New wallpaper gives the home a fresh shine. Before wallpapering can begin, however, the old wallpaper has to be removed. Here you can read which tips and tools make the procedure easier.
Are you the owner of a new property and would like to renovate it yourself? Then removing old wallpaper is probably part of it. This often takes longer and is more laborious than wallpapering. Many do-it-yourselfers therefore shy away from completely removing the old wallpaper and prefer to quickly stick a new layer over it. This creates multiple layers and overlapping edges over time—even the color of the old wallpaper can show through. The wallpaper paste used to attach the new strips can also soften the old wallpaper so that it no longer sticks properly to the wall and unsightly waves form. Thorough preparatory work when wallpapering is therefore crucial. If you use the right accessories, you will reach your goal quickly and save time and stress.
What kind of wallpaper are you dealing with?
The easiest way is to remove uncoated paper wallpaper that has not been papered over one another several times. As soon as several layers stick on top of each other, the effort increases. This applies to coated wallpapers where the surface consists of latex, plastic or a textile layer. These wallpapers are thicker and stronger than paper wallpaper and often not permeable to water. This applies in particular to wallpaper in damp rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms. The coating is advantageous in terms of durability, but prevents the wallpaper from being easily removed.
Step 1: Soak
You can soak plain paper wallpaper with a mixture of dish soap and warm water by spraying it generously. As soon as the wallpaper turns dark, start peeling off the wallpaper. Ideally, you can do this in one go, if not, use a spatula to help.
Tip: Do you want to remove large areas of wallpaper? You can make spraying easier by using a pressure sprayer. In this way, you can easily reach higher places and don’t have to laboriously wipe the walls with a wet sponge. The combination of washing-up liquid and warm water is usually sufficient, but if you want to be on the safe side, you can also invest in special wallpaper removers from specialist retailers.
How long do you have to soak wallpaper?
How easy it is to remove old wallpaper depends on the type and age of the wallpaper and the paste. Do the test by spraying a small area with water. When the wallpaper turns dark, you can easily peel off the wallpaper.
Step 2: Perforate
It is different with coated wallpapers, which are deliberately constructed in such a way that they do not let water through. Before you can soak the wallpaper, you need to perforate the wallpaper. Only then can the water penetrate to the bottom layer of paste.
The best way to perforate is with a spiked roller. Use it to carve the wallpaper line by line. You can also work on inaccessible corners with a carpet knife. Despite the pre-treatment, it may be necessary to spray the wallpaper several times to soak even the most stubborn glue.
Step 3: Removal
In the last step, remove the softened wallpaper from the wall. Go under the wallpaper with a spatula and scrape it off piece by piece. The more soggy the old wallpaper is, the more extensively it will peel off. The walls are wet, so you should use a stainless steel spatula that will last a long time. In order to protect the skin and avoid injuries, safe work gloves are recommended.
Where can I dispose of leftover wallpaper?
Used wallpaper belongs in the residual waste bin. If the household waste is not enough, you can take larger quantities to the nearest recycling center.
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