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Removing Wallpaper

by / Thursday, 07 January 2010 / Published in Home Improvement, Home Maintenance, Interior House Painting

Removing Wallpaper –

Prior to the 1990’s and even during much of the 90’s wallpaper was a hot item for homeowners. Wallpaper hangers made a lot of money selling their professional services to customers. Today, painters are reaping the benefits of that era as painters are being called on to now remove those wallpaper hangings.

The two standard methods of removing wallpaper is by using a wallpaper steamer and literally steaming the paper right off the wall. The other method is using a product called DIF which can be sprayed, rolled, or brushed on the wall and helps remove the paper and glue on the wall.

Though these methods work [and I am defining work loosely], they are not the most effective way. In fact, there are several problems that arise from these methods.

1. The scrapers have a tendency to gouge the wall thus creating divots, dings, and scratches on the wall that later need to be filled with drywall mud.

2. The steamer and DIF both inject the wall with a great deal of moisture, which has to dry out well before applying paint. And in some cases I have seen the paper on the drywall board start to be removed, which you do not want to have happen.

3. Removing wallpaper makes a huge mess. If areas of the floor are not covered up completely, you are going to have wet, glue paper all of counter tops, floors, carpet, baseboard, and frames. If that wet, glue paper dries on those surfaces that you have a bigger problem on your hands.

4. Lastly, even after the paper is off, it is just as hard, if not harder, to remove the glue and that is hard to see. We have had projects before where we thought all the glue was off and we painted, only to have the glue bleed through the paint. And that created even more work for us.

I believe those four reasons are enough evidence to prove that another method should be used of which we have been using for almost the last decade. Here they are in order:

1. Remove any loose paper from the wall, but only the loose paper. The rest of the paper stays on the wall.

2. Prime the walls with an oil based primer/sealer. The average homeowner’s concern here is that the paper will bubble. If we used a water-based/latex primer this would be the case because water-based paint has moisture in it like the steamer and DIF. However, the oil based primer is a sealer. The sealer seals the paper to the wall so that is does not bubble. The oil based primer does the exact opposite effect of the steamer, DIF or water-based paint.

3. We then drywall mud the seams.

4. After that dries, we sand the drywall mud and the entire wallpaper area.

5. Then we prime the walls again with the oil based primer to ensure the walls have been completely sealed. This step is perhaps a bit overkill, but it puts the customers mind to rest that the walls have been completely sealed.

6. Lastly, we apply the finish coat.

When GreenWay is finished, you have brand new walls where there was previously wallpaper. You can be assured that all areas of your walls have been sealed, smoothed, sanded and finish coated. You can be assured that this saves you money because the method is faster than removing the paper. I have never been called back to a job yet where we have used this method because it really does work. Give GreenWay Painting a call if you need your wall paper removed and see your walls transformed right before your own eyes.