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Out with the Old, How to Remove Outdated Wallpaper

Wallpaper can be lovely if installed properly and done tastefully; but unfortunately, it is one of those things that go out of style quickly. Nothing dates a home quite like outdated, peeling wallpaper.

Removing old wallpaper can be painfully time-consuming and just flat-out frustrating. There are some helpful tips to make the job a little more tolerable. Stripping wallpaper is one of those areas that you can’t afford to cut corners in. If you don’t remove the old glue completely, no matter how many layers of paint you apply over it, the paint will crack and flake like an earthquake hit it.

Here are a series of steps to follow, and if done correctly, you should have a clean surface ready for your new design.

  1. Use a scoring tool over the whole area to break up the wallpaper.
  2. Use a liquid wallpaper stripper and use a garden sprayer to apply. Vinegar mixed with hot water is a chemical free alternative to standard strippers, but may take a few more coats and patience to be as effective.
  3. Spray the stripper onto the wall and allow to soak for at least ten minutes.
  4. When wallpaper feels soft and pliable, peel off using a putty knife or paint scraper.
  5. Use an electric steamer to help if the paper is resisting.
  6. After removing all wallpaper, spray the wall once more with the stripper to remove the glue. This is an important step, as the glue causes the most problems under paint.
  7. Scrub the wall clean with warm water and a coarse pad. Be sure the pad isn’t too abrasive to leave obvious scratches. You may need to use the paint scraper again to really get it off.
  8. When your wall is clean, dry, and completely clear of any wallpaper residue, look for any holes or damages to fill with putty. If intending to paint, you may need to add a coat of texture.
  9. It is advisable to use a quality primer for your first coat just to add an extra layer of protection.
  10. You are now ready to apply your new wall covering.

Definitely a process that tries the patience, but as with any renovation, it’s rewarding in the end. Request a free estimate from a professional painter to bring some modern design to your home.

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