Removing newer wallpaper or wall murals is normally pretty simple. The majority of newer products are either pre-pasted or self adhesive and simply peel off the wall. Once removed you simply need to clean your wall with water and soap to remove any residue.
On the other hand, older wallpapers or special wall coverings require and adhesive paste to be applied and require more work to remove. So, how do you remove wallpaper without damaging your wall and leaving yourself the least amount of cleanup? There are actually several methods that include; hot water, chemicals, steaming or hiring a professional. If you simply do not have the time to do it yourself or are not very patient you may want to utilize the last method and hire a professional to perform the job. You should actually do some investigating to determine:
To make this determination you should either start peeling back the paper at one of the wall/ceiling corners or remove a switch wall plate and peel back the wallpaper.
If you are a true DIY'er you will want to use one of the other three methods listed. Hot water is safe, however may take a great deal of time to soften the paste for removal, and too much water can actually damage drywall. Steaming used to be a popular method, but also takes a great deal of time and comes with the possibility of scalding yourself or even damaging drywall or cracking plaster.
After eliminating water and steam, and deciding to do the job yourself, this leaves the chemical method for removal. Chemical alternatives include strippers that are premixed or can be purchased as powders or gels. The steps below will utilize this chemical method as it is the most popular and easiest, but still requires time and patience. To strip one room you should set aside an entire weekend and be prepared to repeat several steps along the way:
- Painters Tape (we recommend Frog Tape)
- Painters plastic sheeting
- Painters canvas drop clothes
- Elbow length rubber gloves
- Large plastic trash bags
- Several sponges
- Two buckets
- Metal paint scraper - not a putty knife
- SimpleStrip wallpaper removal system (includes all tools and supplies required and can be purchased here SimpleSafe System)
This first step may be the most important for installing wallpaper or wall murals. Neither product will adhere to dirty surfaces, old wallpaper or paint. Following are some simple steps to take to ensure your walls are prepped for not only installing, but will also assist in removal when desired. Your ultimate goal is to repair and level the surface then apply a coat of high quality acrylic sealer and primer, thereby providing a stable and strong surface for for wallcoverings to slide onto and adhere.
Following these steps to prepare you wall when removing old wallpaper:
Follow the below steps for walls with peeling or flaking paint, or were the paint was applied more than 8 years ago:
Once your walls are completely repaired ad level you are prepared to apply a hi-quality acrylic primer to the surface. Here are some steps for applying the primer: