How To Remove Wallpaper That Won’t Come Off

Are you tired of the outdated look your home has because of the existing wallpaper and would like o know how to remove wallpaper easily? We have the answer for you! At first, it can seem very overwhelming looking at the task at hand, but I assure you it’s not if you know all the tricks. The trick is to use a lot of water! The goal is to soak the paper as much as you can. This will make it soft and easy to remove in most cases. In addition to water, you can add a product called “Diff” glue remover. It breaks up the glue behind the wallpaper and makes life much easier. To do so, you will have to soak the wallpaper so that the Diff can reach the glue.

Is It Hard To Remove Wallpaper?

how t remove wallpaper

I’ll b honest; It is not easy.

It’s a messy job that may take more than one day.

Here are some tips that can help you remove wallpaper.

Removing wallpaper can be a real pain.

Related article: ALWAYS Remove Wallpaper and NEVER Paint over it!

Watch Me Remove This Wallpaper Nightmare

Get All The Tools You Need To Remove Wallpaper Here

It can also be an opportunity to upgrade your home decor for the better. If you’re renting, it can even be an opportunity to save some money.

how to remove wallpaper or paint over wallpaper

Here are some tips for removing wallpaper

  1. Get the right tools. Before you begin removing wallpaper, make sure you have all the right tools on hand.

These include a scorer, a steamer, or a wallpaper remover that can eat through the stubborn adhesive.

You’ll also need some paint scrapers to help peel off any leftover adhesive once it’s softened with heat and plenty of plastic sheets to protect nearby carpets or furniture from drips and spills.

remove wallpaper or paint over it

How To Remove Wallpaper And Prep For Painting

To easily remove wallpaper, you will need the right tools.

There is a tool called “The Paper Tiger.” 

This tool has small wheels with sharp teeth on a rotating base and will score the existing wallpaper by penetrating it and leaving tiny holes. 

Without applying much pressure, use the Paper tiger the same you would use a sponge to clean your walls from top to bottom. 

The sharp teeth of the wheels will puncture or “score” the wallpaper. 

Again, not much pressure is needed.

The tool will do what it needs to while you just guide it, ensuring you score as much wallpaper as you can. 

The Diff can then easily get behind the wallpaper through those holes. 

It will then start to break up the glue that is bonding the wallpaper to your walls. 

The only downside is that you will have to fill those holes with a skim coat of joint compound afterward. 

If you can get away with just soaking the wallpaper instead of scoring it, I would suggest you do so. 

If not, no biggie; skim coating the wall can easily be done with a 12-inch trowel and some joint drywall compound.

Soak Your Wallpaper Before Removing It

removing wallpaper with wallpaper remover and sponge

When soaking your wallpaper, we suggest you soak it twice with a minimum of 15-20 minutes in between. 

The goal is to keep your walls wet at all times. 

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Sometimes a room will be too big to accomplish this, but it helps a lot if you keep them soaked.

Next, you can start peeling the corners and remove as much wallpaper as you can by hand. 

peeling and removing wallpaper

In most cases, you will then see a brown backing paper left on the walls. 

Keep soaking those spots as you go so that by the time you get back to those, they will already be soft and loose. 

After you remove whatever you can by hand, you can then start removing what’s left with a scraper tool

This scraper works great! 

Just keep soaking the walls! 

You want the paper to be wet as you remove it. 

If one spot is too difficult to remove, soak it again and move to the next section. 

Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then come back, and it should come off easily.

How To Use Wallpaper Steamers

If you are lucky, you will not need a steamer, and your wallpaper will just come off by soaking it with wallpaper remover.

I’ve tried many removers, but DIF is the one that always works the best for me.

But many times, you will not be that fortunate, and you will need a steamer to loosen your old wallpaper and the glue beneath it.

Now you can rent a steamer at a hardware store, but those are used and abused most of the time.

Save yourself the headache and invest in a new one instead.

It’s worth it. You’ll save so much time and frustration,

There are many wallpaper steamers to choose from but here is one from Wagner that is worth every penny.

Wallpaper steamers are easy to use.

Add water to the tank, let it heat up, push a button, and steam away.

How To Remove Wallpaper Seam Glue

After you remove your wallpaper, you then want to make sure there is no glue residue left.

If you look really close to an angle, you will see any spots that still have glue residue. 

You will notice dry /flaky spots that kind of look like shedding skin

Soak the walls one more time and use your scraper tool to remove any residue. 

The next step is optional, but at 518 Painters, we skim-coat the entire walls to fill in any imperfections. 

Once your walls are dry, you can then use 220-grit sanding paper or a fine sanding block to remove whatever is left on your walls.

You should now have a smooth and even surface.

Next, you will have to prime your walls before painting. 

We suggest Zinsser Gardz in this case. 

It is a bonding primer for problem surfaces and will bond any residue that you missed and ensure that your paint will not peel after it cures. 

It will also seal your skim coat and patches of joint compound. 

Sealing your walls and skim coat/patches will not only give you a better and more even finish on your topcoat. 

It also prevents moisture from getting into your drywall and spreading, causing damage to your walls and possibly growing mildew or even mold

Related article Remove Mildew From Showers And Bathtubs.

We suggest a 3/8-inch microfiber roller to get a smooth and even finish.

Check out this video I made about Gardz and how to use it for problem surfaces.

What To Do If Your Drywall Paper Ripped After Removing Wallpaper?

If you removed your wallpaper and now you are left with a wall that has chunks of ripped drywall, then you’ll have to use Zinsser Gardz on your walls.

how to fix ropped drywall paper after removing wallpaper

It will glue down and seal those ripped spots so that they don’t continue to peel.

One coat is enough.

Check out this video to see how it works.

Wallpaper Over Plaster Walls

Removing wallpaper from plaster walls can take longer than removing wallpaper from regular drywall.

Well, it’s not really the removal but more the repairs after.

Cracks and damages from settling are hidden underneath and can do hours of repairs to your project.

This will affect how much it will cost to remove wallpaper.

removing wallpaper or paint wallpaper in albany ny

How To Remove Wallpaper In The Bathroom

The fastest and easiest way to remove bathroom wallpaper is to soak it with hot water and Dif.

The hot water will loosen the adhesive and allow the paper to be scraped away.

First, drench your bathroom walls with hot water.

You can fill a bucket with hot water and use a sponge to soak the walls.

Related article What Paint To Use For Bathrooms

How To Remove Wallpaper From Paneling

Using a scraper is definitely one of the best ways to remove wallpaper from paneling because it is so fast and effective.

You simply wet the paper with water and Dif before scraping off all of the wallpaper.

Related article Painting Wood Paneling

Remove Wallpaper That Has Been Painted Over

There is nothing worst than painting over wallpaper, in my opinion.

Related article ALWAYS Remove Wallpaper and NEVER Paint over it!

The best way to remove wallpaper that’s painted over is to score it first using the paper tiger.

Score the wallpaper and then soak it with water and Dif.

The tiny holes the paper tiger creates will help get the solution behind the painted wallpaper and start dissolving the glue.

Pro Tip:

If you still can’t get the wallpaper that has been painted off, then just use the peel-stopping primer and skim coat after.

If you don’t use a peel-stopping primer, then most likely, the joint compound will cause the old wallpaper to bubble.

This means you’ll have to constantly fix those spots before you even get to painting.

So definitely use a peel-stopping primer.

In Conclusion

Removing wallpaper really is about soaking your walls and getting the paper nice and wet. Whether you use a steamer or sponge and water bucket. The right tools are essential to invest in the proper equipment and save yourself a headache and frustration!

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