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General Ideas On Wallpaper Removal ...

Posted by Jay J on March 2nd, 1998 08:27 AM
In reply to Wallpaper Removal by Varn on March 1st, 1998 01:12 PM [Go to top of thread]


I answered a similiar question on another Forum. I just copied my reply and put it here. It 'eventually' addresses your question but goes a bit deeper. I hope it helps. So, in addition with what Ken says, I'd like to add ...

First, you need to be aware of what's underneath of the wallpaper. If it's plaster, you may want to stay away from a Paper Steamer. If it's drywall, and the drywall was never primed/painted, also, you may want to stay away from a steamer. I suggest you check a wall or 2 in EACH room / area that you want to remove wallpaper from. Generally, if the wallpaper was layed on a primed / painted drywall, you can use a product called DIF. Go to this URL, Zinsser, and read about DIF. Personally, I swear by it. The key is doing exactly what the directions say. It's not a hard job but it takes slightly more time to complete than you'd like. This is because you need to apply the 'stuff', wait 15 minutes, apply it again, wait another 15 minutes, then go to town with the spackling knife. And when you put on the 2nd coat, you start a new section 'ahead' of yourself so you're always working. In short, after you begin scrapping in 1 area, the 2nd area is soaking for 15 minutes. And after you've scrapped the 1 area for 15 minutes, you put the 2nd coat on the 2nd area, and begin a 3rd area with a first coat. And on and on and on. Once you get going, you'll be able to pace yourself. If you use the DIF, again, and I can't stress it enough, follow the directions to the T. If the water gets too cool, it looses its effectiveness. No short cuts or you'll be frustrated. I tried to 'rush' the DIF but it needs the time to do its job. Buy yourself a Paper Tiger too. I laid down some plastic along the baseboard and used a Deck Sprayer to apply the water and DIF solution. It's better on your back to use a fine mist sprayer, and believe me, you'll get enough back-breaking work from scrapping alone! If you don't use a sprayer, get one of those sponges that are like 5" x 5" by 10". Do be careful with the Paper Tiger. If you press too hard, you'll have a spackling job to do! You only need to 'perf' the wallpaper; NOT the drywall board itself!!! Cutting into the drywall board a tiny bit is OK because a heavy coat of paint will fill in any minor 'digs' from the Tiger. Do a test area, say, in a closet or high / low on a wall. That should tell you how hard to press. The 'feel' of the Tiger helps too. Keep the 'claws' clear of loose paper too.

You should be able to do a 10' x 13' room in about 1 to 1-1/2 hours if you're good at it. Be sure to get all the glue and paper off BEFORE you paint (if that's what you're doing). Good sunlight will help you in checking your work; not lamp light. Oh, BTW, one of the bathrooms had a 'foil' type of wallpaper. I first had to peel it off, then I used the DIF to get the underlying paper and glue off. Using the Paper Tiger on this kind of wallpaper was useless. Good luck. Any more questions, post 'em up or e-mail me directly.

Jay J

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