Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But, unfortunately, the previous homeowner found beauty in their wallpaper. The hideous colors and designs cause you not to see beauty but to see stars because the wallpaper gives you a headache just looking at it.
You don’t want people coming over to your home thinking you were the one who bought this chaotic mess of paper. You want it gone. You want something different and new. Something that is more you and less a multi-colored nightmare.
Removing wallpaper can seem like a massive endeavor. Now removing wallpaper is relatively simple but it can be time-consuming. Do not plan to strip off your wallpaper on a busy weekend, because you will not get it done.
Find a weekend where you know you do not have a lot to do so you can get the job done.
What follows are various ways to help you remove that ugly, eyesore the previous owners called wallpaper but you call a colorful headache. But before we go into the different ways to remove wallpaper, let’s focus on the steps to getting your room ready for the task at hand.
How To Get The Room Ready
Step #1: Remove And Rearrange
Start the process by removing anything hanging on the wall. Make sure you get any nails or wall hooks used to hold up any of your wall pieces. After you have removed everything from your wall, pull any furniture near the wall towards the middle of the room.
If you do not have enough space, then move the furniture out of the room. Stripping wallpaper does require some space so if you cannot comfortably move in the room. Then it is best to remove the furniture.
It is smart to Invest in some drop clothes to protect your flooring and your furniture. The solutions used to remove wallpaper can be a little messy and wet.
If the wall has a lot of outlets, make sure you turn off the power to that room and remove any of the outlet covers. Cover the outlets with painter’s tape, so you don’t have to worry about any of the cleaning solution getting into your wiring.
If there aren’t any outlets or showing wires in the room, you are okay to continue to the next step.
Step #2: Wall And Wallpaper Type
Before you even begin pulling the wallpaper down, you need to decide what type of wall you have. If your walls are drywall know that it can be damaged if it gets too wet, so be very careful when using any of the wallpaper remover solutions.
Plaster is fine if it gets wet, so hopefully, for you, it is plaster and not drywall.
To figure out what type of wallpaper is on your walls, get a putty knife and loosen a corner of the wallpaper. If the paper comes right off the walls, you are using a strippable wallpaper. Strippable wallpaper is the easiest to remove.
If it comes off but leaves a paper backing, you have peelable wallpaper. Peelable wallpaper is a little more challenging to remove than strippable.
Now if the paper does not even move, you, unfortunately, have traditional wallpaper which will take more time and energy to remove.
The Best Ways To Remove Each Type Of Wallpaper
To remove strippable wallpaper, you will need to have a putty knife, dish soap, water, and old rags you do not mind getting a little dirty. Once you have all of your materials and your room is set up and ready, you can begin the process.
To begin, use the putty knife to lift a corner of the wallpaper. After the corner is pulled from the wall, slowly start to peel the paper from the wall. Remain close to the wall while you are removing the wallpaper down. If you move too far, you can tear the paper.
Do not worry if the paper does rip. You can go to another corner and loosen it and start the process again.
Once all of the paper is removed from the wall, you can now start setting up your cleaning solution. Mix soap and water in a bucket and remove any unwanted markings or residue left over on your walls.
Most glue for strippable wallpaper is easy to clean off with soap and water, but if you notice the adhesive is a little more stubborn invest in some wallpaper glue remover. You can find excellent wallpaper glue removers at your local hardware store.
But in reality, with strippable wallpaper soap and water should quickly do the trick.
The Best Way To Remove Peelable Wallpaper
To start, you will need a few more materials with peelable wallpaper than with strippable. The materials you will need are water, fabric softener, spray bottle, putty knife, scoring tool, dish soap, rags, and rubber gloves.
Unlike with the strippable wallpaper, the materials you use may cause a little discomfort if it makes contact with your skin, so make sure you are wearing protective gloves during this process.
Peelable wallpaper has two layers. The top layer is easier to peel off while the bottom layer takes a little time and elbow grease to get off your wall. To start, peel off the top layer. Like with the strippable wallpaper, use a putty knife to loosen a corner to being pulling the paper off.
Once the top layer is off, now you need to focus on the more robust second layer.
To begin, mix hot water and fabric softener in your spray bottle. Make sure the water is hot, or this will not work. The fabric softener works best when the water is hot. Spray the solution on the second layer and let it sit for a few minutes.
Make sure you effectively dampen your wall. You do not want it to be soaked, but you do want it damp enough to start loosening up the second layer. After the solution has sat for a few minutes, begin to peel the paper off the wall.
If the second layer is a little more difficult than you expected, use a scoring tool to loosen up the paper. Then grab the solution and spray down the wall again. Let it sit for a few minutes to work through the adhesive adequately.
After the paper has been removed, mix soap and hot water and wipe down the wall with a rag.
Simple and easy.
The Best Way To Remove Traditional Wallpaper
Removing traditional wallpaper is a little more difficult than the other two types of wallpaper mentioned. The glue used for traditional wallpaper is heavier duty and needs a bit more effort to get it off your wall.
To remove traditional wallpaper, you will use the same materials as you would to remove the peelable wallpaper but with one extra tool: a wallpaper perforating tool. A wallpaper perforating tool is run over your wallpaper to create tiny rips in tears in the paper, so it is easier for the solution to seep into the glue.
Once you have the room set up, use the wallpaper perforating tool to create little tears in the paper. After that, mix up your water and fabric softener solution and put it in your spray bottle. Spray down the wallpaper, making sure you adequately dampen the paper.
A lot of traditional wallpapers are water resistant, and it can be challenging to get the water to the glue. If you notice the paper not wanting to absorb the solution, try using the wallpaper perforating tool multiple times until you see that the wall is effectively saturated. Let the solution sit for a few minutes to make sure it is dissolving the glue.
Next, use the putty knife to begin scraping off the wallpaper. If the solution was given enough time to soak, then it should be relatively easy to get all of the paper off.
After you have scraped off the paper, mix the dish soap with hot water and wash down the wall. If the dish soap does not adequately get off all of the glue, pick up a heavy-duty cleaner at any local hardware store.
Be careful about which cleaner you buy because many of them contain caustic chemicals which can do damage to your skin.
Remove That Ugly Wallpaper
Depending on what type of wallpaper you have in your home, there are multiple ways to remove that unwanted eyesore. You can quickly detach the wallpaper with simple household ingredients. Do not let the job of removing wallpaper make you feel overwhelmed.
It can be done. And it can be down simply and quickly.
You need the right materials and a free weekend to get the job done.
The options listed above focus on a less harsh, more natural approach to removing wallpaper. Introducing chemicals into your home is something many of us are trying to avoid.
So if you are dreading having to take down wallpaper in your home, do not worry. The job can be done. And it won’t be as difficult as you think.