Wallpaper Removal Issues


Many homes have been wall-papered. Wallpaper, especially in bathrooms and kitchens where there is high humity, will peel away from the drywall as the glue gets humid.   As styles change, wallpaper can seriously 'date' a home making it look like your mom's house.Or grandmom's house.


You know what I mean.  


Removing wallpaper can be a problem if it was put over raw drywall. The RIGHT way of applying wallpaper is to 'size' the wall first. Sizing is an application that allows the wallpaper to be easily removed in the future.


Sadly, many contractors deciced to skip the sizing step, trying to eliminate cost for themselves.  If of course you are one of the lucky few whose wall were 'sized' before they were papered, your wallpaper removal job is likely to go just fine.  


If there is no sizing or glossy paint under the wallpaper, removing wallpaper cleanly

is almost impossible. What ends up happening is the drywall backing is often damaged in the process, leaving a mess.


Now the walls look like a bombed out German brothel after WWII.


What If I Already Made A Mess Of It? 


 If you have already begun to remove the wallpaper and start to gouge the drywall, stop. The less damage you do, the less it will cost to fix it. This is when you may want to call in a pro.


Do I Have To Remove The Wallpaper? 


 Maybe not. If your walls have wallpaper and it is attached solidly (no peeling edges),

it might be best to apply a moisture barrier them with several coats of oil-based Kilz.  


DO NOT use water-based or latex Kilz or another latex similar product....unless you want the wall-paper to begin to peel ! *


 After this, the joints can be mesh taped and mudded, and if needed,

a tight skim added to give an even finish.

After sanding and a proper primer, final painting can begin.


If you did it right, you should have no more issues and a beautiful painted surface.


*Sure, water-based or latex primer it isn't as noxious and smelly to work with, but it won't create the moisture barrier you need to keep the wallpaper from getting soaked with water from mud and paint and peeling off under your work. 



What Is the Best Way To Remove Wallpaper? 


If your wallpaper is loose and you are determined to remove it, the best way is to apply a liquid

to act a solvent for the glue. The simplist liquid is water, but not always the most effective. I have a great, homemade wallpaper removing formula that I will share with you. (See Below*). 


Before you wet your wallpaper however, the composition will determine how you go about this.

 A thin paper will absorb liquid easily, allowing it to soak through and disolve the glue

. A thick vinyl paper will not. You will have to use a product to score the surface, like the Paper Tiger.

You should be able to pick this up at a big, box store. 


Once you have prepped the wallpaper (if needed) with the Paper Tiger, use a paint roller and

pan to roll on a hot water/vinegar solution (the stronger the vinegar the more effective) 

Continue to roll until the paper and yellow backing peel off easliy with a 6" putty knife.

Remove all traces of yellow backing paper. The next step is to remove the glue.


Remove All the Glue Before You Paint


 . Before you paint, make sure to remove every bit of glue. You can do this with hot water,

 vinegar and a scrubbie sponge. To ensure that leftover glue will not ruin your final paint job,

wait till the wall dries, lightly sand it with 120 grit sandpaper and paint it with the Oil Based Kilz. 


Yes. You heard me. It has to be the Oil Based material, not the water based latex.

It is the only kind of material that will seal any residual traces of glue and prevent

it from ruining your final paint. 


After Kilzing, lightly sand again. Now you are ready to final paint,

assuming you didn't have to patch any damaged areas.  


*Homemade Wallpaper Removal Paste Recipe


 .Ok, this stuff is fantastic because it doesn't evaporate too quickly to be effective

and it doesn't slosh around getting on everything. Best of all, it is cheap, easy to make and safe.




1/2 gallon water


1/2 gallon white vinegar (the cheap stuff)


 1 cup Corn Starch


That's it. 

So, you pour the water and vinegar into a big pot on your stove,

heat it up to a near boil, and then add the corn starch slowly,

stirring it constantly until you have a paste,

about the consistency of pasta sauce. 


Take the paste and brush or roll it onto the wallpaper, allow it to 'work' for about 15 minutes and then see if you can peel the paper off. If it comes off, but not easily enough, reapply and give it another 15 minutes. 


The paper should come off easily unless it is a 'vinyl' wallpaper and you did not 'score' it first. 






References and Recomendations Available

2015 Estate Plaster 

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