When we first got this house I had no idea how much time I’d actually be spending taking down wallpaper. I started in my kitchen and tried several methods: steam, wetting with a sponge, and then I discovered “the one”. In the early removal stages I damaged my walls. Some of the sheetrock even got pulled off (ick) which will have to be repaired later. When I discovered this method I was elated and I haven’t damaged a single wall since!
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Fabric Softener – use name brand. I have found off-brands are too diluted and aren’t as effective.
All-purpose sprayer – At minimum a 1 gallon sized sprayer will be best.
Use about a 1:4 ration of the fabric softener to water respectively. I used Downy, but I’m sure any brand will do. For best results use warm water. The garden sprayer is the BEST part of it all! Many people use spray bottles, but after 5 minutes your fingers will be killing you. I got the Hudson garden sprayer at Lowe’s for about $15. Worth every cent and more. I don’t recommend using an old sprayer that you may have sitting around if you’ve ever had any weed killer or other chemicals in it.
Once you’ve got your Downy/water mixture prepared it’s time to get started.
Try pealing off the top layer of wallpaper. If it comes off in one big strip then keep going! It’s not likely that it will happen, but thicker wallpapers will work that way sometimes. If it comes off in little pieces STOP immediately! It’s time to grab the garden sprayer!
Spray the walls with a light spray. The solution will stick to the walls and sometimes drip down a bit.
I would highly encourage putting a drop cloth or towels on the floor. I covered the window as well so my contact paper stencils don’t get messed up.
Now here’s the tricky part……WAIT. Okay, that doesn’t sound so tricky, but for some reason I think I’m the most impatient person. I don’t ever want to wait, I just want to pick at it. It took me a while, but I learned to wait. The pictures tell it all—
See the ripped parts on the left? That’s the result of spraying, waiting about 3 minutes then trying to peal the wallpaper away. See that blank wall on the right? That’s the beautiful result of waiting 15 minutes and spraying a couples layers of solution on it. It came off in entire strips just like it was applied!
Seriously, it is such a HUGE difference waiting before peeling. Times vary on each wall, but you can just test it by pulling a corner…if comes easily then keep going. If it starts to rip then stop, spray again, wait again, then try to peel again.
I’m so thankful I eventually found a fail-proof way to remove the wallpaper.
I’m also learning that I just don’t like the previous home owners too much.
See where the wallpaper was removed? Yeah, see the subtle stripes there? That’s more wallpaper. In some parts it was ripped in attempt to remove it, then they gave up and just primed over it and added more wallpaper. I’m painting over the hidden layer of wallpaper. I’m worried that there might be some texture to the walls where the ripped wallpaper is. I might have to pull out some putty and do a little spackling.
I still have half of the bathroom to do. I’ve been a bit burnt out lately with house stuff. I’ve got to learn to pace myself, but I tend to be gung-ho or no go. Where’s the middle ground? I’ll find it someday:)