Removing Wallpaper

When it comes to property renovation, wallpaper removal is one of the most time consuming tasks there is.  After experimenting for quite a while, I came up with a solution that works well – even on 3 layers that had been painted over.  Its a 4 step process:

  1. Run a scoring tool back and forth over all the wallpaper you’re going to remove.  I use the Paper Tiger, but its a pretty basic tool so I don’t think any brand is really better than any other.  The idea is to open up the wallpaper to allow the removing compound (next step) and steam to get behind it.
  2. Spray the wallpaper with DIF or another type of wallpaper stripper.  Again, I’ve tested a few brands and didn’t find one that really stood out from the others.
  3. Hold a wallpaper steamer on as large of an area as it will cover for about 30 seconds.  I use a Wagner 1 gallon steamer that I bought on Amazon for around $65….well worth it.  The only negative was the warmup time when you first fill it and plug it in – which is 15-20 minutes.  I was able to do an average size wall in about an hour and a half without having to add water to the tank.
  4. After steaming the wallpaper, use a long handle scraping tool with a razor edge to remove it.  This type of tool works far better than something like a drywall finishing knife – just make sure you have plenty of blades.  They only last for a wall or two.

Here’s a video that shows us using the steamer on a recent project.  I’m generally working with plaster walls, so if you have experience removing wallpaper from drywall please add your comments below….I’ve done some removal from drywall and haven’t had a problem with the drywall ripping apart, but have heard of this happening to other people.

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