Having just spent a few hours helping to remove some very very old wallpaper from a bedroom here are some top tips for making the job go a smooth as possible.
1) Tear it
Wallpaper normally will have a top layer and a backing layer. The first step is to pull the top layer off, start in the corners or at the ceiling line for best results.
2) Wet it
After tearing off the top layer you will be left with little bits (or big bits) of the backing paper. To get these bits off it helps if it is wet.
Use either just hot water or a mixture of water and fabric softener. Spray it on to the wall or use a sponge to dab it on. Let it soak in, this softens the paste, then use a putty knife or metal spatula to scrape off the remaining bits.
3) Wash it
When you’ve got most the backing off there will still be glue on the wall. Scrape off as much of it as you can.
Use hot water and a sponge to wash of the remaining glue. A mix of water and dish detergent also works well for this step.
4) Check it
Before you paint over the wall all the glue needs to be taken off. If there is glue left the paint will eventually flake and crackle. A good way to check if you have it all off is to spray the wall and hold a light parallel to it. If you can see a dark sheen not all the glue has gone. If washing it doesn’t get rid of it then you will need to use a gel stripper.
5) Prepare it
When you’re happy all the glue has gone you need to prepare the wall. This means filling any gaps, smoothing down and priming. Fill any holes that may have appeared or were already in the wall. Sand down the wall to a smooth surface. Then you need to prime it, use one that is suited for what you are doing next, there are paint and wallpaper primers available.
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