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How To Remove Old Wallpaper

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Wallpaper has come a long way since its inception in the 17th century. There are endless design possibilities today, from subtle textures to bold patterns. And while you can use wallpaper to make a statement, you can also use it to create a feeling of warmth and coziness.

In addition, wallpaper is durable and easy to clean, making it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas like hallways and entryways. Although it’s easy to see the appeal of wallpaper, removing it can be daunting. If you’re planning on giving your walls a makeover, you have come to the right place! This article will provide tips and tricks for removing old wallpaper. Keep reading to learn more!

Gather Your Supplies


Wallpaper removal can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! You can return your walls to their original glory with the right supplies and a little elbow grease. The first thing you’ll need to do is gather your supplies. For this project, you’ll need:

  • Clean Spray Bottle Or Household Pressure Sprayer
  • Liquid Fabric Softener
  • Tarps Or Plastic Sheeting
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Hot Water
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Liquid Stripper Concentrate
  • Steamer (Optional)
  • Putty Knife Or Wallpaper Scraper
  • Household Vinegar
  • Wallpaper Scoring Tool
  • Coarse-Grit Sandpaper (Optional)

Now that you have all your supplies, it’s time to start!

Step 1. Protect the Floor and Woodwork


One of the most important steps in removing wallpaper is protecting the surrounding areas. This includes the floor and the woodwork. Otherwise, you’ll have a big mess to clean up afterward! The best way to do this is to use a drop cloth or old sheets. Spread them out on the floor and tape them up along the baseboard.

This will catch any loose pieces of wallpaper and make cleanup much easier. Another option is to use painter’s plastic. This is a heavy-duty plastic sheeting that’s available at most hardware stores. It’s specifically for protecting surfaces during painting projects, so it’s ideal for wallpaper removal. Just tape it securely, so it doesn’t shift around during the project.

Step 2. Score the Wallpaper


Once you have the floor and woodwork protected, it’s time to score the wallpaper. This will help the stripper solution penetrate the paper and loosen the adhesive. There are a few different ways to score wallpaper. You can use a scoring tool, or you can use a putty knife or razor blade. Just be careful not to damage the wall beneath!

If you’re using a scoring tool, start at one corner of the room and work your way around. Apply moderate pressure as you go. You should see small perforations appearing in the paper. You’ll need to be more careful if you’re using a putty knife or razor blade. Press firmly but gently as you run the blade along the surface of the wallpaper. You don’t want to puncture the wall beneath!

Step 3. Apply the Stripper Solution


Once you have scored the wallpaper, it’s time to apply the stripper solution. This will help loosen the adhesive and make removal much more manageable. You can use a store-bought wallpaper stripper or make your own using fabric softener and hot water. If you’re using a store-bought stripper, follow the instructions on the package. If you’re making your own, mix 1 cup of fabric softener with 1 gallon of hot water in a clean spray bottle or pressure sprayer.

Then, thoroughly saturate the scored wallpaper with the solution. Be sure to wear rubber gloves while you work to protect your hands! After you have applied the stripper solution, let it sit for at least 15 minutes. This will give the solution time to penetrate the paper and loosen the adhesive. If you’re not in a hurry, let it sit for longer. Just be sure not to let it dry out!

Step 4. Remove the Wallpaper


Once the stripper solution has had a chance to work, it’s time to remove the wallpaper. There are a few different ways to do this. You can use a putty knife or wallpaper scraper to scrape it off or a steamer to loosen and remove it. If you’re using a putty knife or scraper, start at the top of the wall and work down.

Use a gentle back-and-forth motion as you scrape off the wallpaper. Try not to gouge or damage the wall beneath! If you’re using a steamer, start in one corner of the room and slowly move across the wall. The steam will help loosen the adhesive and make removal much easier. However, be cautious when handling the steamer, as the steam can be very hot!

Step 5. Clean Up


Once you have removed the wallpaper, it’s time to clean up. This includes removing the floor and woodwork protection, as well as any residue left behind by the stripper solution. First, simply peel off the tape and plastic sheeting to remove the floor and woodwork protection. Then, fold it up and dispose of it in a trash bag.

To remove stripper residue:

  1. Mix 1 cup of vinegar with 1 gallon of hot water in a clean bucket.
  2. Use a sponge or mop to apply the solution to the walls.
  3. Wipe away any residue, and rinse the sponge or mop frequently.
  4. Once you finish, allow the walls to air dry completely.

Start Removing Old Wallpaper Today!

Now that you know how to remove old wallpaper, it’s time to start! Although it may seem daunting initially, with these tips, you’ll have that old wallpaper removed in no time! So what are you waiting for? Get started today!