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How to Remove Wallpaper: Step-by-Step Guide for a Smooth Surface

Wallpaper removal can be a daunting task, especially if it’s been on the walls for a long time. However, it’s an essential step if you want to repaint or simply update the look of your walls. In this article, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of removing wallpaper to ensure a smooth surface for your next project.

how to remove wallpaperpriming walls

1. Assess the Type of Wallpaper

The first step in removing wallpaper is to assess the type of wallpaper you have. Some wallpapers are easier to remove than others. Vinyl wallpaper, for example, is more difficult to remove than standard wallpaper. If you’re not sure what type of wallpaper you have, try peeling back a corner to get a better idea.

2. Gather Materials and Tools

Before you start removing wallpaper, gather all the necessary materials and tools. You’ll need a wallpaper scorer, a putty knife, a spray bottle, a wallpaper remover solution, a scraper, sandpaper, and a drop cloth.

3. Prepare the Room

Clear the room of furniture and cover the floors and any remaining fixtures with a drop cloth. Turn off the power to any electrical outlets and light switches and cover them with painter’s tape to prevent any water or solution from seeping in.

4. Remove Wallpaper Borders

Start by removing any wallpaper borders or trim using a putty knife. Gently pry up the edge and pull it off the wall.

5. Score the Wallpaper

Use a wallpaper scorer to create small perforations in the wallpaper. This will help the wallpaper remover solution penetrate the wallpaper and loosen the adhesive.

6. Apply Wallpaper Remover Solution

Spray the wallpaper remover solution onto the wallpaper, saturating it completely. Allow the solution to sit for the amount of time specified on the product label.

7. Wait and Scrape

Once the wallpaper has had time to soak, use a scraper to gently remove the wallpaper. Work from the top down, using a smooth and steady motion. Be careful not to damage the wall underneath.

8. Clean and Sand the Walls

After all the wallpaper is removed, use a clean sponge and warm water to wash the walls. Then, use sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots or remaining adhesive.

9. Inspect for Remaining Wallpaper

Inspect the walls for any remaining wallpaper or adhesive. If you find any, repeat the wallpaper remover solution and scraping process until the walls are completely smooth.

10. Prime and Paint the Walls

After the walls are completely smooth and free of wallpaper and adhesive, prime them with a quality primer and allow it to dry completely. Then, paint the walls with the color of your choice.

11. Tips and Tricks for Wallpaper Removal

  • Use a wallpaper steamer to help remove stubborn wallpaper.
  • Add fabric softener to the wallpaper remover solution for an extra boost.
  • Cover the wallpaper remover solution with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out too quickly.
  • Use a plastic putty knife to prevent damage to the wall during the scraping process.


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