A word of warning upfront, if you have a wallpaper removal task ahead of you’re your in for a bit of work. Make sure you set aside a considerable amount of time for this project as you may run into tough spots and problem areas that will eat up a lot of time.
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Removing wallpaper however, while not a fun task, can be done quickly and easily if you are prepared.
First get the room ready. Remove everything from the room that can be removed. This includes furniture and rugs where possible. When the room is emptied cover the floor with a drop cloth in the area you will be working. This will aid in cleanup later.
Now get all of your tools together:
• Glue Dissolving Agent
• Blunt Scraper
• Sharp Scraper
Goggles and a mask are on the list first for a good reason. You will have little pieces of who knows how old paper with who know what kind of glue on it flying and dripping all over the place. Wear the goggles and the mask whenever you are doing the least bit of work.
I can’t underestimate the importance of the perforator. They come in a couple styles and sizes. Get the one that is most appropriate to the amount of paper you have to remove.
The perforator is pretty simple to use. With a slight amount of pressure you roll it around the wall and it makes little divots into the paper. Be careful not to press to hard as you do not want to dig into the wall itself.
Next is preparing your solution. The commercial products work well, but I’ve had good results with warm water and vinegar. If you are going to use the commercial products, be sure to follow their instructions as to mixture ratios.
For the vinegar solution, 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water is sufficient for most glues. Add more vinegar if you are having difficulties.
Ok, so we’re ready to start soaking the walls. Pick a spot, not to large, and get it thoroughly wet with your sponge and solution. Some people like to use a sprayer as well, but I find the sponge and a little pressure works better.
Don’t be shy about wetting the wall. Your solution needs to soak through the paper and loosen the glue. You may have to repeat this step depending on your situation.
Now comes the scraping. Use a blunt scraper or even a putty knife to start with. You want to avoid nicking or gauging the wall underneath to save the trouble of spackling later on. Use slow even strokes to remove the paper.
If it is loose enough it will simply melt off the wall. If not, wet it again. If you continue to have trouble, you may have to switch to the sharp scraper. Be very careful though, of both your fingers and the wall!
Once all the paper if off, you may have to repeat this process to remove extra paper layers or even a glue layer that may be left behind. You want to get all the way down to the plaster or drywall.
Then, spackle any nicks or holes smooth, clean up the mess and paint to suit. Oh, and congratulate yourself on a job well done.
Written by by D. David Dugan. Reprinted with permission.