How To Remove Old Heavy Wallpaper For Homeowners And Do It Yourselfers

How To Remove Old Heavy Wallpaper For Homeowners And Do It Yourselfers, is an article that will walk the average homeowner through the rigorous and time consuming process of removing heavy old layers of wallpaper from any wall.

Many people will struggle with this task. It can be such a laborious job, that they end up hiring someone to complete what they have started. Most contractors charge more to complete a home improvement job when the homeowner has attempted and failed because they know how much you may need help. Although not all contractors will do this, some are very unscrupulous and won't shy away from using this to their advantage.

Tools You Will Need To Remove Old heavy Wallpaper

Large wallpaper scraperQuality Spray Bottlesmall putty knifeLarge Putty Knife

Tools you will need to remove old heavy wallpaper are very simple in nature and most people will have all of the required tools on hand already. Simple putty knives are the best as they are not too sharp and will help to avoid your digging into the plaster or sheet rock. When your thinking about the spray bottle you should invest in a good quality one that is comfortable to grasp and not to heavy as you will be using this tool extensively.

Chemicals verses just water

chemical poison

We all are aware of the toxic effects of hazardous chemicals. Wallpaper removal concoctions of all kinds are available, both at the local hardware store as well as on line. Using them however can be dangerous to you and the people that live in your home. Over time I have found that the benefits of using these harsh chemicals for this job does not present enough of a benefit to offset the risk of toxic fumes you may inhale while removing your old wallpaper.

Most wallpaper can be removed with just water. If your wallpaper is old and really secure on the wall, a small amount of regular liquid fabric softener will help the process. A little extra labor as compared with the toxic chemical method can be expected, but your safety and the well being of your family should be worth the extra time and effort.

Preparing The Room To Remove Your Old Wallpaper

Starting this kind of job without the proper preparations will cause an incredible amount of extra time when you go to clean up the mess. First of all the room should be completely empty to save time from moving things around a million times. After the room has been emptied, cover the floor completely with one large piece of plastic. Use something at least 4 mils thick as you will be abusing this protective coat by walking on it and dropping all of your old wallpaper on this cover.

Tape all the edges to the base moldings to keep the plastic from moving. Taking these extra precautions is imperative if you are trying to accomplish this labor heavy task as fast as possible. This plastic will be rolled up when we are finished and all of the debris will be removed easily in one step.

Reach High Walls With Staging To Save Time

Reach High Walls With Staging To Save Time

Using a makeshift staging with two ladders and a plank will save a huge amount of time over using one standard step ladder. Two kitchen chairs or two five gallon buckets upside down will also work with a plank to allow you to access a whole wall without ever moving the apparatus you need to reach the top of the wall. Much of your time when attempting this type of job will be wasted moving the ladder.

Save Time, Work From Left To Right And Don't Go Back

Again, a lot of time can be saved by simply doing the room from one starting point and working your way around as opposed to jumping all over the place. Start in one spot with your staging and don't move anything until that area is completed. This method will also help to keep you from walking in all the fallen debris and tracking them out of the room on your feet. As you move along, you'll be moving to areas without debris.

Time frame For Soaking The wall

Your job is special. In other words no two jobs of this type will be the same. There are many variables that go into how your old wallpaper comes off. Age is one, it seems the older the wallpaper is the harder it is to get off. Another is what the wallpaper is made out of. Some wallpapers are actually vinyl and these will come off rather easily just by pulling from one corner. The vinyl is strong and won't rip like the paper kind does.

Use your sprayer and wet down a four by four square foot area, give it about five minutes and begin to scrape from one corner until you lift the edge slightly. See if the wallpaper will peel in large pieces or if it comes off in little bits. If the latter is true then it should be re wet after the initial coating drys. Some rooms will take up to three spray jobs before the paper starts to lift easier. Gloves are recommended for this job even though we have abstained form chemicals as the old wallpaper itself could have harsh glue residue that may effect your skin.

The time frame for your specific job you will ascertain after a little bit of trial and error. Some wallpapers will dry rapidly and some will take a long time. Each job is different so this aspect will be yours to decide.

What To Do Next If All Else Fails

Wallpaper Steaming Tool

This is the part that we hope you never get to. If that stubborn old wallpaper just won't come off with the previous methods, then you will have no alternative then to acquire a wallpaper steamer. This tool is available to rent from home improvement stores and also tool rental shops. Usually between 5 and 20 dollars a day for rent, this may be the only answer there is.

There are very few applications where the old wallpaper will require this tool. Most of it will come off rather easily with the previous mentioned methods. If you do need to rent this tool it is recommended that you get all set up first. Take the time before you start paying rent on a steamer to get everything else you will need on hand and the room prepped and ready to go. There's no sense in paying for the steamer to sit there while you do all this. I would also return the unit before I do the cleanup as this is all time we're paying for.

Cleaning Up The Job Afterwords

Clean up is always a pain whenever we do any home improvement work. Most people don't even realize the time they waste by not preparing for this inevitable part of the job. We however have taken the necessary precautions ahead of time that are going to make our clean up a snap. Simply remove the staging and other tools you used and then roll up the plastic we laid out and discard it into the trash and wala!! your done. Your cleanup took a couple minutes instead of hours without the right preparations.

One more helpful idea is using a mixture of TSP or tri sodium phosphate to wipe down all the walls. This action will remove any old glue residue and prepare the wall for either paint or a new wall covering. A large sponge or terri cloth towel can be used for this.


How To Remove Old Heavy Wallpaper For Homeowners And Do It Yourselfers, is an article that was written to help anyone tackling this task. It was inspired by a published author friend of mine, Lynsuz, at Info Barrel, who happens to need some information on the subject.

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