Thursday, January 13, 2011

How To: Remove Wallpaper.

Sorry readers, this post really isn't that fun. On the Scale of Interesting (1 being the least, 10 being the most) it's about a -73. But what is fun and interesting is the after. And to get to the after, you have to remove the wallpaper if your before looked like this.

I'm sure a lot of readers have wallpaper that is plaguing their domestic existence. In a few hours, it can be removed and your walls can be painted a fresh coat of any shade under the sun. And how's that for fun?!



1. Fill pressure sprayer with hot water. Spray all areas of wallpaper you want to remove. You can use a water bottle, but it will take longer. I would recommend a pressure sprayer for any job larger than a small powder room.
2. Spray the stripper on all areas of wallpaper you want to remove. After I sprayed the walls, I spread it with my hands for a minute to make sure all areas were sufficiently covered. The walls should look wet.

3. Wait. Be patient and allow the stripper to do its job. Go watch a show, make yourself a cocktail, anything! This is the easy part. Enjoy.
4. Start at a seam at the top of your wall. If you're lucky (and patient) you may be able to remove an entire panel at once. This was not the case for me- just remove as much as possible. Then, with the putty knife, loosen an edge and continue pulling the paper off.

5. Sometimes the top decorative layer of paper comes off, but you are left with a white layer of paper underneath. This happened often for me.

With a warm, wet rag, rub the paper. I also began spraying Windex on this layer and letting it soak in for about a minute. With a putty knife, loosen an edge and the paper should peel right off.

6. After all of your wallpaper seems to be removed, remove all remaining pieces of white paper. Again, I took Windex and sprayed all areas of remaining paper. Then with the putty knife, I removed it all.

7. There will be a layer of wallpaper glue residue once all the paper is removed. With your stripper and the more abrasive side of your sponge, scrub the walls to get this off. I used windex for this step because I was out of stripper and it worked very well. For areas that were extra thick, I used the putty knife to scrape off the glue. Make sure you remove all glue in this step, as it will ensure a clean, smooth wall when you go to paint.

Pieces of advice:

The wetter the better! When the paper was thoroughly wet, it came off in larger pieces and much more easily.

Windex was my hero. The dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding was onto something. Windex not only wet the paper, it also seemed to cut through the wallpaper glue really well. This might not be technical advice, but it worked wonders for me!

And now there are clean walls to start the fun part of this bathroom makeover.

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