How to Remove Wallpaper

Instructions on Removing Wallpaper from Walls

By Mark J. Donovan

So your wallpaper is looking a little worn and outdated and you’re thinking about removing it or replacing it with paint or new wallpaper. Learning about the various methods of how to remove wallpaper is the easy part. Actually removing the wallpaper from a wall can sometimes be a challenge.

The first step in removing wallpaper is to first remove all wall hangings from the walls and furniture from the room. Wallpaper removal can be a messy job.

Remove Wallpaper

Next using a wallpaper scraper or a putty knife attempt to lift a corner of the wallpaper from the wall. New wallpapers are frequently designed to peel off.

If you have success lifting a corner with the putty knife, use your hands and gently try to remove the wallpaper section from the wall by simply peeling it away from it.

If you are unable to lift a corner or unable to peel the wallpaper away from the wall, or if the backing remains on the wall, apply water or a liquid wallpaper removal solution you can obtain from your local wallpaper store. Apply the water or liquid wallpaper removal solution liberally with a sponge, spray bottle, or paint roller on the wallpaper and to the point where the wall is saturated.

Note that if the wallpaper has a plastic or vinyl laminate over it you may need to first lightly scrape/scratch it to enable the water or removal solution to penetrate into the backing and glue layers.

Note that wallpaper work is messy and dusty. In addition wallpaper removal solutions can have fumes that may irritate your sinuses and lungs. Make sure you work in a well-ventilated area and wear proper clothing, including gloves. Also make sure you wear safety goggles when removing wallpaper.

The wallpaper will absorb the water/liquid and the glue will begin to loosen up. Once this has occurred again use a wallpaper scraper or putty knife, as well as your hands, and begin removing the wallpaper.

Wallpaper Steamer

Another alternative for the removal of wallpaper is to rent a wallpaper steamer. A wallpaper steamer similarly applies water to the wallpaper, however it is extremely hot water. After steam heating an area of wallpaper use your hands and wallpaper scraper to remove the wallpaper from the walls. Note that wallpaper steamers are messy and a little dangerous so definitely try the above-mentioned alternatives prior to resorting to the wallpaper steamer.

Preparing Walls for new Wallpaper or Paint

After you have removed all of the wallpaper, wipe the walls down with a warm damp sponge to remove any glue from the wall.

Make sure you frequently rinse out the sponge to remove as much of the wallpaper glue as possible.

Once the wall has dried lightly sandpaper the walls to remove any residual glue.

If you plan to replace the wallpaper you should be at a point where you can now install it. If, however, you plan on painting the walls you should first apply one coat of primer and then lightly sand the primer.

For help on finding a wood flooring installation contractor, see’s Wood Flooring Installation Bid Sheet. It will help ensure that you find and hire the right flooring installation contractor for your wood flooring project. In addition, it will help to ensure that your wood floor installation is completed on time and on budget.

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