How to Remove Wallpaper

We had to remove a significant amount of wallpaper. The living room walls were 100% wallpaper, and in some places, there were layers of old wallpaper beneath the wallpaper!

In the kitchen, we had to remove wallpaper from above bead board, as well as in the pantry. In the bathroom, the walls are tiled halfway up, but the upper part was wallpaper. The foyer – also wallpaper!

Wallpaper was obviously en-vouge at some point, but its certainly not right now. Which is why we had to say goodbye.

Removing wallpaper is messy! But with the right tools, you can get the job done pretty quickly. We did all of our wallpaper removal in the evening after work, sometimes working until midnight or later. But now we have beautiful, bare walls ready to paint!

Here are some tips to make removing wallpaper as quick and easy as possible:

  1. Protect Your Flooring: Wallpaper is held by glue, which when it melts, is VERY sticky and messy. If you are planning on removing your current flooring, then its a good idea to leave it while you remove the wallpaper, then make your next step getting rid of your flooring. We did not have this luxury, so we protected our floors with plastic sheeting.
  2. Use a Steam Machine: We borrowed a little steam cleaner from our friend who uses it to clean his motorcycle. Its a truly handy little machine! Hold the steamer wand against the wallpaper to allow it to melt the glue. One melted, the paper is easy to tear off. While the glue is hot and runny, use a putty knife to remove the glue.
  3. Use Vinegar: As we only had one steamer but both of us were working, one of us would use vinegar. I try to avoid using harsh chemicals at all cost, so vinegar is a natural way to break down the wallpaper glue and remove the wallpaper. It is quite smelly, so leave some windows open if you can!
  4. Sand for the Best Paint Possible: Once all the wallpaper has been removed and all big spots of glue have been removed with a putty knife, make sure you sand off the remaining glue and get the wall nice and even so the paint will go on smoothly.
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