Wallpaper Removal – The Easy Way!
Once the bane of many an interior design expert, wallpaper has been making a distinct comeback in recent years. With many new interesting styles, patterns and textures, wallpaper today adds significant punch to a room’s design and sets a nice context for your home’s decor.
The problem is if you ever get the idea to change that decor (more specifically, that wallpaper) you’re seemingly up the proverbial creek without a paddle.
Wallpaper has always been seen as incredibly painful to remove and that’s exactly why some homeowners stay far, far away from it. If not done properly, wallpaper removal can leave you with scorched hands and scarred walls in the best of scenarios.
We’ve got a few best-practices tips you may want to review before you strip your next wallpapered room.
Prep the Space: As with any potentially messy job, you want to protect your room from permanent reminders of your DIY mistakes, so start by laying drop cloths at the base of the walls you will be stripping. Also remove any electrical outlet plates (covering the outlets themselves with painter’s tape) and light switch covers. Finally, turn off the power to the room. You’ll be spraying lots of liquid and won’t want to hit those outlets by mistake.
Punch Some Holes In It: Yes, you’ll be punching holes. No, it won’t be in the walls (if you do it correctly, that is). You need to score the surface of with tiny holes meant to perforate the wallpaper and get you access to the glue underneath that makes it so difficult to remove. Use a wallpaper scorer gently and, in a circular motion, score the surface lightly. You don’t want to gouge the drywall behind it, so be very careful.
Saturate the Surface: In a spray bottle, you’ll need to mix a solution of really hot water and fabric softener in equal portions. Commercial products are available on the market, but there are really few options that are as effective as this.
The solution does need to be hot to be effective, so prepare only enough solution to saturate the area you are working with and repeat as you move along. Spray the area thoroughly until it has soaked clean through to the backing.
Strip Strip Strip: From the lower right corner of the sheet you’re working with, gently pull the paper away from the wall. While pulling the paper away, help things along by pressing the edge of a putty knife against the separation point underneath the wallpaper where it meets the wall and push that separation point further along.
You may need to repeat this process and re-saturate the area until the entire sheet is completely removed. Any remaining stubborn pieces can be saturated again with the water/fabric softener solution and gently worked away with the putty knife.
Wash, Rinse and (let) Dry: After the removal of wallpaper, what you’ll likely have left are pockets of residual glue and gunk. Simply apply hot, soapy water with a sponge and gently work it loose until the wall is thoroughly clean. Rinse with warm water and wipe down with a well wrung sponge to remove any excess water. Allow the wall to dry sufficiently and you’re all set.
So with a little hard work and some time and persistence, your walls won’t even show a trace of the coverings that infamously clad your room’s surfaces.
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