By David Cobb Submitted On July 02, 2010
When you start to renovate a room, you want nothing to stand in your way, especially old wallpaper. This article will teach you how to get rid of old wall coverings so the walls in your room are ready for anything, no matter if it’s a fresh coat of paint or fresh wallpaper.
All set? Let’s go!
We are going to give our room a new look and we are going to do the renovation in small steps that will have a big impact.
Removing the wallpaper can be very simple. All you will need is a few tools and a whole heap of patience to allow those tools do their job. The tools that you will need are a scoring tool, a narrow scraper, a wide scraper, a screwdriver, low tack masking tape, some wallpaper stripper, a paint brush, a paint roller with a cover and a paint tray. You will also need drop cloths, a rubbish bin and bags, a step ladder, a bucket and sponge, dish washing liquid, some wallpaper primer sealer or interior paint primer. You could also use a wallpaper steamer if you want.
(NOTE) It’s a good idea when working with removal strippers to wear rubber gloves and eye protection.
Start off by preparing the room.
You will need to move all of the furniture away from the walls and put dropcloths over everything. Make sure you only use canvas dropcloths on the floor because plastic ones can get pretty slippery. Remove all window furnishings and the covers off the power points and light switches. It’s also a good idea to turn off the power to the room and apply low tack masking tape over them as well as any other surfaces you want to keep clean. If you are going to use stripper make sure you have plenty of ventilation.
Now use the scorer. You want to start in a one square metre test section starting at the ceiling and preferably along one edge of the paper.
A scoring tool makes hundreds of little pin pricks in the paper which allows the wallpaper stripper to get in and loosen the adhesive backing. Once you have finished scoring, you can apply generous amounts of spray, or you can roll on the stripper using the paint roller.
This is where your patience needs to come in.
You must allow the stripper to set on the wall according to manufacturers instructions. Usually this takes about 1/4 of an hour, and believe me, this is one step you don’t want to take shortcuts on.
If the paper stripper starts to dry, you will need to put more on, so be sure to keep the area wet.
If you want to you can also use a steamer. Be sure to have patience and hold the steamer tight against the wall. Be careful because steam is very hot and you don’t want to get scalded.
Once the wallpaper is soaked, use The wide scraper to lift the edge of the paper and begin peeling it away on a 45 degree angle. You’ll find, if the wallpaper was hung using wallpaper primer sealer it should come off easily.
If it does come off easily, you should continue scoring and applying stripper or steaming in sections about 1.2 meters wide and get rid of the rest of the paper. Always work from ceiling to floor and always put the bits of paper into the rubbish bin.
If you are having trouble getting the paper off the wall you may have to figure out why…
One of the more common problems… Is when only the paper backing is left. This problem is easy to fix. All you need to do is apply some more stripper, wait the appropriate amount of time and just peel it off.
Another common problem is when the wallpaper takes bits of the drywall with it. All that means is that the wall itself wasn’t primed properly before the wallpaper was applied and the glue on the back is working really well. All you need to do is re-wet the wall and very carefully remove the paper. Don’t be surprised if you end up having to repair the drywall.
After the paper has been removed you may notice residual bits of paper backing still stuck to the walls. Apply some more stripper and keep working from top to bottom around the room. Wait the recommended time then use the soap and water to wash it off. Keep doing this step until all of the residue is gone. Once you have gotten the walls clean, you will be ready for the next step. If you are painting you will need to use an interior primer but if you are hanging fresh wallpaper you will need to prepare the walls.
That’s it, the job is done.
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