Recently someone asked me how I remove wallpaper, so here was my response:
Generally wallpaper has two layers, the top layer is usually water resistant and durable, the bottom layer, or the backing, is soft like paper.
Here is a picture of a wallpaper scraper so you know exactly what I’m talking about, a regular putty knife is too blunt to get under the wallpaper.
Peel off the top layer of paper
I try to get the top layer of paper off without water, I peel up an edge with a wallpaper scraper and see how far it will go. It’s important to keep the paper close to the wall as you pull, don’t fold it over on itself or it will tear much more easily
Remove wallpaper backing
After I’ve got the top layer off there is a paper backing that needs to be removed. To remove the backing I use a spray bottle with warm water, soak the surface and then scrape it off the wall using the wallpaper scraper and peeling by hand.
Scrape off any excess glue
After that some glue will be on the wall, I run over that with the wallpaper scraper to remove the glue and wipe the wall down with a wet rag to get as much of the glue residue off as possible.
Prime the wall
I prime the wall with an oil primer or emulsion primer which ensures any left over glue won’t affect the topcoat.
However: since there’s no way of knowing what is underneath the wallpaper or if the walls have been properly primed you might be left with very uneven walls. So it might be wise to have someone lined up who can do some plaster work, just in case there are any surprises after the wallpaper comes off.
Skim coating of walls is a service that CAM Painters offers along with wallpaper removal services.
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