Castle Complements Painting Wallpaper Installation Header1200

Wallpaper removal- getting the room ready.

There’s no easy way to remove wallpaper. Sorry, I said it.
Wallpaper removal all comes down to patience and a lot of elbow grease. We often say that by hiring us to remove wallpaper you’ll save your relationship with your significant other.
Wallpaper removal can be frustrating and take a lot of time only to make a big mess and not get the professional results you are looking for.
Follow along with us and learn the best methods for wallpaper removal to make your wallpaper stripping project as smooth as possible.

Wallpaper Removal Process

1- Getting the room ready

Getting a room ready to remove wallpaper is important for protection and safety.
You will be using quite a bit of water to loosen the wallpaper for removal.
The water can damage hardwood floors and rugs if you over-apply by accident.
Water and electricity do not play nice to together so, for safety reasons, you need to protect electrical outlets.
First, you should cover the perimeter of the room with drop cloths. This will keep the scraps of paper and gobs of paste from sticking to your rug or flooring making and even bigger mess to clean up after your walls are clean.
Next, Tape plastic to the wall ½ inch above the baseboard and extend approximately 3 feet onto the floor. This will keep water that runs down the wall from running behind the baseboards and on to the wood floors and carpets. The drop cloths will soak up water and paste residue if it gets by the plastic.
Lastly, because you are using water near electrical outlets you can shut off the power to the room or you can divert the water over the outlets by placing a piece of tape over each outlet like in the picture so that water does not get into the switch or plug.

Castle Complements Painting Wallpaper Getting the Room Ready
Castle Complements Painting Wallpaper Getting the Room Ready
Castle Complements Painting Wallpaper Getting the Room Ready
Castle Complements Painting Wallpaper Getting the Room Ready
Castle Complements Painting Wallpaper Getting the Room Ready
Castle Complements Painting Wallpaper Getting the Room Ready
Castle Complements Painting Wallpaper Type of Paper
Castle Complements Painting Wallpaper Type of Paper
Castle Complements Painting Wallpaper Type of Paper
Castle Complements Painting Wallpaper Type of Paper

2- Determining what type of paper

There are 2 types of wallpaper to check for Peeleable/ Strippable, Non-Peelable/ Non-Strippable

First, try dry peeling the wallpaper. If most of the wallpaper comes off the wall, leaving only paste residue and minimal paper backing, then it is dry strippable wallpaper, which is a solid vinyl covering and the easiest to remove.

If the decorative pattern portion of the wallpaper comes off but leaves a paper layer and paste on the wall, then it is a peelable wallpaper and slightly harder to remove.

If little bits & pieces of wallpaper come off but no large pieces then it falls into the non-peelable category and will have to be scored to remove properly. This process takes the longest and includes foil and mylar wallpaper.

3- Working with the wallpaper

Dry Strippable or Peelable Wallpaper process for removal
Begin working at a seam and try to get under the paper with a wallpaper razor scraper to remove as much of the wallpaper and paper backing as possible.

Mix the wallpaper stripper solution or vinegar with hot water. Follow the directions on the back of the container for appropriate water to stripper proportions. Apply the solution with an appropriate sized hand sprayer or pump sprayer so you can cover more square feet at a time. Typically one to two gallons of solution is enough as you want to keep the water as hot as possible. Mix additional batches as needed.

Apply the solution from the ceiling to the floor. You want to get it wet but not so much water applied that there are puddles on the floor. Let soak long enough for the paste/paper to soften. You may have to wet the area two to three times waiting 15-20 minutes between each wetting.

Use a wallpaper razor scraper, broad knife, and/or scouring pad to aid in removing paper and paste from the walls working from the bottom up. Repeat step as many times as necessary until you have all the wallpaper removed.

Rinse walls with clean warm water to remove any paste/paper residue. Alternatively, you can sand the walls to remove any paste/paper residue once completely dry so it doesn’t gum up and fill the sandpaper.

Castle Complements Painting Wallpaper Working the Paper
Castle Complements Painting Wallpaper Working the Paper
Castle Complements Painting Wallpaper Working the Paper IMG_92476
Castle Complements Painting Wallpaper Working the Paper
Castle Complements Painting Peelable Non Strippable Wallpaper IMG_92646
Castle Complements Painting Peelable Non Strippable Wallpaper
Castle Complements Painting Peelable Non Strippable Wallpaper IMG_92666
Castle Complements Painting Peelable Non Strippable Wallpaper
Castle Complements Painting Peelable Non Strippable Wallpaper IMG_92566
Castle Complements Painting Peelable Non Strippable Wallpaper
Castle Complements Painting Peelable Non Strippable Wallpaper IMG_92826

4- Non-Peelable / Non-Strippable Wallpaper process for removal:

Run a scoring tool (paper tiger) or knife blade over the wallpaper making cuts or X’s with enough pressure to puncture the wallpaper surface but not harming or gouging the plaster or wallboard. Course sandpaper can also be used to score the surface. This will allow the wallpaper solution to thoroughly penetrate the wallpaper


Mix the wallpaper stripper solution or vinegar with hot water. Follow the directions on the back of the container for appropriate water to stripper proportions. Apply the solution with an appropriate sized hand sprayer or pump sprayer so you can cover more square feet at a time. Typically one to two gallons of solution is enough as you want to keep the water as hot as possible. Mix additional batches as needed.

Apply the solution from the ceiling to the floor. You want to get it wet but not so much water applied that there are puddles on the floor. Let soak long enough for the paste/paper to soften. You may have to wet the area two to three times waiting 15-20 minutes between each wetting.

Use a wallpaper razor scraper, broad knife, and/or scouring pad to aid in removing paper and paste from the walls working from the bottom up. Repeat step as many times as necessary until you have all the wallpaper removed.

Rinse walls with clean warm water to remove any paste/paper residue. Alternatively, you can sand the walls to remove any paste/paper residue once completely dry so it doesn’t gum up and fill the sandpaper.

5- Other Things to consider

Not only is the type of wallpaper you are removing important to know, you will also want to know if the walls are wallboard or plaster. If the walls are plaster it is a much harder surface and can be easier for wallpaper removal.

If the walls are drywall/ wallboard then they tend to be damaged easier as it is softer.

Yet another factor that can make wallpaper removal easier is if the walls have been previously coated with paint or sizing, a wallpaper primer. If they have been painted or primed before wallpaper installation then the paste tends to re-wet and remove with ease and not damage the wallboard too.

Sometimes you hit the jackpot and find wallpaper that was applied directly to the wallboard with no previous coatings or primers. These are the worst for removal as it damages the paper face of all the wallboard and requires a special process of priming and skim coat after wallpaper removal. We hope this is not your case!

Castle Complements Painting Wallpaper Things to Consider
Castle Complements Painting Wallpaper Things to Consider
Castle Complements Painting Other Things to consider IMG_92606
Castle Complements Painting Other Things to consider
Castle Complements Painting Other Things to consider IMG_92856
Castle Complements Painting Other Things to consider
Castle Complements Painting Other Things to consider IMG_93076
Castle Complements Painting Cleanup IMG_92676
Castle Complements Painting Cleanup
Castle Complements Painting Cleanup IMG_92656
Castle Complements Painting Cleanup
Castle Complements Painting Cleanup IMG_92756
Castle Complements Painting Cleanup IMG_93106

6- Cleanup

Ok, now that all that dreaded wallpaper has been removed its time to clean up. No, not pick up the drop cloths yet- clean up the walls.

You’ll need a bucket of clean hot water and a bucket with water to rinse along with a sponge and scouring pads.

Start at the top and work your way to the bottom by applying water to the wall with your sponge to wet it. Then use your scouring pad to loosen any small pieces of paper, gobs of wallpaper adhesive and remnant of the backing. Finally, rinse it off with a clean sponge. Repeat until everything is clean.

The cleaning is important because if you have any wallpaper paste residue left behind it can interfere with the adhesion of the paint.

Finally, you can clean up the floors, pick up the drop cloths and admire your hard work.

There you have it, the best ways to assess what kind of wallpaper you are removing, the types of tools needed for wallpaper removal and how to deal with the most stubborn wallpaper.
In the end it comes to patience and determination.
Wallpaper removal can be very gratifying and be the best decision yo make when you are looking to make a space look so much better.
 

Looking to have us remove the wallpaper for you instead?
Get a quote for wallpaper removal from the experts at Castle Complements.
You can book a quote at a time convenient for you.

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