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Posted By Textbook Painting on 09/20/2023

Helpful Wallpaper Removal Tips

Helpful Wallpaper Removal Tips

Are you dreading the prospect of wallpaper removal? While it might seem like a daunting task, with the right approach, you can easily bid farewell to that old wallpaper and transform your space. In this article, we'll walk you through the steps to make wallpaper removal a breeze.

Assess the Situation

Before you dive into wallpaper removal, consider whether it's truly necessary. Leaving wallpaper intact can save you time and effort, especially if you're not ready to tackle potential wall issues just yet. The added advantage? Painting over existing wallpaper is a quicker way to freshen up your space. However, be aware that seams, textures, or patterns from the wallpaper may still show through the paint, leaving your project looking less than perfect. Additionally, the moisture from paint can loosen the wallpaper adhesive, leading to peeling or bubbling. To avoid this, it's often better to remove the wallpaper altogether.

Prepare Your Workspace

Regardless of the removal method you choose, expect some mess. Begin by clearing the room of all wall decorations and as much furniture as possible. Protect your remaining belongings by covering them with drop cloths or tarps. To prevent scraps from spreading, lay towels along the baseboards and secure plastic drop cloths over them. Plan for a full day to complete wallpaper removal in an average-sized room.

Choose the Right Method

The ease of wallpaper removal largely depends on the type of wallpaper you have. Some wallpapers are designed to be strippable or peelable. To check if yours is one of them, gently lift a corner with a scraper and peel it off. If it comes off easily, continue this process for each strip, then wash the walls with warm water or solvent to remove any remaining adhesive.

Another easily removable wallpaper type is the washable kind. Score the paper with a scoring tool or serrated scraper, soak it with warm water using a sponge or rag, and wait for the water to loosen the adhesive. Then, scrape it off carefully to avoid damaging the walls.

Steam It Away

Steam is another method, although it's less commonly used due to its disadvantages. It can be time-consuming and carries the risk of burns. Renting a steamer is advisable, as buying one might not be practical for a one-time use. Simply heat the water in the steamer, hold the hose over the wallpaper, and slowly move it down the wall. The steam will loosen the adhesive, allowing you to scrape off the paper. Work in small patches for better results, and always wash the walls thoroughly afterward.

Liquid or Gel Removal

The most common method for wallpaper removal involves using a liquid or gel removal agent mixed with water. This method is similar to removing washable wallpaper. Score the paper if it has a water-resistant coating, then apply the solvent using a sponge, rag, spray bottle, or paint roller. Wait for 20-30 minutes, as per the manufacturer's recommendations, for the paper to loosen. Be patient, as scraping too soon can damage the walls. 

 Prime and Paint

Once you've removed all the wallpaper and cleaned the walls of any adhesive residue, it's time to prime. Use an oil-based primer to seal any remaining glue, preventing it from reacting with latex paint, which can lead to cracking and chipping. Finish by applying two coats of high-quality latex paint. 

With these steps in mind, you can confidently embark on your wallpaper removal journey, creating a fresh canvas for your next interior design project. Say goodbye to the old and hello to a refreshed, vibrant space!

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