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  • Carlton Clark

How To Remove Wallpaper (The Easy And Fast Way)

Let me guess... You're here because you want to know how to remove wallpaper.

Removing Wallpaper is a sure bet way to bring your home back to life and modernize it. Whether it's replaced with a new modern design or you decide to just paint the wall. Eventually, that old, outdated wallpaper will need to go.

Why Should You Remove Wallpaper?

First of all, you could never just paint over wallpaper, eventually, that wallpaper will start to wrinkle and fall apart, ruining your work.

So to make it easier on yourself, in the long run, it will need to come down.

In today's world, most wallpapers are out-dated, so by removing it, it will open up a brand new canvas to either paint or use an updated wallpaper.

Is Removing Wallpaper Difficult?

Unfortunately, wallpaper isn't that easy to remove, it also will create a huge mess. It's going to take a lot of elbow grease and time, the good parts are that it'll cost almost nothing and when it's removed you will have a brand new canvas to make a statement with.

Although practically free there are a few materials that are important to make the job easy and less messy.

Let's get right into it!

Materials Needed:

  • Spray Bottle

  • Wallpaper Stripper

  • Scraper (Putty Knife)

  • Painters Tape

  • Drop Cloth

  • Sponge

  • Water

  • Soap

  • Ladder

  • Rags

Step 1: Protect Floor And Electric Outlets

Before getting started, it'll be important to cover up any outlets with painters tape to ensure that no loose debris will sneak in there.

Another part that will save you hours worth of work is to simply lay down a drop cloth. The truth is, removing the wallpaper will create an enormous mess.

It doesn't come off all in one go, it's going to be hundreds of little pieces everywhere.

So putting a drop cloth under your workspace will allow you to bundle it all up and throw it out all in one go. Without a drop cloth, you'll be bent over picking up tiny pieces of wallpaper after already working hard to take it off the wall.

It will also protect your floors, the wallpaper will be wet and a little slimy after it's removed.

Now that we have the floors and outlets covered it's time to get started!

Step 2: Pry Up Wallpaper

There are many different types of wallpaper, but they will all have the same technique when it comes to removal. To start you'll want to just scrape any parts you can. If you’re lucky it'll all come off in one piece, but you will need to be very lucky.

The best way to get the biggest chunks is to pry it off at the edges. Doing this will limit the ripping, but if the wallpaper is somewhat new it's going to be very tricky to get in large pieces.

Old wallpaper will come off easier as it has more distress and the glue can't hold on as tight.

It might help to know the different layers of wallpaper so here that is:

  • Outer Layer (vinyl)

  • Adhesive Layer

  • Wall

It's that simple but just be sure when using the scraper to not jab into the wall. This can mess up the drywall.

For the majority of these projects, you'll need to go with the Score & Scrape Strategy.

Step 3: Score & Scrape Wallpaper

This strategy will involve a hot water solution and a scraper. To make this work, it's important to know what everything will be doing, for the best results.

The hot water solution is to warm up the adhesive, this will allow for the paper to come up a whole lot easier. The main problem is that some wallpapers are actually waterproof and will reject the water.

So now what's the solution?

  • Solution #1 ⅓ household vinegar with ⅔ hot water

  • Solution #2 ¼ fabric softener to ¾ hot water

The easiest solution is hot water mixed with any kind of soap. Using just water will work as well but the solution will help fight the adhesive and even make it easier for cleaning up.

It's smart to grab a spray bottle so there's not too big of a mess. Regardless when you get the wallpaper wet you can begin scraping off the wallpaper. Again starting on the edges will work best.

You'll want to go light so you don't puncture the drywall.

This strategy will give you clean and fast results. It will set you up in a better position so there's not as much adhesive in the end.

Step 4: Remove Remaining Adhesive

Now that the hard work is done, all that's left to do is clean up the leftover adhesive. The best way to remove this is by using one of the solutions listed above. Here they are again:

  • Solution #1 ⅓ household vinegar with ⅔ hot water

  • Solution #2 ¼ fabric softener to ¾ hot water

  • Soap with hot water

With these solutions, you'll quickly get rid of the adhesive. It's usually best to work in sections, this will allow for more speed and quality.

Once the adhesive is gone you'll have your brand new wall to paint on!

Final Thoughts

At this point, your walls should be clean and ready for the next step! To go over everything again the steps are to prep the area with a drop cloth and be sure to cover up the outlets with painters tape.

From there you can begin scraping away the wallpaper, but if there's any trouble be sure to add the solution and it should come up.

After that, it's just scraping off the adhesive!

Be prepared for a lot of work, it'll take a lot of elbow grease and time but in the end, you'll have a new canvas for the next project.

Although it's a bit of work, removing wallpaper is definitely a DIY interior painting job if you follow the proper instructions.

You'll be set up perfectly to either start painting or updating the wallpaper. No matter the choice it's a great way to lighten or express yourself through your home.

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