3 Simple Solutions for Removing Old Wallpaper

From cleaning out the gutters and mowing the lawn to painting shutters and cleaning carpet, it is easy to see how home ownership can be so challenging at times. While many tasks may be considered priorities, other chores could benefit the overall look of your home. First used in the early part of the 16th century, wallpaper was a common element in homes in England. The colorful designs, unique textures, and added layer of insulation eventually made wallpaper popular in homes all across the globe.

If you live in a home with wallpaper, you may want to remove the coverings and apply paint to the wall or want to replace it with a more modern design. No matter which you option you prefer, you will need to remove the old wallpaper. With these tips, you will be prepared to take on the challenging task of removing wallpaper.

Determine Age

To get started, you will need to determine how long and how much paper is on your walls. If you live in an older home, you may be shocked to learn there are multiple layers of paper on the wall. Removing these layers may not seem problematic, but removing the numerous layers of wallpaper glue can be very stressful.

Use a scraper tool to remove an inconspicuous corner of wallpaper first. As you pull the corner of the wallpaper up off the wall, use the scraper to check for underlying layers that will need to be removed. Continue scraping the paper off the wall until you see sheetrock or another hard surface.

Pull the corner with your hands to see if the wallpaper comes right off the wall in one easy motion. If it does, the walls were primed before installation of the wall coverings. This will make the removal process a lot easier. If the paper does not come off with one simple pull, you will need to put in a bit more effort.

Score and Soak

Soaking the paper coverings with a soapy solution can make the removal process easier. Of course, if your wall is covered in multiple layers of paper, soaking and removing one layer at a time may be necessary.

Fill a spray bottle with warm water and add a few drops of liquid laundry detergent. Shake the bottle to mix, allowing the detergent to combine into the water evenly. Run the tines of a fork across the wall, scoring the paper. This will help the soapy solution soak through the layers of paper. Then, spray a generous amount of the soapy solution onto the wall, soaking the paper thoroughly.

Rent a Steamer

If you are unable to remove the wallpaper using soapy water and elbow grease, consider using a steam machine. These tools are available to rent at most home improvement stores.

To use, fill the machine with hot water and wait for the unit to heat up. Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from the hot water before using. Also, cover the electrical outlets on the wall to reduce the risk of electrical shock.

Place the flat side of the steamer tool on one area of the wall and hold it place for a few seconds. The steam will melt the glue, making the paper coverings easier to remove. After steaming the wall, use the scraper to lift a corner of the paper before pulling the entire covering off. Continue steaming and removing until you have completed the entire wall.

It is important to note that you will need to prepare the bare wall before applying paint or a new covering. Scrape away any stubborn pieces of glue and repair damaged sheetrock, if necessary. Apply a coat of primer to the wall before painting or installing a new covering.

Removing old wall coverings to prepare for a new look does not have to be a terribly stressful task. Using this guide, you can get started on the removal of your wall coverings to ready your home for a completely new look. Visit a site like http://www.paintingbyjerrywind.com to find out more about professional wallpaper removal services, which may come in handy.