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Need To Remove Wallpaper? Here's How

Sep 15, 2008
Do you have old, outdated wallpaper in your home but just don't know how to remove it? This is a task that can be intimidating for most homeowners. In the following article we will discuss the best method for removing wallpaper.

To start with, if the wall behind the wallpaper has already been primed or painted it will make the wallpaper much less complicated to remove, but if there is unpainted drywall under the wallpaper, that is when the job will become harder. The reason is because if you remove wallpaper from unpainted drywall it can damage the wall by tearing the paper backing off of the drywall. If this happens you must repair the wall using joint compound . Once you have removed a section of wallpaper, check and see if the wall has been primed or painted. If not, you will need to be very careful not to cause any unnecessary damage to the drywall.

There are several items that you will need before you start. You will need wallpaper remover solution. I prefer to use a remover called DIF. It is an excellent wallpaper remover and does not stain your walls. It is available at most paint and hardware stores. You will also need a metal scraper, a plastic squirt bottle or a garden sprayer and a couple of pieces of sandpaper.

To begin, start by placing all of the furniture in the center of the room and away from the walls and cover it with plastic drop cloths. You will also need to cover all flooring with drop cloths, unless you are working in an area with tile floors in which case you can leave the floors exposed.

To begin removing the wallpaper, starting in a corner and pull a piece of wallpaper away from the wall. Often, you can remove all of the wallpaper very easy and all you will have to do is remove the glue residue. Depending on the type of wallpaper, you may be able to remove several sections and be left with some stubborn areas which you will need to use a wallpaper removal solution. Before using the removal solution, remove as much of the wallpaper as you can while it is still dry.

Apply the wallpaper removal solution using a squirt bottle or a garden sprayer. Begin by spraying the wall at the top and move in approximately four foot sections. Continue until you have saturated the wall. Be careful not to use too much because you can damage your drywall if it gets too wet.

Using a scraper, begin scraping away the wallpaper and glue residue from the wall. Be certain not to nick the wet drywall with your scraper. Continue this step until you have removed all of the wallpaper and glue. If you have glue residue that does not come off easily, take some sandpaper and sand it off. Start with a rough grit sandpaper and as the glue dissolves, switch to a fine grit sandpaper. You will probably have to use several sheets of sandpaper because the glue will diminish the sandpapers effectiveness after a short period of time.

Sometimes when the wallpaper does not seem to be coming off of the wall, you may have to use a scoring tool to remove the remaining wallpaper. You can purchase a scoring tool at most hardware or paint supply stores. Score the wallpaper using the scoring tool so that the wallpaper removal solution can penetrate the wallpaper and loosen the glue. Use a scoring tool only if it is necessary because often you can cause damage to the drywall when scoring the wallpaper.

After removing all of the wallpaper and glue, if you are going to paint the walls instead of hanging more wallpaper, you must prime the walls so that the new paint will properly adhere to the surface.

Removing wallpaper is a difficult job, so take your time and follow these guidelines and I believe you will be happy with the outcome.
About the Author
The author is the owner of Evans Painting in Birmingham Alabama and has over twenty five years experience as a professional painting contractor. For more information visit Evans Painting
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