Preparing the Room
Removing wallpaper makes a mess; there are no two ways about it. Start the process by removing your furniture from the room. Next, strip the room of vents, outlet covers, and anything else on the walls. Cover any created openings with plastic and tape and turn off the electricity. Finally, tape plastic to your baseboards and let it overhang onto the floor. Place towels over the plastic and you’re finished. Trust us: you’ll be thankful for that water barrier later in this process.
Peeling starts at the wallpaper edges, so find an outlet or room corner and get to work. Your first goal is to remove the wallpaper facing, or the decorative part of the wallpaper. Consider a putty knife to lift stubborn edges.
If you’re lucky, large sheets of paper might come off, but more than likely only small pieces will sheer off. Use 45 degree pulls for the best chance of peeling large strips.
The Wallpaper Backing
Now, it’s time for the messy part. Use a sponge or floor mop to apply water to the wallpaper backing. You’ll know you’re at the backing when only a thin white material remains. Let the water soak in for 15 minutes, and then, attempt to remove the backing. Stubborn backing might take several water applications to soften the glue.
Never use more water than the backing will absorb. Drywall is susceptible to moisture and can soften to the point of disrepair. Working in small sections ensures that the backing is wet enough to remove, and it keeps the drywall from absorbing too much moisture.
Next, take a metal spatula or putty knife and scrape away the wet backing. Always use tools with rounded edges or you’ll risk puncturing the drywall while scraping. The majority of the backing should scrape away fairly easily.
The Finishing Touches
Your final step is to remove any small bits of excess glue or leftover backing. This is easily accomplished with a chemical wallpaper remover. Follow the instructions of the remover (mix with water or use as-is), and scrape off the remaining paste. For stubborn backing, you can apply the chemical remover before the initial removal step.
End the process by spraying the wall with water one last time, and then shining a light directly on the wall. This will reveal any missed glue. Take a sander to the remaining glue spots, and your job is done.
Following these steps will have your walls bare and ready for the painters in no time. Removing wallpaper only takes a little time and effort.
If you’re in need of quality painting professionals in the Boulder or Denver area, get in touch with us. We’d love to replace your old wallpaper with an interior painting masterpiece.
“Brel is amazing! We had him and his crew paint the entire interior of our house. It was a pretty big job and there were many details. I really enjoyed working with Brel and his crew throughout the process. Brel was on our job site almost everyday and really seemed to care a great deal that things came out right. I would definitely recommend him and we are planning to use his service for future paint jobs that we have.” – Greg Jerum