Homeowners make a lot of excuses when it comes to tearing down wallpaper. I’m tired…It will take too long…I need a bunch of stuff…What if I mess it up? For all of these reasons, people will live with old, ugly wallpaper in their homes for years! The truth is removing wallpaper isn’t so bad if you know what you’re doing. Here is my wallpaper removal strategy.
Wallpaper can be tricky business. Depending on how old the paper is and how it was applied, you may have to vary the technique. Older paper tends to be more stubborn and takes a little more elbow grease. However, you should never need to bring in any equipment, like a steamer to remove the paper. Steamers are expensive and can damage the drywall behind the paper. Not to mention, steam burns hurt!
- -Tarp or sheet
- -Broad knife
- -Garden sprayer
- -DIF Ultra Concentrate
- -A friend to help (This is optional, but it really speeds up the process)
- 1.) This first thing you’ll want to do is spread out your tarp to protect your floors and furniture from the mess.
- 2.) Use your perforator to puncture tiny holes through the wallpaper. The small holes allow the solution to soak through the paper and access the glue keeping it stuck to the wall. Run over the walls once. If you over-perforate, the wallpaper will come off in little tiny pieces that will be very hard to remove. A quick onceover will allow the wallpaper to come off in bigger sheets for quick and easy removal.
- 3.) Mix the solution according to the manufacturer’s instructions. I prefer using DIF Ultra Concentrate. Its non-toxic, has no odor, and is VOC-free. Mix the DIF with warm water and transfer it to a garden sprayer.
- 4.) Spray the solution liberally on a small section of wall (4×4). Let it hang out for 10 minutes, giving the solution time to set into the paper. Don’t get too excited and start trying to remove it before. If it doesn’t have enough time to absorb, you’ll end up fighting with the paper.
- 5.) After 10 minutes, lightly spray the section again and start scraping using a broad knife. Be careful not to gouge the drywall. The paper should come off easily; you may have to put a little more effort into removing the backing paper if it doesn’t come up right away. Just give it another spray.
- 6.) Repeat the process working in manageable sections until all of the wallpaper is removed. Once the paper is off, repeat the process to remove any excess glue or spots.
- 7.) Wipe the walls down with a damp sponge and allow the walls to dry completely before priming.