Calling all DIY'ers: tips for removing wallpaper

VTmomVTmom Posts: 2,487Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
I REALLY want to get started on my kitchen mini-makeover, although I think it probably won't happen until next summer. One thing I'm going to do is ditch the wallpaper and paint. I've been reading and have seen a lot of suggestions:
  • score the paper
  • don't score the paper
  • use chemicals
  • don't use chemicals
  • 50/50 warm water and fabric softener
  • 50/50 warm water and vinegar
  • rent a wallpaper steamer
  • use wallwik
  • use just warm water, spray and soak thoroughly several times, then remove carefully w/putty knife
sooooo....I'm a little confused. :confused: For those of you that have done this, what worked for you?
The smallest deed is greater than the grandest intention.

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. (Invictus - William Ernest Henley)

Just think I used to worry 'bout things like that,
Used to worry 'bout rich and skinny, 'til I wound up poor and fat,
Nowadays I kind of worry where my mind's been at,
Just think I used to worry 'bout things like that. (Delbert McClinton - I Used to Worry from Never Been Rocked Enough)

Comments

  • WileE-DeadWileE-Dead Banned Posts: 24,963Banned Users Curl Neophyte
    Paint over the wallpaper...
    0004.gif

    Ever since the sports thread wars I have sensed a special connection between [edit] & Wile. Like the connection oil has to water. I almost can't speak of it. Wait....my eyes are misting. ~asq
    Let’s just stay together and tell the world to kiss our ass. ~P


  • VTmomVTmom Posts: 2,487Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I considered that, but hubs is adamantly against it. I've read that in the long run, I may regret it. :dontknow: Sure would be easier, though.
    The smallest deed is greater than the grandest intention.

    I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. (Invictus - William Ernest Henley)

    Just think I used to worry 'bout things like that,
    Used to worry 'bout rich and skinny, 'til I wound up poor and fat,
    Nowadays I kind of worry where my mind's been at,
    Just think I used to worry 'bout things like that. (Delbert McClinton - I Used to Worry from Never Been Rocked Enough)
  • WileE-DeadWileE-Dead Banned Posts: 24,963Banned Users Curl Neophyte
    Who is going to be doing most of the work? :laughing7:
    0004.gif

    Ever since the sports thread wars I have sensed a special connection between [edit] & Wile. Like the connection oil has to water. I almost can't speak of it. Wait....my eyes are misting. ~asq
    Let’s just stay together and tell the world to kiss our ass. ~P


  • VTmomVTmom Posts: 2,487Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    actually....him! :)

    ETA: he did quite a bit of wallpaper removal in our old house, but that was a long time ago. I didn't know if there were better ways now.
    The smallest deed is greater than the grandest intention.

    I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. (Invictus - William Ernest Henley)

    Just think I used to worry 'bout things like that,
    Used to worry 'bout rich and skinny, 'til I wound up poor and fat,
    Nowadays I kind of worry where my mind's been at,
    Just think I used to worry 'bout things like that. (Delbert McClinton - I Used to Worry from Never Been Rocked Enough)
  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,059 Administrator
    I use a clean garden sprayer to spray the wallpaper with warm water with some DIF in it. Then I use a plastic scraper (it's actually a cheapo spackle knife) to scrape off the wallpaper.

    If the wallboard was properly sized before the wallpaper was put up, it comes off pretty well.
  • VTmomVTmom Posts: 2,487Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    what is DIF? I've seen it referred to in just about everything I've read. thanks!

    ETA: do you score or perforate the wall 1st?
    The smallest deed is greater than the grandest intention.

    I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. (Invictus - William Ernest Henley)

    Just think I used to worry 'bout things like that,
    Used to worry 'bout rich and skinny, 'til I wound up poor and fat,
    Nowadays I kind of worry where my mind's been at,
    Just think I used to worry 'bout things like that. (Delbert McClinton - I Used to Worry from Never Been Rocked Enough)
  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,059 Administrator
    It's stuff that helps dissolve the wallpaper glue. You can get it at any paint store.
  • VTmomVTmom Posts: 2,487Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I was editing while you were replying....do you score or perforate the wall 1st?
    The smallest deed is greater than the grandest intention.

    I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. (Invictus - William Ernest Henley)

    Just think I used to worry 'bout things like that,
    Used to worry 'bout rich and skinny, 'til I wound up poor and fat,
    Nowadays I kind of worry where my mind's been at,
    Just think I used to worry 'bout things like that. (Delbert McClinton - I Used to Worry from Never Been Rocked Enough)
  • spring1onuspring1onu Posts: 16,528Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    A friend of mine just removed some nasty wallpaper in their bathroom and she scored and used a sprayer with fabric softener in it.

    I can ask more details from her (maybe tonight) though like what the ratio of FS to water was, what she used to scrape etc. if you're not in any hurry.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    spring-smiley.gif?1292867680

    Byron,GA> Charleston, SC> Jacksonville, FL> Guilford, CT> Rohnert Park, CA! A southern drawl in sunny Cali! . :D
    The amount of time from slipping on the peel and landing on the pavement is exactly one bananosecond.
    I do have a secret yen for pink in unexpected places. ~ninja dog
    I've decided that I'll never get down to my original weight, and I'm OK with that--After all, 8 pounds 2 oz. is just not realistic.
  • VTmomVTmom Posts: 2,487Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    ^^^^ that would be great, if you wouldn't mind, and no, I'm not in a hurry. :)
    The smallest deed is greater than the grandest intention.

    I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. (Invictus - William Ernest Henley)

    Just think I used to worry 'bout things like that,
    Used to worry 'bout rich and skinny, 'til I wound up poor and fat,
    Nowadays I kind of worry where my mind's been at,
    Just think I used to worry 'bout things like that. (Delbert McClinton - I Used to Worry from Never Been Rocked Enough)
  • WileE-DeadWileE-Dead Banned Posts: 24,963Banned Users Curl Neophyte
    In all seriousness...steam it...
    0004.gif

    Ever since the sports thread wars I have sensed a special connection between [edit] & Wile. Like the connection oil has to water. I almost can't speak of it. Wait....my eyes are misting. ~asq
    Let’s just stay together and tell the world to kiss our ass. ~P


  • spring1onuspring1onu Posts: 16,528Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Seems I was wrong about her scoring it first! Here is her response:
    Well, I've heard nightmare stories about people and those scoring things, so I am afraid of those and never use them. :) We peeled off the thick vinyl face of the wall paper first. Most of it came off in pretty big sheets, about 75% of the paper backing stayed attached to the wall though. That's when the fabric softener and water came into play. I took a bucket filled about half way with hot water, added about one measuring of Downy fabric softener (I don't think there's a magic ratio there, as long as there is a few tablespoonfuls in like a gallon or so of water) it won't hurt if its more than needed. Some of the paint came off of the wall with some of the wallpaper too though. I would put the mixture of water and FS in a squirt bottle, and spray it on an area a few sq. feet at a time, and I could watch the adhesive cloud up and soften to scrape off. At first I was just using a towel, so if there isn't a lot of adhesive, maybe that would work to remove it, but then found it was easier since there was so much to scrape it off. For heavy thick areas, I had to spray and scrape twice, and finish with a towel. I re-did all the walls again once all the adhesive was removed with a hot clear water rinsed towel, without FS to remove any residue. The person will want to do a small test area for removing the wallpaper to make sure it's not bonded to the wall, before they rip off a bunch of paper at once, would be some advice, so if they have to do something differently to save the drywall, maybe they can. Whew! That was long winded. LOL I hope that helps! Let me know if ya have any more questions. LOL
    So, I don't know if that helps any, but certainly can't hurt! From some of the shows I've seen on TV the removal also depends on the type of wallpaper that's on the wall. You may have to go with trial and error until you figure out what works best if one technique doesn't seem to be cutting it (so to speak). Oh, and if you do the fabric softener trick definitely put it in a spray bottle to apply it to the wall. If you sponge it on from a bucket you'll just be bathing in it. :D lol She used a plastic scraper as to not gouge the walls.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    spring-smiley.gif?1292867680

    Byron,GA> Charleston, SC> Jacksonville, FL> Guilford, CT> Rohnert Park, CA! A southern drawl in sunny Cali! . :D
    The amount of time from slipping on the peel and landing on the pavement is exactly one bananosecond.
    I do have a secret yen for pink in unexpected places. ~ninja dog
    I've decided that I'll never get down to my original weight, and I'm OK with that--After all, 8 pounds 2 oz. is just not realistic.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Yuck...don't paint over wallpaper. It never looks good.

    Dif is expensive and doesn't work any better than plain old cheap white vinegar. I removed wallpaper (that wasn't "properly sized") from an entire house. It took me 8 LONG years.

    I found scoring to be pretty-much useless. Remove as much of the paper as you can just by peeling it off dry. Then spray any paper backing or paste residue that's left with a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar (I prefer spray bottles, but you can sponge it on too, or even use a paint roller). Allow to soak for about 15 minutes (while you work on another area that you sprayed 15 minutes previously), then either use a scraper/spackle-blade to remove (if there is a lot of paper backing left on the wall), or scrub with a Dobie sponge (if it's mostly just paste residue). Repeat a necessary.

    Even if it looks like the paper came off cleanly, you must still wash the walls thoroughly with vinegar/water to get off the paste residue, or it will show when you repaint. Dobie sponges are the greatest, because you get plenty of scrubbing action, but no damage to the walls. For large areas, I used several Dobie sponges and scrubbed with both hands at once. You don't need to rinse off the vinegar after scrubbing with the vinegar/water.

    Steaming works too, but be wary of steaming. If you're not very careful, you can steam right through the paper part of sheetrock, and even liquify some of the rock, and then you've got a real mess.

    I prefer joint compound for repairing walls after wallpaper removal, rather than spackle. It's smoother and dries better.

    dobie.jpg
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Fabric softener probably works too, but you must rinse it off thoroughly before painting, because it's made with animal fat, so you will may get grease marks in your paint...vinegar/water doesn't need to be rinsed.
  • VTmomVTmom Posts: 2,487Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Thank you all so much....you've given me some really great tips. Now if I can just get it done. I really really really wanted to have the kitchen updated this summer since I don't typically work now. But this summer has been unusual and I've been working a lot w/no block of time to have it done. I'm getting antsy about it all.

    Thanks again, everyone!
    The smallest deed is greater than the grandest intention.

    I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. (Invictus - William Ernest Henley)

    Just think I used to worry 'bout things like that,
    Used to worry 'bout rich and skinny, 'til I wound up poor and fat,
    Nowadays I kind of worry where my mind's been at,
    Just think I used to worry 'bout things like that. (Delbert McClinton - I Used to Worry from Never Been Rocked Enough)
  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,059 Administrator
    Do think about using a garden sprayer -- it's much easier and the spray is more even.
  • NetGNetG Posts: 8,116Registered Users
    I used DIF. Didn't do any pre-peeling, and the sheets came off whole for the most part instead of in shreds. Didn't score, either. Used a whole lot less than I would have used if doing vinegar and water... and the room didn't smell like vinegar.
    The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
    -Speckla

    But at least the pews never attend yoga!

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