Depends on what you are going to do afterward - repaper or paint (with or
without texture). I'm in the process of stripping wallpaper from about
$1800 sq ft of house and retexturing/painting. Some of the wallpaper is 3
layers of progressively ugly wallpaper thick. :-)
If you want to repaper, maybe you'll be lucky and find it is peelable and/or
strippable. Then all you have to do is peel a corner loose and pull - nice
long strips should come free, leaving the paper backing behind. Once you've
peeled everything off, make sure all seams are tight and then you can size
If you want to paint -- or if your wallpaper is not peelable/strippable --
you will have a harder job. You should score it and then either rent or buy
a steamer and go section by section - steaming in order to melt the glue and
then pulling the paper off. DON'T tear off what you can first - big mistake
as you then are left with tons of little bits to pull off after steaming
(BTDT)! Once that is all done you can either sponge the remaining glue off
the wall, repair any damaged spots and then either prime or texture.
I've stripped a lot of wallpaper, but never used a steamer. If the
surface doesn't peel off as Laurie describes, I score it with extra
coarse sandpaper, running it lightly across the paper surface and being
careful not to dig into the wall. Spray warm water a couple of times,
waiting about 5-10 minutes each time for it to soak into the
paper/paste. Scoring across, rather than vertically, helps keep the
spray from running down the wall. Start peeling/scraping, always taking
care not to gouge the wall. It will probably take repeats of this step
to get all the paper off, and it is messy, but work at one strip at a
time. Put down plastic and an old towel or newspaper to help soak up
the mess. It isn't necessary to get every last bit of paste off if you
are going to repaper, but it often shows through paint because of the
texture left behind by paper. I usually wait until the day after
removing paper to wash it down and remove the last of the paste just to
give the wallboard a rest and keep it from being damaged by the
moisture. Only once have I run into wallpaper paste that didn't soften
quickly with water, but it did eventually wash off. .... Windex helped.
I don't think there is really a good way
to do it. But, my neighbor, who is a
professional handyman, uses steam and
swears by it. The other thing is a
unit called a "paper tiger". This
little unit puts small hole in the
allow water or steam to get through the
surface to the glue. It does not
put marks in the wall behind. Check it
out at the local home center.
I had no problem removing a bunch of vintage 1950 wallpaper by soaking
it, then scraping and peeling as much as I could off. Then I used one
of those green pads and Awesome cleaner (spray bottle from the dollar
store). It probably helped that I was getting it off plaster and not
I won't argue with renting a steamer, but water from the faucet is so
simple :o) I looked at a paper tiger at the store and didn't like the
little holes. Coarse sandpaper with slice the surface and the
horizontal slices help retain the water sprayed on. Cheaper than a p.t.
LISTEN TO ME! I removed a ton of wallpaper from a 1800 sf house.
There are a couple of things you'll need: A sprayer (can be one like sprays
windex, or the larger garden type) scrapers, a paper tiger, and that's about
Spray the water on, and let it have time to work. Around five minutes. You
don't want to spray it too much, nor wait until it all turns to mush, so
after five minutes, try to peel it off. The top layer may come off, leaving
a tan second layer. This is good because you can then spray that layer, and
when you see it turn darker by absorbing water, you know it's time to take
that off. Mostly, you'll know by the look of the thing if the water is
soaked in enough. Take it in about one yard square sections.
Scrapers: I like the plastic drywall mud scrapers about three inches wide.
The one I had that worked the best was a plain old metal burger flipper.
Something about the edge. Whatever you use, be extremely careful so you
don't gouge into the drywall, or you'll be fixing that, too. Use wet cloths
to wipe off the glue, the third step. You can see how much glue is left by
looking at the wall at an angle. If the wall is soaked, you don't want to
do a lot of rubbing. just let it dry out a bit. Rinse rag frequently.
Unless you really get the hang of it quick, or have a good touch, you're
gonna leave SOME marks. Easily fixed. What you don't want to do is leave a
lot of glue particles on there that will show through the new paint.
Prepare surface for future coatings, be they paint or more wallpaper.
I'll start by saying I hate wallpaper and those designers on TV that
put it on... makes me feel like nails on a chalk board!
I tried the steamer, so did my wife, we retired it. If it works for
you, great, but it didn't for me and the whole room was too humid.
I peeled the first 'decrative layer and was left with the brown paper
only (and glue)
Soak it let stand then scrape. (apperently the fabric softer works but
I didn't bother) all the posts here have one thing in common... water!
Once done go over the walls with TSP to remove the rest of the glue
The first step is DAGS.
Yours is not the first eruption of such a question, nor even the
millionth. Much has been written, for the benefit of all who'll research it.
You can even search on TOH- they have a video.
Then, having digested such, one can form quality questions.
IMHO, this is just basic courtesy.
Ron Lyle wrote:
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