is to score the paper. This can be done with a wallpaper scoring tool. These tools are also available at home improvement stores and are relatively inexpensive. You will want to use the tool to score the paper across the area where it will be removed. This puts small cuts into the paper without damaging the wall beneath. These cuts will allow the removal solution to absorb behind the paper, where the adhesive lies. After scoring the paper you will need to apply the removal solution. This is usually done with a spraying device that is sold along with the removal solution. It can also be applied with brushes. Follow the instructions on the removal solution being used. Allow the liquid to soak for the recommended amount of time.
After sufficient time has passed, the wallpaper should be ready to peel off. This will most likely need to be done with a wallpaper knife, which is a broad blade that will peel back the paper without damaging the surface of the wall. Most likely you will encounter trouble spots. Removable wallpaper is common today, but adhesives used long ago are more difficult to remove. Most of the wallpaper should scrape off but sections will be more stubborn. When you encounter those, apply more removal solution and move along with your removal. Once the easy parts are done you can revisit these spots, which have had longer time to soak. Eventually, the adhesive should break down and the paper should scrape off with the wallpaper blade. When you are finished spray the entire wall once more with the solution. Allow it to soak for a while, and then do one more sweep with the wallpaper blade, ensuring the wall is free of adhesive and paper and ready to be re-papered.