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How to remove wallpaper

How to remove wallpaper

If the wallpaper of a room is damaged or has already bored you and you want to change it, you must remove all traces of paper completely before wallpapering or repainting.

Before starting, it must be borne in mind that completely removing the wallpaper from a wall can be a not so simple task and could damage the surface, most of the damage is due to the lack of priming of the wall before having placed the paper, resulting in the glue being absorbed by the plaster or by the drywall.

There are many different types of wallpaper in the market. Some are vinyl adhesive and can generally be removed by simply pulling gently without wetting the wall.

Step by step to remove the wallpaper

  • The first step is to try to remove the paper dry. Try to find a loose corner, you may need a putty knife or a scraper to start. Lift the corner of the wall paper with a spatula or other flat tool. Hold the paper with both hands and slowly pull again at an angle of 10 to 15 degrees.
  • If the paper is firm you can try to make a series of horizontal stripes about 10 centimeters away with a sharp knife perpendicular to the wall, then loosen the paper in sections by gently pulling with your fingers.
  • If you are not lucky enough to have “removable” wallpaper and stubbornly adhere to the wall, you will have to moisten the surface with a concentrated enzyme-based wallpaper remover that breaks down the adhesive that holds it to the wall. Or you can also use homemade removers, such as fabric softener or vinegar.
  • First disconnect the electrical energy from the room to avoid any danger. Fill a bucket in half with warm water and add around a lid full of fabric softener. You can also use a solution of equal parts of vinegar and water. Apply this solution to the wall with a garden sprayer or paint roller, or you can use a sponge to moisten the corners. Wet the wall in sections and make sure it is saturated with the solution for about ten minutes.
  • Remove the wet paper with a putty knife or scraper. The paper should come out easily. If you find areas of old paper that do not just absorb the water, scrape the surface with coarse sandpaper or a drilling tool so that the water penetrates the paper. Once it is completely soaked, you must apply the wetting agent twice more and leave it to soak for 30 minutes or until you can remove pieces with the nail.
  • After removing everything, you will have to clean the walls thoroughly with a sponge and a clean solution of softener and warm water.
  • Allow the walls to dry thoroughly before applying a primer if you are going to re-paper. Or apply a primer of acrylic paint or wall sealer before painting.

Step by step to remove adhesive vinyl

  • Most residential wallcoverings are coated with PVC, this vinyl layer is usually easily separated from the glue, start by removing the vinyl layer as much as possible.
  • Then the glue of the paper that has been stuck to the wall must also be removed, for this a wet or steam removal is required, as explained above. It would seem to be double the work but in reality it will be easier than if you try to remove the two layers together.


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