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Wallpaper Removal Tips???

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'm about to take on the pretty big task of ripping down all the wallpaper in my master bathroom, master toilet area (off the master bath), guest bathroom, and dressing area!

Any tips????

I'm going to Lowes in a little while to get wallpaper remover (i was going to use fabric softner diluted with water in a spray bottle- but my sister Kimmy JUST redid their kitchen and she said the bottled stuff at lowes works better). Colin already has the tool i need to scrape it off so i was just going to get the wallpaper remover while i'm there.

Any tips/suggestions???
post #2 of 23
I've papered and re-papered the rooms in my 6 room house 19 times, I consider myself both experienced and stupid!
When you go to Lowes make sure to get a wallpaper scoring tool---it's a little round thing that fits in your palm and has little teeth on rollers on the underside. I've discovered that this little tool is invaluable. Just run it all over the old paper; it will leave tiny holes for the water to soak thru. The key to getting all the old paper and glue off is get it wet down to the wall, not just the top layer of paper. I use a garden sprayer--it holds a lot of water. You don't really need wallpaper removing solution, soapy water works just as well. Remember to work a small area at a time, keeping the paper really damp. Use a wide blade to scrape the old paper off; a small blade leads to gouges in the plaster/drywall.
Lots of luck and don't get discouraged. Removing old wallpaper is a lot of work but sometimes you just have to do it. Are you re-papering or painting?
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by libby74 View Post
I've papered and re-papered the rooms in my 6 room house 19 times, I consider myself both experienced and stupid!
When you go to Lowes make sure to get a wallpaper scoring tool---it's a little round thing that fits in your palm and has little teeth on rollers on the underside. I've discovered that this little tool is invaluable. Just run it all over the old paper; it will leave tiny holes for the water to soak thru. The key to getting all the old paper and glue off is get it wet down to the wall, not just the top layer of paper. I use a garden sprayer--it holds a lot of water. You don't really need wallpaper removing solution, soapy water works just as well. Remember to work a small area at a time, keeping the paper really damp. Use a wide blade to scrape the old paper off; a small blade leads to gouges in the plaster/drywall.
Lots of luck and don't get discouraged. Removing old wallpaper is a lot of work but sometimes you just have to do it. Are you re-papering or painting?

Thanks Libby! Those are some great tips! I will definitely pick up a scoring tool!:bightumb: I'm planning to paint afterwards!!!
post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarryEyedTiGeR View Post
Thanks Libby! Those are some great tips! I will definitely pick up a scoring tool! I'm planning to paint afterwards!!!
that will help a lot.
i used the scoring tool, plus warm water [didn't even use soap!]. the kitchen border was VERY difficult to get off - most of it came off in teeny little pieces. i had to use a scraper to get the 2nd layer off [the top layer came off easily ].
now, the bathroom border - that came off in SHEETS! i don't know if it was because it was in the bathroom, or if perhaps it'd been on the wall for a shorter time - but there was a big difference, even tho my method was identical for both rooms.
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarryEyedTiGeR View Post
I'm about to take on the pretty big task of ripping down all the wallpaper in my master bathroom, master toilet area (off the master bath), guest bathroom, and dressing area!

Any tips????

I'm going to Lowes in a little while to get wallpaper remover (i was going to use fabric softner diluted with water in a spray bottle- but my sister Kimmy JUST redid their kitchen and she said the bottled stuff at lowes works better). Colin already has the tool i need to scrape it off so i was just going to get the wallpaper remover while i'm there.

Any tips/suggestions???
Now I know I spend too much time on the computer. When I saw your title of wallpaper, I thought you were talking about wallpaper!
post #6 of 23
I've stripped and painted four rooms in my house which has had 4-5 layers of paper per room. Personally, I say don't even bother with the remover solution stuff. Spend $50 and buy yourself a wallpaper steamer. I stripped a 3x4 section of wall and it took me 6 hours with the hot water/fabric softener solution, after that I splurged on a steamer and I can get one wall done in 4 hours. If your paper has sort of a fabric like feel you can run your spackling knife (or whatever tool youre using) under an edge and peel the top of it right off. The glue and actual paper will still be left up but you wont have to mess with the thick stuff that way. Good luck!
post #7 of 23
When we did our living room and foyer we used a paper tiger and warm warm and a LOT of elbow grease.

And spackle. Lots of that too. Silly people putting up the paper wrong.
post #8 of 23
With the steamer, you hold the steam plate against the wall for a minute or two and it peels off like butter, even my four or five layers. If you only have one or two layers it'd be even quicker.
post #9 of 23
I started hanging wallpaper with my mother when when I was 10. We've hung paper in multiple rooms in every home we've lived in. I paid to have someone hang wallpaper once and had to redo it because they did such a bad job - not to my standards anyway.

How hard or easy it will be depends on two things - what they did to prep the walls before hanging the paper and the quality of the paper. The better quality papers will pull off the top layer in larger hunks. Cheap paper tends to come off in small pieces, even with great wall prepping.

I use the paper tiger to put holes in the paper and DIF solution. Put lots of holes in the paper, the more the better.I just use a handheld spray bottle and saturate the area. Wait 10 or 15 minutes and reapply. The trick is to dilute the DIF, following instructions on the bottle, with hot water. I've even warmed it up in the microwave, if needed. As you remove the paper, you can apply more DIF if needed.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Spend $50 and buy yourself a wallpaper steamer
I bought a wallpaper steamer, but have only used it in one room. It did a good job, but the steam that built up in the room was horrendous! It was winter and I couldn't open a window; it was extremely warm in the house by the time I was done. I don't knolw that I'd use a steamer in the summer, either, when the humidity is already high. Just my opinion.
post #11 of 23
When I was a kid my family remodeled an entire house, which meant removing many layers of wallpaper from 8 or 9 rooms. We used a solution of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Whatever solution you use, you need to keep the wallpaper pretty well saturated. And as libby74 said, use a wide-bladed scraper.
post #12 of 23
No tips. But good luck with that mammoth task!
post #13 of 23
I never had problems with the steam building up in a room, but I didnt have the doors to the rooms closed. I've also stripped two rooms this summer and while it was hot it wasnt too horrible. With a steamer you dont have to worry about keeping the area saturated, or leaving it for 15 minutes. You give a maximum two minutes per spot and just peel it off. I use a metal 4inch flexible spackling knife.
You can also try sticking the corner of your knife under the paper somewhere, sometimes the top two or three layers will peel off in pretty big chunks before you even get it wet.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Well, after doing quite a bit of research and talking to DH, we decided that we are going to try to paint over the wallpaper vs. removing it. We're going to try a small area first and see how it looks and if it goes well- we'll do the whole bathroom.

I wish we would have thought of this though BEFORE i went to the store and picked up all of the wallpaper remover and tools DH just went to take them back!

Since the wallpaper is in good shape mostly (although hideous!) we think it would do less damage to the drywall to leave it up and just paint over. That being said we will properly glue any loose ends, seal & sand any edges and go over the whole room with a good sealant. We will also make sure we prime well and do several coats of paint to get it all. The wallpaper isn't really textured eithor so the sealer should take care of it. We're also going to make sure we don't have any paint bleeding through as well by properly sealing it. If the test area turns out well- we'll do the whole thing. If not, then we'll rip all of the wallpaper down.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed we can just paint over it since it's such a large area to do in the master bath. Then we will still have several other rooms to do so it's gonna be a big project

At the moment i'm sitting on the couch with more paint colors than i know what to do with and i'm having the hardes time choosing!!
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarryEyedTiGeR View Post
Well, after doing quite a bit of research and talking to DH, we decided that we are going to try to paint over the wallpaper vs. removing it. We're going to try a small area first and see how it looks and if it goes well- we'll do the whole bathroom.
Good plan!

I was going to suggest that, but figured you had thought about it and really wanted to paint on bare walls.

My brother removed wallpaper from the walls of an older house. There must have been a dozen layers of paint and wallpaper, and when he finally did reach bare walls, they were a mess and required plastering and sanding. Which is why most people opt to paint over wallpaper! LOL
post #16 of 23
We moved into an older house where the former owners had used really really cheap paper and I swear they used crazy-glue to hold it on. It took me a week of evenings to get it all off. Thank goodness only the one area was like that.

If a paper is dry-strippable, the top layer will strip off easily once you get a piece of it started and all that is left is a thin film of paper. Soak that with warm water (you can use soap if you want but it isn't necessary), then once it is soaked I use my metal egg-flipper to just scrape it off the wall. Piece of cake.

We did the same in the bathroom but after getting all the paper off the walls were a mess. We then put up anaglypta paper and painted that. It turned out awesome.
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
Good plan!

I was going to suggest that, but figured you had thought about it and really wanted to paint on bare walls.

My brother removed wallpaper from the walls of an older house. There must have been a dozen layers of paint and wallpaper, and when he finally did reach bare walls, they were a mess and required plastering and sanding. Which is why most people opt to paint over wallpaper! LOL
Thanks Linda!

My concern was doing as little damage to the drywall as possible- at the moment i think just treating it properly then painting over it might be the better option for us. I'm going to see how the test area goes first before we decide to do the while thing! If it goes well then that would really be easier than ripping everything down for sure!

Whatever we do though i want to make sure it looks as well done as possible- i don't want it to look tacky if we do paint over it- so i'm going to make sure we really take our time and do a thorough job.

Now if i could only decide on paint!!!! I'm still looking at paint colors and i'm no closer to choosing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
We moved into an older house where the former owners had used really really cheap paper and I swear they used crazy-glue to hold it on. It took me a week of evenings to get it all off. Thank goodness only the one area was like that.

If a paper is dry-strippable, the top layer will strip off easily once you get a piece of it started and all that is left is a thin film of paper. Soak that with warm water (you can use soap if you want but it isn't necessary), then once it is soaked I use my metal egg-flipper to just scrape it off the wall. Piece of cake.

We did the same in the bathroom but after getting all the paper off the walls were a mess. We then put up anaglypta paper and painted that. It turned out awesome.
Thanks for those suggestions! If we are unable to paint over the wallpaper, then i will definitely consider some of that advice!
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarryEyedTiGeR View Post
Now if i could only decide on paint!!!! I'm still looking at paint colors and i'm no closer to choosing
i heard/saw/read somewhere that to choose colors for your home, choose a color [or color family] that's in your closet.
my closet has lots of royal blue. my house is painted in shades of blue ranging from sky to deep peacock.
post #19 of 23
If you properly remove wallpaper it shouldnt damage your walls at all, except for the occasional gouge with the spackling knife.
As for painting over it, I dont recommend it but if youre going to try it before you put all the sealant and all that stuff on, paint over a wallpaper seam and see what you think. They will show up so you'll be able to tell that there is wallpaper under there. Also, any bubbles or wrinkles will stick out like a sore thumb. I've got painted wallpaper in my house (painted before I bought it) and if you'd like I can take a picture so you can see how it looks.
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MonaxLisa View Post
If you properly remove wallpaper it shouldnt damage your walls at all, except for the occasional gouge with the spackling knife.
As for painting over it, I dont recommend it but if youre going to try it before you put all the sealant and all that stuff on, paint over a wallpaper seam and see what you think. They will show up so you'll be able to tell that there is wallpaper under there. Also, any bubbles or wrinkles will stick out like a sore thumb. I've got painted wallpaper in my house (painted before I bought it) and if you'd like I can take a picture so you can see how it looks.
I'd have to agree with this. I've yet to see paint over wallpaper that doesn't show up all the seams and bubbles/flaws. If possible, IMO, it is best to remove the wallpaper, fix any areas with spackle, sand, clean, prime and paint.
post #21 of 23
If the wallpaper has any spots that are not glued down completely flat it will show up in the paint. Sealing over the top of the wallpaper will not make it stick to the wall any better. You may also get the paint peeling off. This is especially true if there are several layers of paper.

Another thing to consider: wallpaper with paint on it is much more difficult to remove, if you decide you don't like it after it's done.

You should go ahead and do whatever works best for you. I just finished doing the opposite, put up vinyl wallpaper over the paint in my bathroom.
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
i heard/saw/read somewhere that to choose colors for your home, choose a color [or color family] that's in your closet.
my closet has lots of royal blue. my house is painted in shades of blue ranging from sky to deep peacock.
I've seen that suggestion on a few tv shows as well! Basically the thing is- i know what color i want (I want green) but i'm having a hard time deciding on a particlar shade as there are a few that are very similar and i'm just having a hard time choosing!! I will probably go ask for a paint sample of each and put each on the wall to see which fits that room better when i get a chance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MonaxLisa View Post
If you properly remove wallpaper it shouldnt damage your walls at all, except for the occasional gouge with the spackling knife.
As for painting over it, I dont recommend it but if youre going to try it before you put all the sealant and all that stuff on, paint over a wallpaper seam and see what you think. They will show up so you'll be able to tell that there is wallpaper under there. Also, any bubbles or wrinkles will stick out like a sore thumb. I've got painted wallpaper in my house (painted before I bought it) and if you'd like I can take a picture so you can see how it looks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I'd have to agree with this. I've yet to see paint over wallpaper that doesn't show up all the seams and bubbles/flaws. If possible, IMO, it is best to remove the wallpaper, fix any areas with spackle, sand, clean, prime and paint.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldyCat View Post
If the wallpaper has any spots that are not glued down completely flat it will show up in the paint. Sealing over the top of the wallpaper will not make it stick to the wall any better. You may also get the paint peeling off. This is especially true if there are several layers of paper.

Another thing to consider: wallpaper with paint on it is much more difficult to remove, if you decide you don't like it after it's done.

You should go ahead and do whatever works best for you. I just finished doing the opposite, put up vinyl wallpaper over the paint in my bathroom.
Thanks everyone for your input! I appreciate it.

Our kitchen actually has painted over wallpaper so i'm definitely familiar with how it looks. If done properly, you shouldn't be able to tell. Hopefully we can do ours well.

Considering how time consuming it will be to rip all of the wallpaper in the house down and that we also have to finish the attic soon so i can start working on the room we're planning to use as a nursery- we're trying to get everything done as quick (but well done) as posisble...so if there is a chance we can paint over the wall paper and do a good job then i'd rather do that at this point because there's sooo much we have to do soon!

The plan is to try out a test area first though (one that includes a seam) - we will seal it prime it and paint it and see how it turns out. If it unsightly we will rip everything down and just start from scratch. If however it looks ok we're going to do the whole room that way. I figured it wouldn't hurt to at least try a test spot and see how that goes.
post #23 of 23
My FIL suggested ironing the walls to remove the wallpaper!
Didn't do it though, we just painted over the wallpaper, i did accidently rip off some parts so i used plaster and sanded it down... I hope the land lady doesn't notice
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