Removing Wallpaper

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Wallpaper Removal Tips

People who won't hesitate to remove paint from a wall balk at the idea of removing wallpaper. It's true that trying to remove wallpaper often results in a sticky mess. It's also true that drywall can be damaged as you remove wallpaper. Following some simple wallpaper removal tips and using the right wallpaper remover products makes the job much easier.

How to Remove Wallpaper

Before removing wallpaper take the same precautions you would take to remove paint. Move all furniture, artwork and other furnishings away from the walls. Lay plastic sheets over furniture and the floor and use a rubber-backed runner where the wall meets the floor.

Before you rush out to buy wallpaper remover, use a putty knife to peel a corner of wallpaper. If you're lucky, you're dealing with fabric wallpaper, which can be slowly peeled off the wall in long strips. To peel wallpaper, go slowly and peel at a 10 degree angle. Peeling wallpaper at a more severe angle can cause wall damage.

More often, the top piece of wallpaper will peel off, leaving a layer of paper and adhesive on the wall. Deal with this situation with the following wallpaper removal tips.

Water or Wallpaper Remover?

You can use wallpaper removal products at this point, but often water and a spray bottle work just as well. Soak a section of wallpaper with warm water or wallpaper remover solvent. Don't saturate the wall, as too much water can soften and damage drywall.

Let the moisture soak into the wallpaper for about 15 to 30 minutes and then remove the wallpaper in strips using a 6-inch broad knife. If the wallpaper does not come off, try adding some more water or wallpaper remover and waiting a few more minutes.

General Wallpaper Removal Tips

To avoid damaging drywall, never soak more wallpaper than you can peel in 15 minutes.

Sometimes you need to break the moisture seal on wallpaper. Sanding wallpaper by hand with coarse sandpaper helps moisture soften the underlying adhesive. Be gentle when sanding, however, as aggressive sanding can gouge drywall. If wallpaper removal is particularly difficult, rent a commercial wallpaper removal steamer to soften adhesive.

Wet wallpaper will be sticky, messy and sticks to just about anything. Fortunately wallpaper adhesive can be cleaned up with warm soapy water.

Need More Help?

If you need professional help with your project, LendingTree Home Pros can help.

The good news is that LendingTree Home Pros maintains a directory of home service professionals and can match you with a home pro in your area. All the home pros listed in the LendingTree Home Pros directory are properly licensed and insured and are backed by a $10,000 money-back guarantee!

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