After purchasing a new home, most homeowners are excited to move in. Now is the time to personalize the interior design of your new space to suit your taste. However, some homeowners may need to learn how to remove wallpaper before swapping out-of-date or unsightly wall-covering with new ones. Changing wallpaper can be an easy removal or an uphill task, depending on whether the previous homeowner used a good primer.
It doesn’t matter if you are an expert or an amateur when it comes to wallpaper removal; there are no shortcuts. Below we will share the step-by-step process followed by our interior home painting and wall-covering installation experts. If you do not follow the steps discussed in this article, you run the risk of damaging the wall while stripping wallpaper.
The following steps will strip your walls and leave them ready for new interior design ideas.
Step 1: Tape the Walls
Any wallpaper removal procedure requires the use of a lot of soap and water. As such, you’ll need to protect other room surfaces from overflowing water. To completely cover the molding and trim, use painter’s tape. Common knowledge also dictates that you protect your floor finishes by spreading covers or by laying drop cloths.
Step 2: Peel the Wallpaper
In some cases, old wallpaper pulls free of walls with little effort. If this is the case, you can start by pulling small sections by hand. A putty knife or some type of scraping tool may come in handy during this stage. Find the edges of the wallpaper and use the instrument to gently remove the top layer.
Step 3: Wet the Walls
Without a doubt, you will come to a point where you can’t remove the paper by hand or a scoring tool. If that is the case, you’ll have to spray the papers with warm to hot water to separate them from your walls. Spray bottles will help speed up the process. If these two don’t work, your next option would be steam removal. Always remember to spritz all your walls after covering your floors with drop cloths or plastic.
Step 4: Scraping
After you’ve let the water soak in for several minutes, scrape off the wallpaper using the same taping knife you used in step 2. You can scrape by using the up-and-down or left-to-right method, depending on which feels easiest. If you have trouble at this stage, spray the wallpaper several times and repeat the same procedure discussed in step 2.
Note: If you find more than one layer of wallpaper, deal with each one at a time. Always finish dealing with the first layer before proceeding to the next layer.
Step 5: Washing
Once you’ve gotten rid of all the paper on the wall, the next step is washing the wall to remove excess paste, primer or wallpaper adhesive. Go over the walls several times with a damp sponge. Make sure that you wash off all the primer so that you have as smooth of a surface as possible before repainting the bare wall or applying new wallpaper.
Step 6: Smooth the Walls
Your wall treatment can be derailed by the tiniest specks of primer or paste. You may need to apply gel stripper to all paste patches before scraping them from the wall to ensure that there is a smooth surface. A smooth surface will provide better adhesion for your new interior paint or wallpaper. You want to reduce the likelihood of premature flaking or cracking, especially when creating an accent wall.
Removing or replacing wallpaper is not hard, but it does require diligent attention to detail. When performing this DIY project, keep in mind that the aim is to achieve a flawless surface for easy repainting. We understand that most people have a tight schedule and working on this project might seem like a hassle that should be left to the home remodeling professionals. If this is the case, get in touch with the pros at C.E.T. Painting. We will be glad to assist you. For quotes and inquiries, fill out our contact form on our website or call us at (914) 615 1415.