Tips for Taking Down Wallpaper
Can you believe the homeowners are not loving the blue and mauve floral border?
Removing wallpaper, even a border, can be time consuming if it wasn't hung properly. Specifically, if the walls weren't sized before the paper was hung. If you are lucky you'll be able to pull the top layer of paper off in one swift move by simply grabbing a corner and tugging, leaving the backing of the paper in place. I wasn't lucky.
I took a twelve week class in wallpapering years ago and the instructor, the owner of a small wallpaper store, cautioned against the use of a steamer as they can be messy and actually there is a real possibility of getting a burn. (I didn't listen and tried for myself once, she was right. I'll spare you the details of the wet mess left on my floor and the burns I encountered from the steam.) She also said that special products for removing wallpaper are an expense that you can avoid by simply using very hot water for moistening the paste that's holding the paper in place.
If you are going to remove wallpaper I recommend that you have these supplies on hand:
-A tool for scrapping
-A long handled mop
-Paper grocery bags or lined trash can for depositing wet paper
-A tool for scoring your paper
The Paper Tiger is available where wallpapering supplies are sold and costs around $10.
Step 1. If the top layer of paper doesn't come off easily your first step will be to score your paper so that water can penetrate through. (If the top layer is easily removed, move on to step 2.) I like to use my Paper Tiger (shown above) because it quickly creates dozens of tiny perforations in the paper when run over the surface and doesn't damage walls.
The Handy Guys
Step 2: With your drop cloth in place you'll want to thoroughly wet your wall with very hot water. To avoid the need to climb up and down a ladder I like to use a long handled mop. This saves time and also allows you to cover a larger surface in a shorter amount of time. Keep your extra towels handy for the drips you will inevitably encounter.
Step 3: Once the walls are thoroughly soaked you will want to wait 10-15 minutes for the water to penetrate the lining of the paper. This will make the paper come away from the wall quicker, in large sections rather than tiny strips. If the paste isn't activated the paper will cling to the wall and it will take much scraping to yield the tiniest of results.
A spray bottle is excellent for soaking small sections of your walls and less messy than a sponge.
Step 4: Now it's time to start scraping. Keep a paper grocery bag or lined trash can nearby to dispose of the wet strips of paper that you remove. This saves on clean up later and also prevents the possibility of slipping on a piece of paste-covered paper.
This is a job that can go much faster if you work in a team of two. Team Member #1 can keep a step ahead of Team Member #2 by keeping the walls saturated so that paper easily comes off in large sections.
If previous steps are followed, paper should come off in large sections.
Precision Painting Plus
Step 5: Once the bulk of the paper is removed you'll likely find there are sections where small amounts of paper and/or backing remain on the walls. You may find it easier to use your spray bottle of water to saturate these areas rather than your mop.
Step 6: Once all of your paper is removed there will be paste on the walls. You will again need to saturate the walls with very hot water to remove all of the paste. Wearing rubber gloves, use a sponge to wipe down the walls. Work in small sections until the area is free of residue. When you are finished, remove your gloves and run your hand over the wall to be sure that no sticky residue remains.
Bottom line, wallpaper removal is messy and time consuming but it's a job that requires no special skill. This is a project that can be done in stages; there's no need to finish the job in a single day or weekend. If your budget for a room makeover is tight and wallpaper removal is a necessity, save your money and tackle this one yourself.
Found on: pinterest.com adan archive.org