If you are redecorating, you might want to remove the old wallpapers. But it can be tricky if you don’t know-how.
The process of removing wallpaper involves soaking the surface with water or agents for that purpose and then removing the paper using a trowel that successfully separates the paper but leaves a stubborn sticky residue.
Let me save you some time and effort!
Preparations to remove the wallpapers
Remove as many pieces of furniture as possible outside the room or, if this is not possible, group all the furniture in the middle of the room. The wallpaper removal process itself involves a lot of water so cover the floors and the rest of the furniture with plastic tarpaulins and use protective tape to cover all electrical outlets, switches, and drains. It is a good idea to turn off the electricity in the room to avoid accidents.
Moisten the wallpapers so they are easy to remove
With a sponge dipped in almost hot water, moisten the wallpaper and observe how and whether the water is absorbed. If water drips and slides off the wallpaper, it means that it is not absorbed, that it does not penetrate the layers of the wallpaper. In this case, you will have to perforate the wallpaper with a needle roller and thus allow water to penetrate through all the layers and soften them.
You can clean the wallpaper with clean warm water, but you can also add a little fabric softener. An alternative to the softener is vinegar and make the mixture so that the ratio is 20% vinegar and 80% water. Keep in mind that the water should be constantly warm, almost hot as this will significantly enhance the absorption. Moisten the wallpaper with a sponge and/or ordinary flower sprayer.
Soak the wallpaper piece by piece because it’s important to take them off while they’re still wet; when they dry, they’ll shrink again, and you’ll have to soak them again to be able to take them off. So do not wet the entire wall of wallpaper and only then start removing them because you will unnecessarily prolong your work.
Remove the wallpaper
After the wallpaper is well soaked and has absorbed the liquid through all the layers, start removing it. Start removing from the edge of the wallpaper because that way you have the best chance of peeling it off in a larger piece. Soak the remaining smaller parts additionally and then peel them with a paint spatula.
Be careful not to damage the wall further. Unfortunately, wallpapers that have been on the wall for many years will probably be very difficult to remove, so you will have to moisten them several times and they will tear off into smaller pieces.
If there is glue left on the wall
If you notice leftover glue on the way, mix hot water, liquid dishwashing detergent and add a tablespoon of baking soda in a bucket. If you notice that the glue does not come off so easily when you apply the mixture on the wall, add vinegar to it and one cup per four liters of water.
Put on rubber gloves and rub the mixture on the selected part of the wall with a damp sponge. Do not try to apply it to the whole wall at once, it is important to work on smaller parts of the wall so that you can remove the glue while it is still soft.
Allow the product to sit for a few moments, then wipe off the adhesive residue with a cloth. You can also use a trowel to gently scrape off stubborn pieces. You may need to soak individual parts several times. Repeat the process until you have covered the entire room and completely removed the glue.
Wipe the cleaner off your walls with a clean, damp cloth in a circular motion. Dry the wall with another clean cloth or towel. Ventilate the room and allow the walls to dry well (about 24 hours) before painting them. The walls should be smooth, and if you find sticky parts you need to repeat the process.