What is the Best Way to Remove Old Wallpaper?

By Mack.Painters | Aberdeen

Jun 29
What is the Best Way to Remove Old Wallpaper

Whether you just bought a house covered in wallpaper from top to bottom, you want to update your dining room or you’re ready to sell and need to start with a clean slate, you need to know the best way to remove old wallpaper – and there’s good news. You can hire a painting professional in Myrtle Beach, Pinehurst, Aberdeen or Southern Pines, or you can do it yourself.

What is the Best Way to Remove Old Wallpaper?

Before you try to remove old wallpaper, figure out what type of wall lies beneath it. Typically, you’ll be dealing with plaster or drywall.

Plaster is mostly in older homes, while drywall is only found in homes built within the last several decades. Knocking on the wall might give you some clues – plaster sounds solid and dull, while drywall sounds hollow (unless you’re knocking on a stud, so move your hand around while you’re knocking to be sure). You should also check to see if you have strippable wallpaper, which you can remove without water or chemicals. Do this by using a putty knife to pry at an edge at a corner or seam. If it pulls away easily, you have strippable wallpaper and you can just pull it all away using evenly applied pressure.

First things first: Take down all the décor and move out all the furniture. Cover the furniture you can’t remove to protect it. Put old towels and rags along the baseboards, and then put drop cloths over the towels; tape them down to protect your floors. Give yourself a full day to do an average-sized room, roll up your sleeves, and follow these steps.

Removing Wallpaper Using Water

If you want to strip wallpaper with water, you need a liquid stripper concentrate. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to mix, then apply the mixture to your walls with a broad brush. You can also use a sprayer if you have one.

Work from top to bottom, and only do one section at a time – you need the paper to stay wet while you work, but doing sections that are too large will allow the paper to dry.

Let the liquid soak for a few minutes, then scrape it away with a scraping tool.

Pro tip: If the paper won’t absorb water, scour its surface with coarse sandpaper. Soak it thoroughly with more liquid and let it soak for at least a half-hour.

Removing Wallpaper Using Steam

If you rent a steamer, which uses boiling water to heat up and soften the glue that holds the wallpaper to the wall, you’ll probably need to work in a team. Follow all the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use the steamer, and wear eye protection and hand protection – steam burns can be serious.

Pro tip: If the wallpaper is coated in vinyl, you need to punch holes in the paper so the steam can get through.

Do You Need to Talk to a Painting Pro in Myrtle Beach, Pinehurst, Aberdeen or Southern Pines?

We can help keep the outside of your home looking its best, from Myrtle Beach to Southern Pines – call us at 910-725-3227 to find out how. We’ll be happy to give you a free painting estimate for any of our services, too, so call today!


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