Wallpaper used to be one of the biggest players in the residential decor game. Once there was a time when you could walk into any home in Jacksonville, FL, and see the walls bedecked with some intricate pattern of the wallpaper. But those days are no more! Unfortunately for wallpaper (and wallpaper apologists everywhere), this design trend is no longer on the “must-do” list. So what do you do if your home has wallpaper in areas where you’d rather it not be? There are ways to remove wallpaper - and we have some tips and tricks to help bring your home up-to-date, without losing your patience or breaking the bank.
It’s Wallpaper - But What Kind?
Before you can begin removing wallpaper, you first need to know what type of wallpaper you’re dealing with. Your wallpaper could be one of three main types. First, you have strippable wallpaper, which is designed to be removed easily without tearing or steam. Consider yourself lucky if you’re dealing with this type - since your job is going to be relatively easy! You may also have more traditional wallpaper that is uncoated and untreated. This type of wallpaper can be wetted, removed, and scraped off without too much hassle. The third type (and the most difficult to deal with) has vinyl or laminated coating. This type was great for the user - it was meant to be washable. But it’s not so great for the remover, as it is difficult for water to penetrate.
Check Your Walls
If you live in a newer home (newer meaning homes built sometime after the 1950s), you likely have walls that are constructed using drywall. We are focusing today on how to remove wallpaper from drywall. If you have an older home, your wall may be made of plaster over wood, gypsum, or some type of metal lathe. We’re focusing on how to remove wallpaper from drywall because that task tends to be a bit more difficult than some of the older wall materials. This is because the drywall surface can bond to the wallpaper, which only serves to make wallpaper removal more difficult than it otherwise would be.
Removing Wallpaper From Drywall
In order to remove wallpaper from your drywall, you should follow the steps outlined below. These tips and tricks will help you bring your Jacksonville, FL home up to date with the latest design trends.
- Start with prepping the wall and the room. This involves removing wall plates from light switches and outlets. Once you do that, you should also tape over the outlet and switches in order to prevent water and moisture from affecting the electrical components.
- You also need to lay down a drop cloth or poly sheet. This will prevent wet wallpaper from ruining your floors. It’s also a good idea to tape over any floorboards or wainscoting so that you don’t damage them during the wallpaper removal process.
The next few steps will depend on the type of wallpaper that you’re dealing with. Read through the following tips carefully so you know exactly how to tackle the type of wallpaper you have in your residential home.
- If you’re dealing with older non-treated wallpaper, your first step is to take a garden sprayer filled with water and add some wallpaper removal solution. You will then spray the water and removal solution liberally to the wallpaper. Then simply let it soak for about 15 to 20 minutes before you move on to the next step. After it’s soaked, you can use a scraper or dull putty knife to start removing the wallpaper.
- If you happen to be dealing with coated wallpaper, you’ll have a bit of a more complex job ahead of you. You’ll be using a steamer as part of this process. Begin by scoring the wallpaper using an appropriate wallpaper removal tool. Doing this will allow the steam to work into the area behind the wallpaper - since it’s difficult to penetrate the vinyl coating otherwise. After you’ve scored the wallpaper, use a wallpaper steamer by holding it against the wall for around 15 to 20 seconds. Immediately take a scraper and lift the wallpaper away from the wall.
The Wallpaper is Gone… What’s Next?
Now that you know how to remove wallpaper from drywall, you should start thinking about what to do with those fresh new walls. You may need to take some additional steps to prepare your drywall for a new treatment. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your newly de-wallpapered walls.
- Once you’ve removed the wallpaper, you need to make sure the walls are clean. A good way to do this is to refill your sprayer with clean water and give them a good rinse. Then use a wet sponge to wipe away any remaining residue. Before you move on, allow the walls to dry for at least one or two days.
- After the walls have dried, it’s time to sand and seal. It’s best to use 120-grit sandpaper for this - as it’s the ideal grit for removing any residue that may remain from the wallpaper. Then apply a coat of oil-based paint to the walls. Oil-based paint will lock in grease spots, stains, or water-based adhesive - these are all things that can interfere with the paint job you’ll ultimately be doing.
- Before you finish your walls with your chosen paint color, you need to make sure to create a smooth surface. Take the time to fill in any dents, cracks, or small holes with joint compound. Once the joint compound is dry, you are ready to give the walls the final coat of paint in whatever color you choose.
- A room by room guide for improving your space
When you’re ready to take your Jacksonville, FL residential home to the next level, sometimes it’s best to start with the walls. Get out of the past and into the future with these tips on how to remove wallpaper and prepare your walls for the next best thing.