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All About Removing Your Wallpaper

All About Removing Your Wallpaper

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If you are thinking about removing your wallpaper and starting fresh, you are probably aware that it is a daunting task you are preparing for. Removing your wallpaper is not the most fun job in the world, but it can be easy if you follow the right steps.

If you have never been through the process of removing your wallpaper before, it is completely natural to have a few questions about how it works and just what you should do. Questions like how long it might take, how much it might cost, and how difficult it is might arise in your head, and we have the answers to all of these questions right here for you.

How long does it take to removing your wallpaper?

When it comes to removing your wallpaper, there are different factors at play that can determine the amount of time it will take to get the job done. These different factors include the age of the wallpaper, what it is made of, and the condition of the wall that it is on.

It may take a day to finish up the walls of a smaller bedroom, but it all depends. Here are some of the factors that the length of time your wallpaper takes to remove may be dependent on:

How old is the wallpaper?

The age of the wallpaper can be a factor in how long it will take to remove it. For example, newer wallpapers that have only been up for a few years can be much simpler to remove than older wallpapers that have been up since the day the house was built. Sometimes, the wall underneath can be damaged during removal of the wallpaper, and some extra time will have to be taken to make sure the wall’s surface is fixed.

What is the wallpaper made of?

The type of wallpaper can be another deciding factor in how long it can take to remove it. Contrary to popular belief, wallpaper doesn’t always just come in simple sheet form. There is also woodchip wallpaper which can be much more difficult to remove and could damage the wall on its way out.

Other materials commonly used to make wallpaper include foil, vinyl, or natural fibers. Each of these materials can bring their own set of issues to the table when the time comes to remove them.

What about the surface of the wall?

The condition that the surface of the wall is in can be another deciding factor in how long it can take to remove your wallpaper. Some wallpapers are designed solely to cover up existing damages or imperfections on the wall’s surface. It can also be a bit more of a challenge to take wallpaper off of plaster walls, rather than say, drywood walls. Modern homes aren’t as likely to have plaster walls as they were up to around the 1930s.

Is it expensive to remove wallpaper?

If you are looking at getting your wallpaper removed, you are well aware that money is going to be a factor in the process, regardless of whether you do it yourself or have professional house painting companies in Dallas to help out.

Removing wallpaper costs roughly $3 per square foot, which would add up to around $535 for a 12 foot by 12 foot sized room. On average, most homeowners spend around $400 on the low end and up to $1100 on the high end for wallpaper removal.

There are also several other factors that could go into the final cost, such as the individual prices that the business charges if you are getting it professionally done, as well as any additional labor costs depending on the project.

How hard is it to take down wallpaper?

There are several different ways wallpaper can be removed. It can be stripped away, soaked and scraped off, or even removed using steam. Here are some of the ways wallpaper can be removed. The difficulty is largely dependent on the method used to remove the wallpaper.

Stripping the wallpaper away:

This is the simplest and by far the most cost-efficient option for removing your wallpaper. It requires little to no prep work and usually involves test sections of wall so the contractor will know how easy it will be for the rest of the wallpaper to be stripped away.

Soaking and scraping the wallpaper off:

If a certain wallpaper will not easily be removed via stripping it away, a contractor may use the “soak and scrape” method to remove your wallpaper. In this method, small holes are made in the paper with a perforator, and then water or another agent is sprayed on the wall to make the glue dissolve. Contractors can then peel the wallpaper off in panels or use a tool such as a putty knife to scrape it off. The remaining residue is also removed at the end.

Steaming the wallpaper away:

Believe it or not, it is actually possible to steam the wallpaper away. It can be steamed off through the use of an electric steamer. In this process, the paper has holes put in it with a perforator, and then the steamer heats up the wallpaper’s adhesive. The panels can then be easily peeled away. If the panels don’t come off cleanly, some scraping may still be involved to get the rest off.

How can you remove wallpaper sizing?

Also sometimes known as wallpaper glue, wallpaper sizing is the material used to prepare your walls before actually hanging wallpaper. The wallpaper sizing helps to make sure that your wallpaper will adhere to the surface of the wall, nice and snug. Of course, at some point, you’ll have to remove the wallpaper sizing.

So, just how do you go about that? It’s not as difficult as you may think.

  1. Seal off your floor. You can accomplish this by using plastic sheeting along the wall, and you can tape the edges to the baseboard if you’d like.
  1. Mix up a wallpaper paste remover. Mix as directed by the manufacturer into a spray bottle. Not every type of wallpaper sizing will be dissolved by homemade solutions, so make sure to test different mixtures on different sections of the wall until you find one that works well.
  1. Turn off all the power to the room. Make sure there’s no electricity in the room you’re working in by shutting it off at the breaker.
  1. Spray the paste remover onto the sizing. Make sure it gets wet, but not soaked.
  1. Begin to scrape the sizing away. You can utilize a putty knife for this task.
  1. Wipe the wall with a clean sponge or a clean rag when done. This will help remove any residue that may have been left behind after scraping.
  2. Wait for the wall to dry. If you’re planning on doing some painting or wallpapering, be sure to wait for the wall to completely dry before moving onto the next project.

How long does the wallpaper last?

Wallpaper can last quite a while depending on the environment that it is in and the type of material it is made from. Generally, wallpaper can last up to 15 years and even longer. The longevity of wallpaper makes it a very cost-efficient way to make any room look exactly how you want it.

Some wallpaper options are washable, which makes them a bit easier to clean over their lifetime. You can always check the packaging of the wallpaper you are looking at to see if it is washable before purchasing. This isn’t a make or break deal for everyone who purchases wallpaper, but it sure does make maintenance a lot easier.

Your wallpaper can begin to lift up at the seams as time goes on. When this occurs, you can fix the issue by applying some wallpaper adhesive to the offending areas, putting them back to the way they were the day you had the wallpaper put in.

When compared to paint, wallpaper can be the cheaper, quicker, and ultimately, easier way to go. Wallpaper can last so much longer than paint, and you don’t need to remove your wallpaper unless you want to change it. With paint, you may have to repaint every few years if it starts to look bad. Wallpaper can be fixed much easier, and most importantly, much cheaper.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it allowed to paint over wallpaper?

It is generally not a wise move. In most cases, the paper will be loosened by the paint and cause bubbles, and the paper becomes loose. Also, in most cases, the seams of the old paper will be revealed. This option should only be considered for deteriorating walls. It also requires many wall preparatory work to get the desired result. Also, removal, in this case, will be more expensive and will cause more damage to the wall.

Why is it hard to remove wallpaper from my wall?

Sadly, some wallpaper removal jobs are difficult. The adhesive behind the wallpaper will automatically release when wet. During wallpaper removal, most people don’t wet the backing adequately.

The removal process becomes easier when you use a perforation tool and leave the wallpaper removal solution to loosen the adhesive properly. Use hot water when mixing the wallpaper removal solution yourself. Check our guide on how to remove the wallpaper for further information.

What can I do next as the paper facing on my drywall tore as I was trying to remove the old wallpaper?

Damaged drywall is a very popular side effect of removing wallpaper, especially old wallpaper removal. You can repair the damaged wall using Kilz Oil Based Primer or ask for the recommended primer formula for fixing drywall from your retailer.

Kilz is made to be odorless and with high building capabilities which is helpful in filling in flaws. You may need to skim coat walls or use hand with a smoother to fill in damages based on the situation of your walls after priming.

What is the easiest old wallpaper removal method?

Lift the boundaries of the facing using a putty knife and then use even and steady pressure to peel off the wallpaper by pulling the facing from the wall. This step should be done without applying water to remove old wallpaper. The goal here is to remove the top layer of paper while the backing remains on the wall.

Is painting over wallpaper better than removing it?

Removing wallpaper before the paint application is always the best; however, there are instances where you may not have a choice but to paint over wallpaper. When you paint over the wallpaper, you are leaving the drywall or plaster walls behind the paper intact.

How best can I remove stubborn wallpaper?

Run a scoring tool on the wallpaper to make a hole on it and get a bucket of water to boil when removing stubborn wallpaper. Leave the water to sit for five minutes to cool a little and then mix water in eight parts and vinegar in two parts in a container or bucket.

What is the cost of hiring someone to remove wallpaper?

Wallpaper removal costs an average of $3/sq-ft in labor and approximately $100 for materials, or around $535 for a 12 by 12 room. The cost could be between $136 to $1,540 for the same size of room based on factors like the type of wallpaper, the number of layers, accessibility, and the age.

Is priming necessary after wallpaper removal?

Once you removed the wallpaper and its glue, and you have a smooth surface, start applying a coat of good latex primer. You can use any of these two brands: Zissner 123 or Gripper. Use Kilz, Shellac primer, or other Universal Oil Base to remove any residual glue; the residual adhesive will be softened and lifted by the latex.

Which one is easier, removing wallpaper or replacing drywall?

Drywall removal is sure easier than removing wallpaper. Scraping off wallpaper takes a lot of time, and gouging is common in the drywall removal process. There is still a need to sand the wall down and prepared for painting. Usually, drywall replacement is faster, easier, and less complicating.

How long does wallpaper removal take?

Firstly, the steam plate take 10 seconds below the wallpaper length until the surrounding paper looks damp. The old adhesive behind the wallpaper will be softened and cause the paper to loosen from the wall through the penetration of the hot steam through the wallpaper. This also takes time.


Wallpaper can be a boon to homeowners everywhere. It allows you to decorate your home with the comfort of knowing it will be up for a long time, with a lifespan of over 15 years. If you choose the wallpaper you love, you won’t have to do it again for a long time unless you absolutely want to. If you are thinking about removing your wallpaper, the tips outlined here should be of use to you, and putting up new wallpaper will be a cinch!

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