Sometimes, you move into a home and there is wallpaper on the walls. Other times, you may already have wallpaper and be ready for a change. You can’t paint over wallpaper; you have to remove it. The key is to do it the right way so that you end up with walls that are smooth, clean, and ready to be painted. Read on for tips on how to remove wallpaper.
Prepare the Room
The first thing to do is prepare the room. You will want to protect your floor under the walls with a drop cloth. You can spread it out, and use painter’s tape to affix it to the baseboard. This way, your floors will be protected.
In addition, you should remove vents, outlet covers, and switch plates before you start and use plastic and tape to cover the openings. If you are unable to remove the furniture from the room, you will want to move it to the center of the room and cover it with drop cloths.
The thing to remember is that you will have glue and water running down the walls as you remove the wallpaper, and you don’t want to take any chances with outlets. You also need to protect your furniture and any other items you have in the room.
Rip Off the Facing of the Wallpaper
Once your room is prepared, you can start by removing the facing of the wallpaper. This is the top layer, and the backing will still be on the wall. You can get the edges started with a putty knife, and simply pull the wallpaper down off the walls. Hold the paper at a 45-degree angle and pull it slowly and evenly.
Wet the Wallpaper Backing
Once you have the wallpaper down, you can take a sponge, soak it in water, and rub it on the backing. You may have to run the sponge over the backing more than once to make the paste soft. When wallpaper was applied, it was applied with this paste. It will come off with water, but it may take some time.
It is best to use hot water for this job. The key is to remember that drywall can’t take a lot of water without being compromised. You need to work quickly because you don’t want to leave it wet for too long. Once you are able to lift any of the backing off the wall, you are ready for the next step.
Remove All of the Paste
It is important to remove all of the paste. If you leave any behind, you will not have very smooth walls, and it will show through when you paint them. This is time-consuming, but it is worth it in the end. If you have any paste that simply will not come off, try some gel stripper. Keep going until it is all gone.
Sand the Wall
When you finish, make sure that you sand the wall. You want it to be smooth and even so that the paint job looks good. Go over the spots where there was paste, and sand the wall until it is perfectly smooth and even.
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