What is the best way to take off old wallpaper from a bedroom wall. We want to repaint the walls after we are finished.
Kelli from OH
I watched a program about preparing a house to sell and on it they removed wallpaper with fabric softner. Check out HGTV.com, it was I think on Sell This House. (07/16/2004)
Removing old wallpaper depends on how old "old" is. If it is a really old paper, you may have some problems removing it. Newer papers with a vinyl coating are a little easier to remove. Papers that were properly installed over wall sizing are the easiest to remove. If the paper has a vinyl layer attached to the paper backing, then you can either try to pull the vinyl from the paper or score the paper (make lots and lots of little cuts in the surface) with a razor blade or a Paper Tiger. Once you have removed or scored the paper, you can use steam or hot water to soften the glue, adding a little vinegar helps. Or you can use a product called Dif (if you use the Dif, roll it on, don't bother with spraying it, it doesn't cover well when sprayed). Allow the hot water or Dif to work for a while, but don't allow it to dry. After 10 minutes, try removing the paper with a plastic putty knife or wallpaper remover. If it still sticks, wet it again and wait another ten minutes. Once you have all of the paper off, you need to make sure that you have removed all of the glue from the wall. Use a TSP solution and rinse well before painting. If the paper was applied directly to unprimed or unsized drywall, you will probably end up removing part of the drywall paper with the wallpaper. Don't apply too much steam, water or Dif if the wallpaper is pulling off pieces of drywall. If this is the case, you may be better off simply cleaning the wallpaper, using spackle to hide the seams, then priming and painting the wallpaper. Not the best solution, but easier than trying to repair drywall that has been damaged by water. (07/16/2004)
I have removed old wallpaper and border using a bucket of hot water, about 1-2 cups of fabric softener, and a sponge. Soak the sponge in the bucket and wring some of it out and rub onto the wall starting at the top. It should start to peel off easily. Just make sure you put a rolled up towel on the floor against the wall you are working on to catch the drips! (07/17/2004)
Unless the wallpaper is loose or peeling I would not remove it. When you remove it you will probably have to do some wall repair where the paper glue took some drywall with it. We have had success painting over wallpaper that was in good shape by first priming over the wallpaper with Kiltz. Talk to someone at Home Depot/Lowes and they can help you with any questions. We simply painted the primer and then painted over the primer with our paint. I think you have to use Kiltz or a similar brand. (07/26/2004)
Last summer I removed a 9 year old wall boarder from my son's room with a liquid gel called Dif. You can get it in the spray bottle or in the bucket in any hardware store. It worked wonders. (07/27/2004)
Fill a garden sprayer with hot water and a cup full of fabric softener. Spray one wall at a time. Wait 20-30 minutes. Spray again and wait another 20 minutes. Start to peel it off. If it doesn't come off easily, spray again and wait again. This will remove the top layer. Re-spray the backing that is still stuck to the wall - you got it - wait again and it will all peel right off. Let dry overnight before painting. It's never failed for me in 20 years. (08/27/2004)
I removed the wall paper in my house and even though the paper came of, there is a layer of glue left on the wall. I don't know what to do to get it to come off. I am afraid just washing the drywall, since the walls weren't primed before the wallpaper was applied, any ideas? (02/10/2005)
I've found that Downey fabric softener works best. (04/06/2005)
I have never really attempted to do any home improvement things on my own. I have always relied on others to do it for me. I wanted to paint my room over and i have 10-15 yr old wall paper i have to remove. I was wondering if someone could give me some tips and/or the best way to remove wallpaper. (08/21/2005)
By sara Tumminelli
I am using a bucket w/ half water and whole thing of vinegar and about 3 cups of fabric softener. Taking a big towel and sponge and it is taking everything off including the glue.
Zanesville/Ohio working on house built in 1926 (08/22/2005)
You can use boiling hot water and spray with a sprayer and wait about 5 minutes and peel it off. (10/09/2005)
Hot water, vinegar, and fabric softner is the thing to take off wallpaper. After spraying, it just scraps right off.(quote)(/quote) (12/04/2005)
I just bought a jug of it. After I perforated the walls, I put some in a container and brushed a generous amount on the paper. About 15 mins later I walked in my room and the wall paper was basically falling off the walls, well sort of falling off. It came off so easy I can't emphasize enough how great the product is. My entire room was finished in about 1 1/2 hours and my room its fairly well sized.
Don't use steamers and scrapers. I didn't need any of that. Dif gel is great because if you have anything on a vertical surface such as your ceiling its a gel so it wont drip, it just stays in place. My house is 30 years old and its original wall paper. For the places where you stapled some of the drywall cardboard barrier off just take some spackle and go over it and fill in the spots.
Wait about a day and sand them flush and smooth. Don't forget to use a latex base primer that also fills in some of the tiny cracks and imperfections and go over the seams of the walls and the corners. If yours is original wallpaper from when the house was built I guarantee the seams of the corners aren't filled too great. This is a great idea for filling anything where you don't have the skill to use drywall seam putty or tapes. Remember Paper Tiger and Dif gel (12/31/2005)
- 30 yr old house
- unprimed drywall
- original layer of wallpaper
- additional layer of "tack" paper (yes, the vinyl kind you stick to the bottoms of drawers)
This is definitely a job for the more compulsive (mmm.. peel, rip, peel, rip!) of us. I have been able to remove the top vinyl portion of the tack paper using only a scraper and my finger nails. This left the tack paper backing glued over top of that original wallpaper. I have tried several techniques on the walls and am finding that just some patience and the scraper are working best (i.e. removing the least amount of drywall cardboard). The perforation tool everyone is talking about also perforates the drywall paper. The DIF spray then loosened THAT. I was forced to tear the top layer of drywall backing off, after doing this, since it just got bubbled up when it re-dried.
- Let your finger nails grow out a bit
- keep a sharp scraper edge
- start corners w/ scraper carefully, keeping as parallel an angle as possible with it (or else gouge the drywall paper)
- peel slowly and evenly... feel out where the glue is stronger, and assist the peel gently with your scraper.
- test a SMALL area with the perforation tool and DIF solutions, first. Make sure the solutions are not going to soak through to your drywall.
I walked into this project prepared to tear down walls, so I'm not angry about any of it. (: I just wish I wouldn't have to spackle so much and prime, before seeing some cool color in there.
I too have used hot water and vinegar to get off old wallpaper and border...it works wonders but in a spray bottle its kind of messy...rolling it on may be better and saturate through faster. (06/26/2006)
By Peg (Guest Post
DO NOT USE FABRIC SOFTENER! My girlfriend insisted on using fabricate softener because she had watched the same program on HGTV. The softener did help remove the outer layer of wallpaper, however, it solidified the glue side of the wallpaper leaving it virtually impossible to remove without tearing out chucks of the drywall. The fabric softener technique is a nightmare for old wallpaper! (07/05/2006)
Check out this site, I found it helpful when I was taking down wallpaper.
Good luck, I know it can be hard. (12/06/2006)
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