How to Get Rid of Wallpaper

By Subodh / May 15, 2011

Oftentimes older homes or apartments leave behind for the new dwellers some rather tacky wallpaper. Come time to remodel your home you may want to get rid of wallpaper from certain rooms.

Peeling off wallpaper is sometimes a very time consuming and laborious task. From the first piece you pull to the last piece you tear off it sometimes leaves behind a huge, unattractive paper mess.

A Practical Guide

Improper methods of tearing off wallpaper pose a huge problem. If this process is not carried out correctly what is left behind after you attempt to tear off the paper is a mass of ugly glue residue. Remains of paper also are stuck to it.

Below is an explanation of the right and the wrong way to remove wallpaper:

1. The right way-The best way to remove peelable wallpaper is to use water to moisten the walls. All you need to do is use a brush to apply to the wallpaper past and paper backing.

This is the easiest way to pull off the remaining paper and paste of peelable wallpaper. However, the “non-peelable” vinyl wallpaper is becoming more popular. It does not allow for moisture to enter it and it also has an enzyme that helps easier release the glue from its backing.

2. The wrong way-The worst way to remove wallpaper is to just grab a loose corner and pull it off. This method would be especially frustrating because today’s wallpaper usually is coated with a vinyl covering.

It is the wallpaper with the vinyl covering that when being attempted to be removed this way leaves behind paper backing and paste. The end result is very messy.

Removing Wallpaper Streamers

Removal of wallpaper streamers requires a little different of a method than does removing other types. Items you need for removing this kind of wall covering can be found at a local home improvement or hardware store, usually.

You need these items: Chemical wallpaper strippers, wallpaper scoring tool, and a paper tiger.

You also need these items: A six-inch dry wall knife, spray bottle, sponge, rags, and drop cloth.

Using the appropriate items as listed above at the right time while following these steps:

1. Remove furnishings, curtains, etc. Any item that is easily removable should first be taken out of the room. This will make the rest of your job much easier.

2. Lay the drop cloth. This will make cleaning up the wallpaper debris that fall to the floor much easier. You might just want to do one section at a time for as wide of an area as the drop cloth lies.

3. Prepare the surface area. This refers to a step you would take before applying a chemical. A scoring tool is right for this purpose, and you can recognize this as a round tool you can grip with one hand that has two rotating wheels.

This device also has sharp metal teeth. Just hold it in the palm of your and start moving the tool in a circular motion across the wallpaper surface.

As a result metal teeth poke holes all over the surface creating tiny rips. This is how the chemicals seep in to help make removal of the wallpaper easier.

4. Apply the chemical stripper, and wait. Dif or M-1 is two common types of chemical solutions used to help strip off paper. You could use the gel form and dab it on the wallpaper with a sponge or cloth.

Either that or you can use the liquid solution in a spray bottle. Sometimes you only have to wait 20 to 30 minutes, but some solutions require an entire waiting time of a whole day before you start the scraping step.

5. Start scraping and cleaning. You can then use a wallpaper scraper or six-inch drywall knife to scrape while positioning your knife at a 45 degree angle. You can spray some more chemicals on if you are dealing with stubborn spots. Then you can use warm water and mild household cleaner to wipe off the remaining wallpaper paste.