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best way to remove wallpaper

Posted by steve-u (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 15, 08 at 21:25

Need some advice and guidance.

Just took possesion of a house the is wallpapered throughout!!! i'm thinking it was done in the late 70's early 80's. none of it is textured and appears to be peeling away from the walls at the seems.

Whats the best way to remove the wallpaper?
should i steam the walls and spray to disolve the glue??

Or will i need to use that roller that makes lots of little holes in the wallpaper?

any help would be great.

thanks in advance


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: best way to remove wallpaper

In my experience, the best way to remove wallpaper is to try the easiest way first, then move to the more involved ways if the first doesn't work.

What I've found in my 70s/80s houses is that I can peel off either all of the paper or at least the top layer. Once the top layer is off, you can spray the bottom layer with water, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then peel the bottom layer off. This way, I can peel off large pieces and I don't have to rent any tools or buy any special chemicals.

Do NOT use the roller that makes little holes - that makes the paper come off in very small pieces and also leaves marks in the drywall (I assume it's drywall) underneath. Depending on what you plan on doing once you remove the paper, you may want to avoid as many nicks/gouges in the drywall as possible.


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RE: best way to remove wallpaper

I had a horrific time trying to remove 90's wallpaper border from my bathroom, bedroom and dining room. I got something called Wallwick and it made it so easy. You need to score the paper with a Paper Tiger, but go gently b/c it will puncture the wallboard. you soak the wallwick in warm water and put it over the paper. Leave it for about an hour and the paper comes off easily.

Here is a link that might be useful: wallwick info


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RE: best way to remove wallpaper

I've had to do my share of wallpaper removal as our situation is similar to yours with the purchase of a 70's house.

Here's what I've done. Grab the loose corners and peel off as much as you can of the paper while it's dry. Next, sponge the surface with hot water out of the tap. Let it sit a few minutes, then peel as much as you can. You might have to repeat the sponging to get most of it off. When you've peeled all you can, keep the surface moist, start scraping with a broad bladed putty knife to get the residual paper and glue off. This part is yucky-keep a trash can and paper towels nearby.

There are some solvents that are supposed to dissolve the paste, but I've never had much luck with them.

Let the surface dry and see what's left. If you still see a lot of little paper pieces or glue spots, moisten and scrape again. If not, then sand the surface as smooth as possible with one of those hand sanders you put the screen into - use fine screen.

Hopefully the walls were primed before the paper was applied so eventually, you'll get down to the primer and the wall will be smooth. If it wasn't primed, then be gentle with the scraping and sanding.

Skim coat or spackle uneven spots, if necessary. Sand smooth. Roll on a latex primer (SW PrepRite Classic is good).

Then apply your finish coat.

It's not a fun job, but if you cut corners, then the surface just won't look nice when you put your finish coat on.

If perchance you want to wallpaper, make sure you put on the wall coating that's meant to go under wallpaper to make it come off easier when you want to redo it.


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RE: best way to remove wallpaper

Skim coat or spackle uneven spots, if necessary. Sand smooth. Roll on a latex primer (SW PrepRite Classic is good).

If you do not get ALL the residual paste off the walls, latex primer is not the way to go.

Here is a link that might be useful: removal


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RE: best way to remove wallpaper

I just removed 80s vinyl wallpaper from my bathroom and here's what I did:

1. Remove as much of the vinyl as possible (top layer) Dont use a scoring tool just makes it come off in tiny pieces and youll be cursing your way through the project!
2. Spay mixture of 50/50 water and vinegar (smelly, I know) and set for a few minutes. Worked WAAAY better than DiF.
3. Scrap off remaining paper. I used a Zinsser scrapper that had a replaceable blade - great little tool!
4. Clean walls with hot water solution
5. Guardz the drywall (assuming thats what underneath)
6. Mud any areas that need it
8. A light sand and wipe down with a tac cloth
7. Guardz again to seal new j/c (also acts as a primer)

Wall is ready to go!

I wont lie, it took me a while and maybe there are other techniques out there that are quicker, but I got a great result doing the above steps. Like everything it takes time. Remember, quality is all in the detail!


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RE: best way to remove wallpaper

I have also used fabric softener (any brand). I used it full strength with a spray bottle. Some say to mix it with water then spray. I scored the wallpaper first. Removed as much of the paper as possible and then sprayed the area. Wallpaper is a job regardless!


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RE: best way to remove wallpaper

I have had good luck with the steamers but it's slow.


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RE: best way to remove wallpaper

Just finished taking down two coats of wallpaper in our game room, and here is my experience.
Time and HOT water are the two most important elements. I found that a solution of 50/50 hot water and store-brand laundry softener worked better than DIF. I applied it with a garden sprayer (which was very, very easy and you don't end up with water running down your arms).

The wallpaper will come off in two layers -the outside decorative layer and the backing (which is probably the color of cardboard, but might be white). Try taking the decorative outside paper off dry. If the paper is caulked at the bottom, slice through the caulk with a utility knife and then use that bottom edge to pull up and off. If straggle pieces of the top remain, don't worry about them for now. Take the entire top layer off all around the room if it comes off dry. Now all the walls have the backing showing. Spray an area about four feet wide, floor to ceiling with HOT 50/50 mixture of laundry softener and water. Use a piece of the thinnest plastic dropcloth you can get, cut to about the size of your area, and press it against the wet wall by smoothing it on with your hands. WALK AWAY and let it sit for ten minutes. Use a wallpaper scraper and just lightly push the backing off. It will probably lift up and come off in big pieces quite easily if you do it this way. Finally, use a large damp sponge to clean the surface of glue. If you rush the process, you are going to end up digging into your wallboard, (because the backing will be more stubborn.) And then you'll just have to spend time afterwards repairing the gouges you made.

When you go back to your wet/plastic dropcloth covered area, spray the next area, then slide the plastic over onto that area. That way, it's ready to go when you are done with the first area.

Lightly sand (100 grit) the entire surface after you take all the paper down. Vacuum and wipe down with a damp rag. Prime, and paint.


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RE: best way to remove wallpaper

I have spent the last two days peeling little tiny bits of wallpaper off my walls, soaking the undercoating with warm water and dawn solution then scraping for hours trying to get my wallpaper off my walls! I "googled" removing tough wallpaper and saw a product called Wallwik. I then wondered if Paper Towels would work instead of their paper. Low and behold, paper towels do the trick!

Here is my solution: 1) score the paper; 2) spray it down with warm water; 3) place paper towels over the scored area and spray them down with the water; 4) spray again in about 5 minutes; 5) spray again in another 5 minutes; 6) 5 minutes after that take the paper towels off and scrape the wallpaper off with your scraper (I am using a plastic putty knife). The wallpaper should come down in huge strips and chunks with very few stray pieces left on the wall! Pretty easy!


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