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Posted 2010-10-31T02:20:03+0000  by travera travera

Hey Dmoney,  welcome to the Community!


Given that the paint layers add thickness, I would use the PaperTiger tool to scroll small perforations into the wall paper before using one of the removal methods outlined above.




I personally like the steamer because it’s so fast and easy, but as Paul said, even really hot water can soften up the paste.  Adding solvents like vinegar, fabric softener or using a paper removal product all work as well.


I hope this helps,


Posted 2011-11-22T17:09:13+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI

How much does it cost to rent a steamer from Home Depot to remove wallpaper? I can't find steamers listed on the equipment renting section of the website.

Posted 2012-03-03T07:30:22+0000  by Meghan

 I am not a big fan of the Paper Tiger. I have seen it puncture thousands of holes through the paper of the dry wall. When this happens, the moisture you are using to loosen the paste continues into the drywall. These thousand of holes then have to be subsequently filled by skimming dry wall mud over the entire wall followed by lots of dusty sanding! However, in this case , with multiple layers of paper that have been painted over, its judicious use may be warranted. Just don't bare down to hard!


Normally, I score wallpaper using very course 36 grit sandpaper. You do not have to get all the way to the underlying wall, but just through the plastic coating that is on most wallcoverings and the inks, which also repell water. Your moisture from either water or steamer can then reach the paste.


Unfortunately, the greatest determinant of how easily a wallpaper comes off is beyond your control. If the original wallpaper hanger did not adequately seal those walls before papering, the water/steam you are applying will continue into the wall without have time to loosen the paste. If he/she did their job correctly, the paper should come off reasonably well. If not, it can be a nightare.


If your walls are of plaster, you will have a much easier time. Plaster is much harder and slicker than drywall. It is inherently less porous than drywall.


A quick note on paste:  Most papers in later years have been pre-pasted with a celulose paste. This paste is clear and cannot be seen, it must be felt. It has a very slimey feel when wet. YOU MUST REMOVE the paste. Not to do so will result in greyish stains coming through the new paint, or in the worst case, cause the paint to crinkle up and/or peel. There are two other types of paste commonly used also, clay and wheat paste. Fortunately they can be seen, but they also must be removed. I prefer to remove the paste as soon as a section of wall has been cleared of paper. Why let it dry down and then have to re-wet it? Wet the remaining paste down and scrub it with a green 3-M scrubby pad. Then rinse of the residue.


Try as you might, you will miss a little paste here and there. I routinely prime a room which has been stripped. A primer will seal this in. Besides the paste, you will probably have knicked the drywall here and there,  resulting in a fair amount of patching. Another reason to prime. In this instance, I prefer a dedicated primer rather than one of the primer and paint in one paints. It is possible to have the primer tinted close to your finish color, thus avoiding having to do two finish coats.


I hope this hasn't been information overload. Good luck!

Posted 2012-03-04T07:46:19+0000  by ordjen

Hello Meghan.  Welcome to the community!


I think the reason you cannot find a small steamer for rent is due to 2 factors.


First, homeowner style steamers are very inexpensive.

Second, the demand to rent these items would be fairly low.


Take a look at the Wagner 705 steamer I mentioned in an above post:

Wagner Steamer.jpg

I own one of these and it does a great job.




Hey ordjen,


I agree that when applied too firmly on drywall that the PaperTiger can do what you claim.  I just think that it's an effective way to get through Dmoney's particular dilemma.

I have never thought of using 36 grit sandpaper before.  Maybe a lower grit would work even better, like the stuff used on flooring sanders for their initial runs.  The  well spaced chunks of grit on that stuff would be a great way to score wallpaper without damaging drywall.  Of course, go too low in grit and you end up with a non-rolling PaperTiger...

Thanks for the tip!



Posted 2012-03-06T14:42:22+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI


Unfortunately, my Home Depot stopped carrying the 36 grit sheet goods, however, 36 grit is still available as sanding belts and could be cut apart. Those stores that have the large upright oscillating floor sanders might also have the course grit which could be cut apart for use in hand sanding.


During my contracting years, I used to special order the 3-M Resinite floor sanding paper in 12 inch wide roll form for general sanding. It is made of a really sturdy paper and greatly outlasted conventional sandpaper. When folded into thirds, it formed a convenient sanding pad. I, however, sanded many wallets to death when I absentmindedly put the sandpaper in my rear wallet pocket!  :)

Posted 2012-03-06T18:00:31+0000  by ordjen
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