You’ve been dreaming about adding a new splash of color to your bedroom or brightening up your drab living room. Unfortunately, there is one thing standing in your way: that old, outdated wallpaper. Painting over your wallpaper is one option, but it can be difficult to get the finished product you’re looking for.

Removing the wallpaper is the best idea. However, before you take on this task, it is important to know what to expect and how to get rid of your unsightly wallpaper without damaging the wall underneath. Here is a beginner’s guide to removing wallpaper.

Testing the Wallpaper

There are several different types of wallpaper in the market, and there are some that require a unique technique to remove the product from your wall. For example, if you have dry, strippable wallpaper, you will need to remove the top layer of the wallpaper manually before removing the adhesive underneath.

If your wallpaper is coated with vinyl, foil or acrylic, you will need to soak the product for several minutes longer. This is because these types of wallpapers are not porous, and it will take much longer for the wallpaper removal product to soak through the top coating.

The best way to determine which type of wallpaper is in your home is to perform a simple test. To determine if it is dry, strippable wallpaper, simply grab the top corner of one panel and gently release it from the wall with a putty knife of wall scraper. If the wallpaper easily peels of your wall, it is dry strippable.

If the wallpaper does not easily come off, it is time to determine if there is a coating on the product. To do this, pour some hot water into a spray bottle and coat a section of the wallpaper. If the water immediately soaks into the paper, it does not feature a coating.

Prepping the Area

Now that you’ve determined which type of wallpaper is in your home, it’s time to prep the area. Removing wallpaper is a messy job, so you will need to take as much out of the room as possible, including furniture, pictures, light fixtures and outlet covers.

Next, it’s important to cut the power from the room. Remember, you will be using chemicals and liquids, and the room’s outlets will be exposed. If you need light, grab an extension cord and utility light. Plug it into an outlet in an adjacent room.

Finally, cover the floors and baseboard with plastic tarps or sheets. This will help ensure that any adhesive that drips onto your flooring won’t cause any staining or damage.

Removing the Wallpaper

Now that the room is prepped, it’s time to remove the wallpaper. If you have dry, strippable wallpaper, grab the corner of each panel and pull it off at an angle. Do not pull straight down because this could damage the wall underneath. If there isn’t any adhesive underneath, you can clean the walls and repaint. However, if there is adhesive, continue to the next steps.

If there is a foil or vinyl covering, you will need to penetrate the surface to allow water to reach the paper underneath. The best way to do this is with a scoring tool which should be used carefully to avoid damaging the wall.

The most effective way to remove the paper is to use a commercial product. Mix the product according to the package directions and apply it with a brush or spray bottle. Allow the product to penetrate the paper for at least 15 to 20 minutes. If it features a coating, it may take several minutes longer.

Once the remover has penetrated the paper, begin scraping it off with a putty knife or paint scraper. It is critical to only remove wallpaper one panel at a time. This will ensure the product doesn’t dry out and can be reapplied later.

In most cases, removing wallpaper is a job that can be completed in a day. If you have any further questions, or when you’re ready to repaint your room, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Paul Schubert Painting Inc.

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