How to Get Rid of Old Wallpaper

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Because removing wallpaper can be quite time consuming, you may want to first decide if it is in good enough shape to paint over it. Removing wallpaper can be quite aggrevating and messy but the process can be made a little easier by following a few steps. Take your time and do not get discouraged, it's not as bad as it seems!

Things You'll Need

  • Wallpaper-Removing Solution
  • Spray Bottle
  • Hot Water
  • Drop Cloths
  • Scarifier (scoring tool)
  • Scraper
  • Before you begin spraying and scraping, try peeling the paper off by hand. Catch a small corner and gently peel the paper back at an angle. If the paper does not peel easily or if you see surface damage to the wall, stop and proceed with the following steps.

  • Place a drop cloth on the floor beneath the wall and tape it to the trim. This is necessary to catch any water that may (and will) drip.

  • Score the wall-papered surface with your scarifier. Go in broad circular motions with the scorer to 'nick' the paper; allowing the solution to seep behind the paper and release the glue.

  • Fill your spray bottle with hot water and your wallpaper-removing solution; saturate a small area of the wall and allow to sit no more than 15 minutes.

  • You should now be able to peel the wallpaper from the wall without causing excessive damage. If not, you may want to rent a wallpaper steamer. A steamer is easy to use and takes far less time than scoring, but can be messy and very wet with humidity.

  • Once the wallpaper is removed, allow the walls to dry completely, for at least 1 full day. This is particularly necessary if you intend to paint the walls afterwards.

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