what's the easiest way to remove wallpaper, so I can paint afterwards?
Welcome to our community Lauravan59!
Thank you for your question! We have a Project Guide on our website that explains very well how to remove wallpaper. I have put the instructions below for easy reference.
Since you will be painting afterwards, you will need to make sure that you use an oil based primer first. The reason being is that no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to get off all of the wallpaper glue. If you use a water based primer, it will reactivate the wallpaper glue and the places that the glue remains will bubble. No worries, you will be able to use any latex based paint on top of the oil based primer. :smileyhappy:
Please let us know if you have any more questions about this project and any other project!
Be very careful if you use one of the paper perforation tools. They can cause a lot of damage to the paper of the drywall. If the paper is punctured, water continues on into the drywall . NOT good! At a minimum they leave thousands of little punctures that have to be patched!
I always preferred using 36 grit sandpaper to scratch through the outer plastic coating that is almost every wallpaper these days. You do not have to sand all the way through to the wall, but merely break through the plastic and the inks of the printed pattern. Once you see the white of the paper, that is fine.
The watch word for paper removing is PLENTY OF WATER AND PATIENCE! The average do-it-yourselfer gets frustrated because they start picking at the paper before the paste has properly released. Using a garden sprayer works much faster than trying to sponge the water solution on. To protect the floors, use 2 inch masking tape to tape 3 foot wide strips of dropcloth plastic to the top of the baseboard. After it is taped, roll the outer edge toward the wall to form a trough. As the water comes down the wall, merely keep mopping it up. As the paper starts coming off, let it fall into the plastic and then roll everything up and right into a garbage bag when finished. It will usually take about 15 to 20 minutes for the paste to soften and release.
Don't soak down the whole room at once. If you do so, when the paper starts releasing, you will not be able to keep up with cleaning the wall. The paste will have needlessly dried out and have to be wet again. You will want to scrub down the wall of paste before it dries out. Continue using the sprayer to mist the paste while cleaning.
Use medium grade steel wool or 3M scrubby pads to aid in removing the paste, followed by wiping down with a sponge.
Finally, after the wall has been cleaned and dried down, prime the whole room. Try as you may, you will miss a little paste here and there. Primer will help seal it in before the paint is applied. Aslo, you probably will have knicked the wall a few times during removal and some patching will be in order. Again, a general primeing will seal them in.
Just a few hints from one who has done this literally hundreds of times over the last fifty years :smileysad:
Thank-you sooo much!! I especially did not know about using oil based primer after removing wallpaper, to prevent bubbling from the old wallpaper glue!! Will be tackling this project soon!!!
Thank-you for the hints!! I will definitely keep all of that in mind, as I plan to take this project on by myself!! My husband is too busy with work, so I want to transform our bedroon all by myself!! He put wallpaper on at least 10 years ago, and although it still looks beautiful, it has started to lift, our walls are poorly insulated, and the outside walls have lifted badly. Have not had any luck using glues etc to reattach it to walls!! :( Will keep you UTD on my project!! Thansk again!!
Wallpaper seams can be put down with some success. There are a couple tricks to use:
First, you have to lift the seam enough to get new paste under it. Unfortunately, as you lift the seam, the seam wants to continue opening up up the wall. To stop this, take a single edge razor blade and make a small slit perpendicular to the seam at the point where the seam is still laying down. This will halt the seam from further opening at the slit.
The second trick is to take a hair dryer and heat the wallpaper seam up. Why? Wallpapers are covered with thin plastic coatings to make them washable. However, after some amount of time curled up, they begin to act like springs. If you press them down, they will spring back up even after being pasted. Heating the wallpaper seam relaxes the plastic, allowing it to stay down while the glue dries.
Finally, lift the warm wallpaper seam and put glue under the paper with a small brush. Then force the paper down and redistribute the paste with a dampened rag. Wipe off any paste that oozes out.
There are also glue injectors on the market that look like a large hypodermic needle, which is suitable for getting the glue under the seam.
The glue sold for pasting down seams is somewhat like Elmer's White Glue, rather than paste. Such a glue is available in the paint section at Home Depot.