Removing wallpaper, while not a fun task, can be done quickly and easily if you are prepared. A word of warning upfront though: if you have a wallpaper removal project ahead of you, you’re in for a bit of work. During this project you may run into some tough spots and problem areas so make sure you set aside a good amount of time for it.
You first should remove everything from the room that can be removed including furniture and rugs where possible. With the room now emptied make sure you cover the floor with a drop cloth where you will be working as this will aid in cleanup later.
The wallpaper removal tools you will need are:
• Goggles or safety glasses
• Glue Dissolving Agent
• Blunt Scraper
• Sharp Scraper
Goggles and a mask are first on the list for safety. There will be little pieces of paper (who knows how old) with who knows what kind of glue on it, flying, falling and dripping all over the place. Actually whenever you are doing any work it is always best to wear safety glasses and a mask.
The perforator is pretty simple to use and I can’t underestimate the importance of the perforator. They come in a couple of styles and sizes. Get the one that is most appropriate to the amount of paper you have to remove. You roll it around on the wall with a slight amount of pressure and it perforates the paper which allows moisture to get through the paper and at the glue to dissolve it. Be careful though not to use too much pressure, as you do not want to dig into the wall itself.
When using wallpaper removal solutions, commercial products work well. But I’ve had good results with warm water and vinegar or fabric softener. If you are going to use the commercial products, be sure to follow their instructions as to mixture ratios. For the vinegar solution, 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water is sufficient for most glues. Add more vinegar if you are having difficulties. For fabric softener a cup in a gallon of water works well. It seems to me that sometimes one works better than the other (depending on the type of wall paper you’re dealing with), so have supplies for both on hand and if one isn’t working all that well, try the second one.
Ok, so we’re ready to start soaking the walls. Pick a spot, not too large, and get it thoroughly wet with your sponge and solution. Some people like to use a sprayer as well, but I find the sponge and a little pressure works better. Don’t be shy about wetting the wall. Your solution needs to soak through the paper and loosen the glue. You may have to repeat this step depending on your situation. If your wall paper is the vinyl coated kind try pulling the surface vinyl off first. Sometimes it will come off in good size pieces. This will just leave the paper backing which with a warm water solution usually comes off pretty easy.
Now comes the scraping. Try using a blunt scraper or putty knife
to start with. You want to avoid nicking or gouging the wall underneath which will save the trouble of patching and spackling later on. Use slow even strokes to remove the paper. If it is loose enough it will simply peel off the wall. If not, try wetting it down again. If this isn’t working well, you may have to switch to the sharp scraper. If you do, be very careful of both your fingers and the wall!
Once all the paper if off, you may have to repeat this process to remove extra layers of paper or even a glue layer that may be left behind. You need to get all the way down to the plaster or drywall. After all the paper is gone then you can spackle any nicks or holes smooth, clean up the mess and you’re ready to paint them their brand new color.
Congratulations on a job well done.