Remodeling - Improvements - Maintenance & Repairs
REMOVAL - I make it no secret that wallpaper removal
makes the top of my list in horrible jobs that must be done to improve
a home. I don't think any sane person can actually say that they
enjoy removing wallpaper.
removed my share of wallpaper in renovation projects. The worst
job I can recall was removing paper for a kitchen remodel. I I began
to remove the paper with a steamer. It was after about 3 square
feet that I noticed another seam, with paint over it. Previous owners
had painted over a layer of wallpaper and then somebody got the
idea to put new wallpaper over that layer of paint. The top paper
wasn't coming off easy. The second layer of paper that was painted
over was going to be a nightmare. After discussing it with the customer,
the decision was made to re-sheetrock the kitchen. It actually turned
out to be more economical than trying to remove the layers and then
repair all the drywall afterward.
assume you have the normal wallpapered room and you want to remove
it. Maybe the person that put it up sized the room prior, maybe
not. I don't use chemicals for the removal process. If possible
I pull off the top finished layer of paper, leaving the paper backing
behind. I then attack that layer using the weapons below. If the
top finished layer doesn't come off, the weapons are still the same
but with a little more work and time involved.
my weapons of choice:
Tool: You can use this whether the top layer of paper came off
or not. This tool has rotating teeth and spin randomly, making holes
in the wallpaper. This allows water and/or steam to penetrate the
finished layer of paper or the base paper. Just go crazy with it
and make as many holes as you want. Enjoy it because this is the
easiest part of the job!
Don't press too hard. You'll actually make holes in your sheetrock
with it. Just press enough to score the paper. If you make some
holes though, don't worry. You'll be spackling the walls after you're
finished removing the paper and glue.
BOTTLE AND STEAMER: You can buy one of these for a very reasonable
price of 40 to 60 bucks. It's well worth it and won't put you under
pressure to get it done as if you were to rent one at a daily rate.
I have one in my pile of tools as shown on the left. It's pretty
good for the price tag and has now lasted about 4-5 years.
to steaming, I like to apply a nice amount of water to the paper
using a spray bottle. This helps to dampen the paper and actually
speeds up the steaming process. Allow the steamer to work in one
spot and then gently slide your 5-6" putty knife along the
wet, steamed paper. It should come right off. Move the steamer over
and repeat the process. Then do it another several hundred times
and you're done!
Don't hold the steamer in one place any longer than you have to.
The steam can cause the paper of the sheetrock itself to come off
when you run your putty knife on it. As you go, you'll get the hang
of how long you have to keep the steamer on the wallpaper. If you
do scrape the paper off the sheetrock, you can spackle if after
it dries out.
This is important so read it twice. After you remove the wallpaper,
there is going to be a paste residue. You have to remove all of
this. It will affect how the wall looks after painting and more
importantly, it may cause the paint to crackle in the future.
your rag and soak it with hot water. Filling a 5 gallon bucket of
water is a nice way to do it. Wipe down the wall and wring out your
rag. Your rag should almost be dripping with water. Take your putty
knife and run it along the wall. See if you get a gooey (for the
lack of a better word) paste on your knife. If you wall is properly
cleaned, only water should be dripping off of your putty knife.
You have to remove all the residual paste. You have to. Did I bring
across the importance of this step?
AND PRIMER: Before you paint, you must prepare the walls. Any
imperfections or missing sheetrock paper must be filled in and sanded
to a final finish. No, paint will not fill the cracks. The more
time and effort you put into making the walls smooth, the better
the finished product. After you've removed all the paste, spackled
and sanded, you can now primer/seal the surface.
always like to check after primering for any missed imperfections
and hit them again with spackling. By the way, latex sealer/primer
is okay to use. Sealers actually take some time to cure. Even though
they're dry to the touch, they can take a few days to cure.
this has proven helpful. The technique for removing wallpaper can
vary, depending on the paper and conditions. This information is
based on my experiences over many years and how I've successfully
tackled wallpaper removal. The products you see on this page are
sold at your major home improvement centers. I do not necessarily
endorse these particular products. They're there only for visual
appeal. I assume no responsibility for your decision to undertake
a wallpaper removal project. If you do not feel comfortable, hire
a professional like myself.
Hillsborough NJ - Somerset County