The time has come to vanquish the outdated, peeling wallpaper from one room in your home. You’ll need to muster up large quantities of stick-to-itiveness for this project. One expert recommends setting an aside an entire weekend because once you start, you can’t stop. Think about having a marriage counselor on speed-dial if you’re attempting this difficult mission with your spouse.


Green Paint and Wallpaper


You don’t want to damage the wall, furniture or anything else in the room, so move out everything you can. Then gather all the supplies you’ll need ahead of time. Even so, this becomes a messy, tedious job the further you get into it. Heed the following tips from professional handymen to lessen the difficulty.

1. Cover the Carpet or Floor: Drape drop cloths over any furniture you can’t remove from the room and also over the carpet or floor. Use small nails or very strong tape on the edges of the cloths to keep them from moving around.

2. Turn off All Lights: If you need to labor at night, hang a halogen work lamp. Also turn off the circuit breakers; everything gets wet in this process and water and electricity don’t mix well. Keep outlet covers and switch plates in place, but put plastic and tape over them.

3. Try Peeling Off the Wallpaper: When the entire sheet comes off in one piece, celebrate because you have encountered strippable wallpaper. If only the facing or first layer peels off, you’ll have to exert more effort. Should you be left empty-handed after pulling and yanking, cancel any weekend plans. You’re facing the most difficult of all – traditional wallpaper.


Peel Off Wallpaper


4. Score the Paper: Not grading math problems, but instead make tiny holes in the wallpaper with a scoring tool. The solution you’re about to apply will soak through to the adhesive.

5. Choose the Solution: Assuming you encountered a type other than strippable wallpaper, now you have to wet what’s left. You can buy premixed liquid, powdered or gel chemical removers at the hardware or wallpaper store. Because these commercial strippers get expensive, remove all the paper you can using very hot water first. One expert recommends hot water and fabric softener, at a one-to-one concentration, in a spray bottle instead of a commercial product.

6. Saturate One Section at a Time: Allow whatever solution you’re using to soak into a small portion of the wall at a time for a few minutes. Take the bottom corner of that section and pull upward. Use a putty knife to help with this. Repeat until you have a completely bare wall.

7. Scrape off the Glue: You’re almost done. The wall still has patches of adhesive all over it. Remove it with a putty knife and thoroughly wash the walls with a sponge and water.

8. Check for Paste in Daylight: If you don’t eradicate every last bit of adhesive on the wall, a new paint job will flake and crackle. Use a gel stripper for those pesky last strips and rinse the wall.


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About the Author: is a full-service home remodeling and construction general contractor serving the greater Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, San Francisco, and San Jose area. Home improvement is hard, and we make it easier for you every step of the way. That starts by understanding your goals, whether it’s making a space more livable, expanding your home, repairing damage, adding room for relatives, or something completely different. We’ll work with you to ensure you’re happy with the project from start to finish.