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Interior Painting Tips: Removing Wallpaper

An Ottawa Residential Painting Company Shares Tricks for Getting That Stubborn Wallpaper Off

Wallpaper. Back before it was that thing on your desktop, it was something used for

decorating the walls of a home, and is even still popular with some homeowners. But if you’re looking at wallpapered walls and it’s just not speaking to your décor instincts, then you’ll probably want to go the interior painting route. There’s just one problem: you’ve got to get rid of that wallpaper before you start.

Wait, what?

“Can’t I just paint over the wallpaper?” you ask, gaping at your computer monitor. Technically, you could, but there are a few really good reasons why you shouldn’t. First off, wallpaper goes up in strips, and this means there are seams—seams which will show through your fresh paint job. And speaking of showing through, any textures, patterns, and colours have the potential to remain visible. Not to mention, if the wallpaper begins to loosen for any reason, it could bubble or even detach from the wall, paint or none! Now you understand why a residential painting company prefers in most cases to remove before painting. So how do you do that?

Start Small

If you’re not familiar with the wallpaper that was applied, tear off a small piece (somewhere inconspicuous if you can). Some wallpapers are designed to be strippable, leaving no trace (not even adhesive) as they’re pulled away. If you’re lucky enough, you can start your interior painting work in no time! Otherwise…

Removing Stubborn Paper

If it doesn’t peel flawlessly, then you’ll have to soak it. Use a wallpaper-coring tool (or a fork, but be careful not to stab the drywall) to make small holes in the paper, then soak a small area in warm water and detergent. To save water, work section by section, soaking, letting it sit for five minutes, and then removing the paper with a scraper. Be sure to remove any remaining adhesive, but be careful not to scratch or damage the wall underneath.

Removing Multiple Layers

It’s a nightmare come true—you remove a test strip, only to find more wallpaper underneath. You can rent a steamer to make removing these layers easier, or contact your local residential painting company for assistance.

Removing Vinyl

Some wallpapers today are made of vinyl, which is favoured for its longevity. Don’t worry, that doesn’t make it especially hard to remove! In fact, the outer layer of vinyl can simply be pulled from the wall by hand, leaving only its backing behind. Now just jump ahead to soaking like you would normally, and scraping away (once the vinyl’s gone, you won’t need to core it).

If at any stage you’re unsure of how to proceed, just give your local residential painting company a call; they have experience tackling all the hurdles an interior painting job could possibly throw at you!

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