How to Revitalize Old Wallpaper

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You can revitalize old wallpaper
You can revitalize old wallpaper

Wallpapering is a strenuous, time-consuming job that fortunately, does not have to be repeated very often. However, you can revitalize your old and tired paper without having to expend the expense and effort of replacing it. Read on to learn how to revitalize old wallpaper, save yourself some time and money and leave your room looking cleaner and brighter.

Dip a soft, clean cloth into powdered borax and rub it over any soiled or stained areas on the wallpaper. Remove any new stain on your wallpaper as soon as possible

Make your own "Cleaning Dough." Measure the flour into a bowl. Stir in the white spirit (see Tips below) a little at a time and combine thoroughly. Stir in the water until the mixture forms into a bread-like dough. Gently rub this over your wallpaper. Wipe it off with a clean, damp cloth.

Remove any greasy marks that may remain by placing some brown kraft paper over the area, and then iron over it with a warm iron. Repeat this several times until you have soaked up the grease. Never re-use the brown paper, because this will just transfer it to another area.

Stir a small amount of dish soap into some lukewarm water in a bucket, to make up a sudsy solution. Fill another bucket with clean lukewarm water.

Use a soft rag or sponge to clean the wallpaper. Using circular, overlapping motions, begin at the bottom and work your way to the top. Starting at the top will cause streaks on the wallpaper that will be hard to remove as you work your way down. Repeat with a damp, rinsing sponge or soft cloth.

Pat the wallpaper gently with a clean towel or soft cloth to remove as much surface moisture as possible.

If you need to clean a stained or soiled spot, let the wallpaper dry completely before you clean again.

Once you begin to clean the wallpaper, do not stop until you are done. Stopping midway will leave a tide mark that will be visible from a distance.

Tips & Warnings

  • White spirit, also called Stoddard solvent, is a colorless, organic solvent that is often used as a paint thinner and cleaning solvent. It is readily available at hardware and craft stores
  • Pay particular attention to the areas on the wallpaper where it most often comes into contact with hands, such as around light switches and door frames.
  • Never use water to clean non-washable wallpaper, as this risks making the color run and the wallpaper to fade. This type of paper will typically come away from the wall when it gets wet. Do not scrub your wallpaper too hard, either.
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