If the wallpaper in a room is rundown or already boring and you want to change it, you should remove all traces of paper completely before re-wallpapering or repainting.
Before starting, keep in mind that completely removing the wallpaper from a wall can be a not so easy task and could damage the surface, most of the damage is due to the lack of primer on the wall before having installed the paper, resulting in the glue being absorbed by the plaster or drywall.
There are many different types of wallpaper on the market. Some are made of adhesive vinyl and can generally be removed by simply pulling gently without wetting the wall.
Step by step to remove the wallpaper
- The first step is to try to remove the paper dry. Try to find a loose corner, you may need a putty knife or scraper to get started. Lift the corner of the wall paper with a putty knife or other flat tool. Hold the paper with both hands and slowly pull it back at a 10 to 15 degree angle.
- If the paper is firm, you can try making a series of horizontal stripes about 10 centimeters apart with a sharp knife perpendicular to the wall, then loosen the paper in sections by gently pulling with your fingers.
- If you’re not lucky enough to have “tear-off” wallpaper and it stubbornly sticks to the wall, you’ll need to moisten the surface with a concentrated enzyme-based wallpaper remover that breaks down the adhesive that holds it to the wall. Or you can also use homemade removers, such as, fabric softener or vinegar.
- First, disconnect the electrical power from the room to avoid any danger. Fill a bucket in half with warm water and add around a lid filled with fabric softener. You can also use a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. Apply this solution to the wall with a garden sprayer or paint roller, or you can use a sponge to moisten the corners. Wet the wall in sections and make sure it is saturated with the solution for about ten minutes.
- Remove the wet paper with a putty knife or scraper. The paper should come out easily. If you find areas of old paper that haven’t quite absorbed the water, scrape the surface with coarse sandpaper or a perforation tool so that the water penetrates the paper. Once it is completely soaked, you should apply the wetting agent twice more and let it soak for 30 minutes or until you can loosen pieces with your fingernail.
- After removing everything, the walls should be thoroughly cleaned with a sponge and a clean solution of softener and warm water.
- Allow the walls to dry well before applying a primer if you are going to re-wallpaper. Or apply an acrylic paint primer or wall sealer before painting.
Step by step to remove adhesive vinyl
- Most residential wallpapers are pvc coated, this vinyl layer usually separates easily from the glue, start by removing the vinyl layer as much as possible.
- Then the glue from the paper that has been attached to the wall must also be removed, for this a wet or steam removal is required, as explained above. It would seem to be twice the work but it will actually be easier than if you try to remove the two layers together.