Sunday, April 18, 2010

How to Remove Wallpaper

Stripping down the interior wallpaper of your home requires the same meticulous preparations you did when you first installed it. If you are still using the traditional kind of wallpapers and wallpaper murals, you need specific materials and some chemicals too to make sure the removal will be successful and that the process will not damage your wall.

Modern wallpapers today are pre-pasted, which makes them easy to install and remove. Unlike traditional wallpapers, removing strippable wallpapers is not so damaging to the walls and requires less effort. In removing strippable wallpaper (newer wallpaper, murals, and wallies are of this type), you just need to scrape off the edge of a wallpaper and peel it away in strips. It's that easy.

Sticker-type wall accessories and embellishments like wallies are pre-pasted and vinyl-coated. Anyone can easily remove wallies from their walls just by peeling them off.

Now for those that cannot be peeled away, such as traditional borders and wallpaper murals, you are going to need a wallpaper scorer, a paper scraper, a sprayer, some rollers, and chemical strippers. With these things ready, you need to:

1. Pepper the wallpaper with holes using the wallpaper scoring tool. The holes made by the scoring tools will enable the chemical strippers to penetrate deep into the fabric and soften the hold of the adhesive. More holes means less time needed for the chemicals to react. Remember though, that you need to exert light pressure on the tools so as not to damage the wall.

2. Spray or apply the chemical strippers on the interior wallpaper. There are two options when it comes to chemical strippers: the non-drip gel type, which stays wet for a longer period of time and is easier to apply by means of a roller or brush, and the liquid concentrate, which is more economical.

When applying the chemical stripper to your borders, wallpaper murals, and other wall coverings, it's best that you start from top to bottom, working on one section at a time. Let the strippers soak into the fabric until it turns blue and/or starts to bubble;

3. Peel off the loose wallpaper. For stubborn residue and paper, use the scraper. If there's glue left, apply the stripper on them and wait for 15-20 minutes, then remove any remaining adhesive;

4. Rinse the wall with clean water and sponge.

When stripping down wallpapers, it is advisable that you wear gloves to protect your hands.

Next time you order another set of interior wallpaper, go for the pre-pasted ones. They are easier to install, reposition and remove if you ever tire of them.

Tammy Billings is the owner of USA Wallpaper, an online retailer of designer wallpaper borders and wall murals. Her knowledge of the wallpaper industry, from manufacturing to installation makes her a valuable home and interior design resource. With a variety of bedroom, bathroom and kitchen wallpaper designs, Tammy has put USA Wallpaper at the forefront of online wallpaper companies.

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