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How to take down wallpaper?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Tell me how to do this, step by step.

Do I need to rent a steamer? Where would I rent one from?

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 12
Borrow my 2 yo and leave her alone in the room.

Actually, you just rip off the pattern part (the backing usually stays on). I use a solution I get at the wallpaper store, but I don't know if it's necessary (or environmentally friendly). Anyway, I put the solution in water, and sponge down whatever is left on the walls until it is quite wet, then scrape it off. It's not as bad as it sounds. Then wash the wall down after, especially if you are rewallpapering.

I'll be thinking of you. I have to strip my kitchen!
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
The people selling us the house said they took wallpaper down in every other room of the house, and that it had been applied wrong -- directly to the sheet rock or something. Anyway, they damaged the walls taking down and had to do a lot of repair work. So -- this last room (my son's room) has to be done because it is pink, and he hates it. I'm nervous about wrecking the walls and making a mess!

I'll search the yellow pages for a wallpaper store for that solution. Did not even know there was such a place as a wallpaper store! I imagine that if I need a steamer, they could hook me up?

But Irishmommy, if it is what you are predicting it will be, I suspect my kids will have a blast peeling it off with me!
post #4 of 12
I've a had a number of opportunities to remove wallpaper. Unless the wallpaper is very loose on the wall, I really recommend renting a steamer. It's hot and wet and messy, but gets the job done completely in a relatively short time. You wait for the steamer to heat up, then do a section of wall at a time. If it's really glued on, a scraper comes in handy. If it's hard to get off, put the steamer back on the section until it comes loose.

You can rent wallpaper steamers anywhere you rent tools. If you can't find a place, ask at the place they sell wallpaper.

Good luck re-decorating!
post #5 of 12

i have done it the manual way and it sucks.
you can get a nice citrus based remover at lowe's, and probably home depot.
but i also saw a steamer there for only 50 bucks. i think that is a fair price for the aggravation it would have saved me. not to mention the searing pain in my hands and arms from the scoring of the paper, the applying of the solution, the scraping, and repeating the process until done. ugh!
post #6 of 12
I was under the impression that you couldn't use a steamer with Sheetrock. We have plaster walls and just used a sharp scraper tool to take off the wallpaper. Made a few dings, but that's what they make patching plaster for.

I guess I'd try DIF or something similar to get wallpaper off Sheetrock. According to the label, DIF is enzymes, not necessarily nasty chemicals, and I haven't experienced any problems with it.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Groan. This is going to be a job. After the paper is down, we'll paint. And I'm supposed to paint space ship murals. :

Then we have to do something about the pepto-bismal pink carpet!
post #8 of 12
I never scored the paper, just removing the outer vinyl was enough, and it comes off pretty easily. Just wetting the paper then was fine. Mind you, I've never tried a steamer, so I can't comment.

Mamaduck, think very carefully before involving young kids, especially if you ever plan on repapering. Will they realize that they can't touch the new stuff???
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks, but we are painting. My 6 yr. old at least needs to be involved. His room. His ideas. He better work too! And he'll cry if I don't let him!
post #10 of 12
We bought our new house about a year and a half ago and have been removing horrendous wallpaper room-by-room since then. Just finished the latest room a few weeks ago and we're on to the next after Thanksgiving. The system we've come up with that works best for us is to score the wallpaper with one of those scoring tools (ours is called the paper tiger) - actually, our kids like to do that part and with the tool there is no way they can ruin the wall. Then we pull off the top (patterned) layer - kids can do this too, they love it! Next, we steam the leftover paper backing layer - since it is scored it comes off easily. If you have lots to do, buy a steamer - they are pretty cheap ($50) at Lowe's. Steaming is easiest with two people - one to steam and one to follow directly behind and scrape immediately. A good scraping tool made for the job makes a world of difference. Then you wash the walls to remove any leftover glue.

I tried Dif gel with the first room - way too messy and you have to wear gloves which makes it very hard to be effective.

I hate wallpaper...it feels so good to take it down!

Good luck!
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 


It is down. It took Ds and I five solid hours! He worked like nobody's business -- I seriously couldn't have finished without him. I've never seen a six year old stick with something like that, right to the end. Including washing the walls down with sponges and picking up the garbage when we were done. He even used a putty knife quite capably for scraping off the backing -- he gouged the wall once at the beginning, I kept my mouth shut except to say that it would be no big deal to fix it later, and after that he seemed to figure it out and didn't make another mistake with it.

We used a paper tiger, and Diff, in a garden sprayer. It would have taken less time if I knew what I was doing when I started. Half way through, I realized that I could grab on to the bottom edges of a panal, and take the whole panal off in one sheet. Duh. Then I just dealt with the backing separately, by spraying it again and scraping it off while it was wet. Before this glorious realization, I was picking off little tiny scraps at a time and it was taking forever.

We spackled already, and tomorrow we sand and then paint.
post #12 of 12
you go, you two! What a job!

Have fun on the mural. At least you can go a lot of directions with space ships ~ and remember the borg have simple cubes, so anyone could do that
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