Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Removing Wallpaper

I haven't decided to remove the wallpaper from our bathroom walls, yet.
(Who, in their right mind, wallpapers a steamy, moist room like a bathroom, I ask you?)
(The same kook who put wall-to-wall carpeting in the diningroom, of course!)
I'm afraid of getting half-way through and finding the job unbearably hard.

Have you ever removed wallpaper?
What hints do you have?


- Updated 9/24/2015 -

Here we are 8 years later, and the Husband and I have finally gotten around to removing that wallpaper.  We've found it to have been a much easier task than either of us had hoped.  Some corners had already begun to peel away from the wall which probably helped, and one smooth tug was all it took to peel full sheets off the wall.

The secret?
Apparently, you need to run hot showers an average of once a day, every day, for about 15 years without running an exhaust fan.  (Our bathroom has no exhaust fan.)  It also helps if the previous owners have applied the wallpaper over textured paint so that the wallpaper isn't completely adhered to the wall.

If this is not something you can do in your bathroom, try soaking the wallpaper with white vinegar before you peel it.  It's pretty slick that way, too.


Maranda Rites said...

Rent a wallpaper removal steamer and buy a wallpaper scorer. Use hot soapy water. That should do the trick.

The idiots that put the wallpaper up in my house put it up on bare drywall. In every single room. Including borders. UGH!

Good luck!

Roses said...

maranda: I've been Googling and that seems to be the popular suggestion.
I could've sworn I saw on HG TV, one of those Trading Spaces kind of shows, where a woman took a mixture of water and soap, or water and vinegar, or something very simple and common, and the wallpaper nearly FELL off the wall.

Does anyone know what THAT was?

The Old Man said...

Must have been Sanitas - a wallpaper that removes easily. BUY a wallpaper steamer (our Wagner was $40) so you're not under any time pressure to return it.
Steaming wallpaper in the summer REALLY sucks - and I used to work in a foundry.

roses said...

Hey Old Man! Thanks for stopping by.
Buying a steamer might make sense since the husband and I are admitted procrastinators.
Plus, there's the kitchen.
Good idea.

Maranda Rites said...

Roses: Once I got to the underneath of the wallpaper I soaked it down with a mixture of hot water and dish soap. Then I was able to scrape it off with a putty knife.

There's also a wallpaper spray I tried called Dif, but it didn't work too well on mine as it was on bare drywall and had no primer paint under it.

I've seen them paint right over the wallpaper on Trading Spaces as well.

Old man: Wow! I didn't know it was that cheap to buy a steamer. I may have to invest in one myself. I still have the rest of the house to remove all the wallpaper in.

Mrs. Who said...

Our WHOLE house had wallpaper when we bought it. We tried the scoring and steaming. We wound up using hot water and vinegar in a spray bottle to soak the paper. The paper then peels right off, and just used a scraper to wipe off the glue. Easy, easy, easy. And cheap.

jaj said...

I hate wallpaper! Hate it! I use Cascade dishwasher soap (cascade is what I have on hand) and really hot water and it comes off without too much difficulty, plus it cleans your walls at the same time.

Roses said...

I've heard that alcohol works wonders... but only if applied internally.

Roses said...

Here I am five years later...

I threw this question out at a family reunion, and several female cousins immediately shouted, "White vinegar!"

So, it's white vinegar.

But, several years later, I *still* haven't removed that ugly wallpaper.