Getting Wall Ready for Paint After Wallpaper Removal


Removing wallpaper can be an arduous task in itself, but when you're finished, the question still remains about what to do with the bare walls. If painting is in your plans, you're not quite done with your prep work. There are a couple of simple steps that should be taken to ensure that your paint goes on smooth and clean, without unsightly blemishes underneath it.


  • Make sure all the wallpaper adhesive has been effectively removed from the walls by washing them down with either tri-sodium phosphate or one of the following homemade solutions. Fill a spray bottle with 3 parts water and 1 part white vinegar. Spray onto the walls and wipe with a sponge. Use a putty knife or flat-edged trowel to scrape away any excess glue residue. You may also try a solution of 2 tsp. of baking soda in about 10 oz. of water. Sponge onto the walls and scrape away the remainder.


  • After the adhesive has been removed, you will need to fill any cracks or holes with Spackle. Allow the Spackle to dry for about an hour or per the manufacturer's instructions. Next you must sand the walls. You may use a power sander, or sand them by hand. Use a fine-grit sandpaper for this step. Brush away any dust created from the sanding process with a clean paintbrush or soft, dry rag or towel.


  • Because walls that were previously laden with wallpaper can still have some subtle imperfections, it's always a good idea to apply a coat of primer to the walls before painting them. If there is a risk of mold, mildew or dampness in the room where you are painting, use a mildew-resistant primer. Otherwise, select a primer, and apply one coat. Allow the primer to dry for about a half hour before applying the first actual coat of paint.

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