He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young
. {Isaiah 40:11}

14 February 2012

Wallpaper Removal Extravaganza

I've been busy...
I have just one room left to get the wallpaper off of and I've all but decided to leave it and cover it with wainscoting.
No, seriously.
The past couple have days, when I've been home, have been spent in the downstairs guest bath and the craft room.
I warn you, it's not pretty...
While I was in the middle of all of this mess I couldn't help but thinking that the method I use is the absolute simplest and cheapest way I know. There are other more involved and complicated means to get the paper off but with all the wallpapered rooms I have encountered, stubborn and easy, this is, without a doubt, the best way to remove it so if you have any to get down, please, PUHLEASE give this a shot.
If it doesn't work for you, you've wasted nothing but a little time.
If it works for you you'll be elated at the amount of work and stress you've saved yourself.

Step 1: Using a razor edged scraper, remove the top, vinyl-like layer of the wallpaper.
I have used many blades and this one, borrowed from a friend, is by far the best. I am buying the same one after I return this one.

Step 2: Once you've removed the top layer, you'll likely be left with a soft porous paper. Using a spray bottle or sponge, thoroughly soak the paper with water... JUST WATER... a full sheet at a time.
I start with the outer edges first in case any extra glue was put down underneath to keep the edges from curling.
Be sure to thoroughly soak the whole strip so that it is darkened with water and has no patches like the picture above. If you don't soak it, when you begin to pull the paper away, it will tear at the dry spots.

Step 3: Go to the bathroom, check on the kids, make some coffee, whatever you have to do for a solid 5 minutes. Give enough time for the glue to get soft but not so much that it begins to redry. If you wait too long and dry patches begin to reappear, spray them again and wait a few second.

Step 4: Now for the real fun... IF the wall was prepared as it should have been and the paper hasn't been painted over and the paper isn't 100 years old... the paper should fall right off. Use your knife to peel up a corner and then gently, with both hands, begin to slowly peel the paper off.
With this method in the rooms I've been working on I've been able to pull of entire sheets in one pull.

Step 5: When the paper's off, if there are spots with extra glue, use the razor to scrape as much off as you can. If it's a lot, you may want to consider priming the wall to get a smooth finish. Otherwise, wipe the whole wall down with a damp cloth and it's ready to paint!

As for me, this is where we are at...
and with the in-laws coming in this weekend, I've got some serious work to do!

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