How to Remove Wallpaper

There are many benefits of wallpapers. They adhere smoothly to walls, hiding imperfections, and can add warmth, depth, and style to a room. Available in a range of beautiful, eye-catching designs, unique textures, and distinctive prints, wallpapers have a significant impact on the aesthetics of the rooms in which they’re installed.

Wallpapers are not designed to last forever. Over time, dirt, dust, and scratches can ruin the appearance of wallpaper and it can become an eyesore. If your wallpaper is damaged or looks unkempt and dirty, remove it.

You can use wallpaper removal solvents to remove old wallpapers. A wallpaper solvent is formulated to soften wallpaper adhesive, which reduces the risk of damage.

Read on to learn tips from a local painter near you for removing an old wallpaper.

Before You Start the Project

Most wallpaper removal solvents are caustic. To avoid injuries, wear gloves and eye protection gear. Make sure you keep these tools handy:

  • Wallpaper solvent
  • Drop cloth/plastic sheeting
  • Spackling compound
  • Sandpaper
  • Perforating tool
  • Scraping tools – can be a wallpaper scraper, putty, or drywall knife

Some water-resistant wallpapers use glues that release easily when pulled. Before you start the more difficult process described below to remove your old wallpaper, try peeling it away from the surface. If it peels easily, you may not have to use a solvent at all.

If the wallpaper does not peel readily, follow these steps to remove it using a solvent.

Prepare the Room

Preparing the room before removing wallpaper will reduce the risk of damage. Remove all electrical face plates, picture hangers, telephone jacks, and any other obstructions. Liquids can splash onto the electrical outlets, damaging them. To prevent liquids from entering your outlets, cover them with electrical tape. Cover the floor with a drop cloth to protect it against damage.


Perforate the Old Wallpaper

Perforate the existing wallpaper with a perforating tool. Perforating your wallpaper will allow the solvent to get behind it and dissolve the adhesive easily, effectively, and swiftly. Do not press too hard or you may inadvertently perforate the wall surface. If that happens, fill the nicks with a spackling compound.


Apply the Solvent

Apply the solvent with a paintbrush, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the solvent some time to soak in. You will know the solvent is working when the wallpaper starts to pull away from the wall or starts to sag.

*NOTE – A homemade solvent (such as a mixture of hot water and fabric softener or hot water and vinegar) is an affordable alternative to a solvent by a renowned brand.


Scrape the Wallpaper

After the solvent soaks in, start scraping the wallpaper with a tool. Continue to apply the solvent and rub the wallpaper until it comes off ultimately.

Painters Ottawa is a renowned local painting contractor in Ottawa. We have years of experience giving a new lease of life to dilapidated structures, walls, and surfaces. To learn more, contact us for interior painting service..

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