April 4, 2010

Wall Paper Removal from an Expert

My Uncle is a professional painter of home interiors.  Because I've seen his incredible work, I asked him to tell me the best way to remove wall paper, so we could avoid doing this again:

 Here's what he had to say:

"I've removed enough of it to be able to tell you that each paper behaves differently. I like to use a product like DIF which penetrates the backing paper and loosens the glue. Use a four inch wide scraper - looks like a big single edged razor blade.
1. Pull off all of the colored face of the paper. If it is tough, go to step two.
2. Buy a "paper tiger" which perforates the surface of the paper and allows the DIF and water mix to penetrate.
3. Work on a 9 ft sq area and keep moistening the surface with the DIF mixture.
4. Then, use the four inch scraper to remove the base of the paper.
5. Scrub down the walls, using some more DIF mix and then hot water. I use some of the green fibrous nylon scrub pads along with a big sponge. ALL the glue must come off - if you paint over glue, it will curl and flake up and then you'll have a situation which is difficult to correct.
6. Using a lightweight spackle, fill in the nail holes, gouges and rough spots using a three inch spackle blade.
7. Sand out carefully with 120 or 150 grit sandpaper. I use a circular motion to avoid making a depression where the hole has been filled. When you run your fingers over the sanded spot and feel no bump or raised edges, you're done with sanding.
8. If there are gaps or cracks between baseboard and wall, you'll need to caulk, then prime, then paint the baseboards.
9. Using blue masking tape and a 1.5 inch putty knife, apply the tape to the tops of the baseboards, then run the putty knife over it to adhere the tape good and tight.
10. At this point, it's your decision whether to prime the walls to cover up LOTS of spackle and/or a deep wall color. If you go for the wall paint, apply two coats. I use a 2.5" angled sash brush and a nine inch wide by 3/16" pile roller."

PHEW!  I'm exhausted just reading that list!!!


  1. When I was a kid, my mom decided she wanted to redo the kitchen which had some ugly wallpaper up. I remember when we were sitting at the table we were allowed to pick and pull at the paper to try and help her get it all down. It was kind of fun. I also remember there was even uglier bright green paint under the ugly wallpaper. Anyway, I'm pretty sure our method of paper removal was anything but professional.

  2. I will never put up wall paper unless I know I am moving and own;t have to take it down. DIF works really well. I had to remove old - stuck on with krazy glue like wallpaper in our master bathroom...ick!


    Visting from SITS! Have a great day :)

  4. keep watching american idol or run to the kitchen and start a project i'm not allowed to start for another year? what to do? what to do?


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