Removing Wallpaper

When removing wallpaper, one thing you will need is a steady supply of patience.  The key to any successful wallpaper removing is to keep the paper wet and to allow the mixture you’re using time to saturate the paper and soften the glue behind it.  The first thing I do is cover the floors with plastic and drop cloths.  Then, I like to use what is called a Paper Tiger.  This tool is designed to roll over the wall surface and create little perforated holes in the paper which will allow the wallpaper solution you’re using to penetrate through the paper and soften the glue.  But removing the paper is only the first step and really not that hard.

The second step, and most critical phase of the project, is  removing the glue residue left behind.  You will need to continue to keep the walls wet and be patient, allowing the proper amount of time for the mixture to work.  Take a wide-blade joint knife and carefully squeegee the glue off.  This phase may take several applications of mixture to complete but it is important to remove all of the glue so when the wall is painted, you don’t have any checking, crawling, or peeling paint problems.  If the walls feel slimy, you’re not done yet.

After walls are clean and thoroughly dry, I like to use an oil primer to hide any potential staining problems that bleed through on the finished coat.  After the primer has dried, you will probably have to do some miner sheet rock work called “point up.”  Check the walls over for any damage that would have occurred during the wallpaper removal (gouges, nicks, etc.). If you did a good job priming the walls, these areas of damage should show up well.  After patching, you will have to sand smooth not only the patch work, but also the entire wall to create a nice, smooth surface to apply your finishing coat of paint.  If these steps were done properly, you should have achieved terrific results.