How to remove wallpaper

How to remove wallpaper

It’s time to remove the wallpaper. Whether due to imperfections, choosing a new texture, or even the fact that it no longer pleases you, it is important to follow some steps that will help you to be quick, practical, and not damage the structure of the wall.

The process is easy, but it requires you to follow the steps that we are going to describe so that there are no future setbacks – such as uneven surfaces and remnants of the old wallpaper. So, get to work!

How to remove wallpaper without causing damage?

First, we need to point out something: wallpaper — regardless of its material of manufacture — needs to be removed very carefully.

So no doing the procedures in times of stress! After all, removal can result in either a perfect service or a complete disaster, damaging the paint and/or plaster on the walls.

Another point to consider is the different materials of the paper, which have some differences in the procedures, aiming at an easier removal and less prone to damage.

Next, we’ll show you specific removal tips for the four most conventional types: antique, removable, detachable, and washable.

It is important to emphasize that, before any procedure, remember to turn off your home’s electrical network. In many of the processes, you will be dealing with a damp wall or literally soaking wet, and nothing is more dangerous than the water-outlet ratio.

So, turn off the power and get started, okay?

1 Cover Everything

Before you start removing the wallpaper, it’s important to protect the other surfaces in the room. You will likely use soap and water in the process, and this can damage floors and other areas. So cover everything with a cloth or a piece of plastic.

Remove old and traditional wallpapers

These are the most difficult models to remove. Essentially, it’s a pure cellulose composite, literally a sheet of paper, with no varnish additions or any other chemical layers. The texture is smooth, due to the frugality of the material.

Therefore, the primary tip is: if you are removing to apply another wallpaper, avoid buying the traditional type, as this makes future application and removal easier.

1. Use a vaporizer

“Wow, what a job!” – you can imagine. But don’t worry, because, in reality, the steamer is only recommended for removing papers on plaster walls, as this material is extremely sensitive to moisture. If your wallpaper only comes in contact with the plaster of the ceiling or baseboard, you can spray very little hot water in the areas.

With the material softened, you will have to make small slits, with a spatula or knife, slowly detaching the sections of paper from the wall.

If there is any residue, subtly place a sponge with hot water over the section, softening the paper without damaging the wall, peeling off the rest.

2. Cut, soak and peel the paper

Here, things get “easier” — at least when it comes to plaster or drywall. In this scenario, you have traditional wallpaper over conventional drywall. First, to make your job easier, you’ll need some kind of blade that cuts through the surface.

Then make several horizontal cuts in the paper. The height of the slits can be between 20 and 30 centimeters. In this way, the removal will take place with the detachment of long strips of paper — as long as the material does not tear — leaving residues.

To apply on the paper, you will have two options: hot water with soap or a specific product for this removal (both work in the same way).

Apply preferably with a sponge, because, in this case, you can soak the wall and make the whole process easier. Moisten the bands from bottom to top.

Wet tracks and softened glue? Start the removal using a wall trowel — easily found at home improvement or home improvement stores.

Respect the bottom-up movement. By doing the whole process calmly and without fuss, you will be able to remove the tracks completely.

Any slipping or hurried movement will cause rips. If this happens, repeat the process on the residual part: moisten it with a sponge with hot water and soap/specific product, wait for it to soften, and carefully remove and peel off the paper with the help of the spatula.

Remove removable wallpapers

This is the easiest to maintain option. As the name suggests, its great quality is convenient when removed. Of course, due to its greater functionality, its price is high. It is usually the most expensive option for the market. However, the ease is worth it.

1. Pull the straps

And ready! This option has small “ears” at the end of the material, which allows it to be removed, leaving the wall bare and clean without the slightest ceremony. The versatility alone makes it worth the price!

2. Wet and remove

“Oops! But doesn’t he own the strip? Calm down, because this tip is only for the second type of removable, which requires water in the removal. Basically, you will need to do the same procedure as the traditional one, but the removal is much faster and without the risk of tearing.

Remove detachable wallpapers

Another easy-to-handle paper is composed of two layers. The first, which establishes contact with the wall, has glue. The second, which brings the print, is on the first layer. Therefore, its removal takes place in two steps.

In the first one, you just highlight the edge of the stamped layer, detaching it completely from the bottom layer. Then, repeat the procedure for water-removable wallpapers: moisten the paper, wait for the glue to soften, and then remove everything with a spatula.

Remove washable wallpapers

This option is a bit tricky to deal with. The versatility of washable paper is precisely its resistance to moisture, and this allows it to be sanitized throughout its use.

However, when it comes time to remove, you will need to deal with a few extra steps. Understand!

1. Sand the wallpaper

You will need to remove the waterproofing layer that the paper has, then apply the water and remove it. Here’s an important addition when sanding: use only sandpaper, preferably coarse sandpaper. If you use steel wool or metal brushes, you may leave metallic residue on the wall.

In a future application, this will cause the next wallpaper to oxidize.

2. Removal with water

Here comes the procedure common to the other roles. Once the chemical layer has been removed, proceed as follows: cut sections into strips, moisten, wait for the glue to soften, and remove everything with the help of a spatula. 

Above all, remember: if insecurity strikes at the time of removal, you can always choose to outsource the service. After all, there are professionals willing and able to do the removal, without causing any damage to the property. But, as always, convenience has its price. So, what did you think of these tips on how to remove wallpaper? Useful? That way, you’ll help your friends not to struggle when it’s time to remove the decor!

Ready! You removed the wallpaper

If there are irregularities after the entire process, use specific putties to cover holes and imperfections, in addition to the spatula and sandpaper that will help to make the wall uniform.

Remember that to apply new wallpaper or paint on the spot, it is necessary to wait for the wall to dry completely – in one day the surface will be ready to make a new decoration in the interior color of your home.