Best products to remove wallpaper?

decoratorgirlMarch 20, 2009

Have tried spraying Downy fabric softener mixed w/ hot water to remove wallpaper affixed 20+ yrs. Instead of paying the sheetrock technician several hundred dollars to patch, I'm considering covering with venetian plaster application. Any comments are much appreciated!

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Rent a wallpape steamer after using a paper tiger. If the wall wasn't properly primed and sized before application, even that won't work without pulling of some drywall chunks.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 10:02PM
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I had the joy of removing layers of wallpaper at a friends place once. Time and water was the solution. We used a small furry time painter's roller, warm water, soaked the darn stuff (and I mean soaked), took a break, then started peeling. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 10:22PM
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Slowly removing wallpaper from 1980 on walls not primed and sized before application. I score a section, soak with really hot water, apply full strength Dif with a spray bottle, and start to gently peel and scrap. Mine is coming off in two layers so I repeat all but the scoring a second time. Then a third (and 4th) time to get off the glue residue. I work each weekend but rest my neck and arm muscles during the week! I'm through the mud room, almost through the kitchen and still have a powder room and full bath to go. Only my paper in the two story front foyer will stay and I will NOT put in any new paper. I am not missing the bunnies and flowers one bit.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 11:35PM
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After several bottles of DIF and many gouged walls, I bought a steamer. Best investment of my life!! I will never remove wallpaper without one again. Scoring the paper first is an additional help.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 11:48PM
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We just took down MILES of 1960s wallpaper in our home. It was stuck to bare, unprimed/painted plaster. (It would have had other wallpaper prior to this, so someone went to the effort to take down the original paper, and then put new stuff right over the old plaster. Sigh...)

Anyway, we used a wallpaper tiger, a rented steamer (from Ace) and a few good scrapers. It was slow going, but did the trick. The steamer was worth its weight in gold!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 12:08AM
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We tried steaming, the tiger and everything else we could find a suggestion for to no avail in another house. I don't know what the paper hanger did with that paper, but if we continued, we would have had to replace the sheetrock rather than repair. We sealed the seams and mudded them to smooth them, primed with KILZ and then put the new finish on top of that. We applied new wallpaper in some areas and painted in others -- both worked fine.

You only want to do that with a single layer of paper and a plain paper. You are basically making that paper the new top of the sheetrock and bonding it permanently. If you have a flocked, textured, vinyl or other special covering, it won't work.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 12:21PM
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What works best will really depend on the type of glue that the wall paper has. We removed two types of wall paper from out front entry (both of which had been there 15-20 yrs), and one type had a gummy glue that Dif worked wonders on. The other kind had a pasty glue that the Dif didn't touch. Hot water is what we used, but a steamer would have been really effective.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 6:42PM
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After trying many methods I had the best luck with downey, vinegar and water. It is a terrible job. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 8:08PM
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This is how I did it (Full kitchen, dining area and great room: (pasted vinyl, one layer and borders forever) I used a bottle mister with plain water to dampen it, then used a steamer (bought from lowe's or home depot - great investment) without the attachment (which leaks all over). Without the attachments, the steamer looks like a vacuum without it's attachments. It has a trigger mechanism which allows you to really shoot the steam where you need it. It was pretty powerful and was well controlled. I did go through a tank of water about every 20 minutes, but I wasn't complaining, previously, years ago I had used my iron and wet towels to steam the stupid stuff off (foil paper in the bathroom)!

Start at the seams or along the top, soak a whole couple of lengths of paper. When you get back to the beginning and use the steam, it kind of works like (almost) magic. You do have to figure out how long to keep the steam on each area, just keep going over the damp area for a bit and then start the seam/corner with a knife. Keep the steam going on each area as you pull each sheet down. Keep a small putty knife or pocket knife handy to help start each corner/seam... I found that scoring with a tiger just caused it to rip more often.

The key is patience...or getting someone else to do it! You'll be an expert by the time you're done. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 1:01PM
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I gave up on removing grass cloth that was 16 feet up all my walls. It was not sized and the glue was like a clay mixture. What a mess! We removed the first layer of the paper ourselves. We had someone skim coat the walls and they came out great.

The master bedroom had perfect wallpaper and it would not come off the wall with out great damage to the Sheetrock. We used a product called seal grip and then primed and painted right over the paper. You could not tell at all. There was no way of getting the paper off.

I did try dif, softener, steamer, paper tiger etc. I just think some paper is on there for life. The other rooms in the house came down no problem. We bought a 30 year old home completely covered in ugly wallpaper in each room. I feel for you.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 3:13PM
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