Wallpaper Removal Methods
Caution: whatever method you or your contractors use, protecting the wall from damage is very important. Damaged drywall is difficult to repair and preparing the wall for paint can be more expensive that the wallpaper removal itself.
There was this Toronto Home with a lot of Wallpaper to Remove
Spray Pump with Solution
This is the tool that most painters use and what we used in the aforementioned painting project in Rosedale. Paint stores sell this pump as a specialty tool for wallpaper removal and they have some good ones. Alternatively, you can find it cheaper in the garden section of your local hardware store. They are good enough for the job and they will last as long as you take care of it.
Most of them hold about a gallon. Read the instructions about how much water to mix with the chemical solution. A stronger solution will not work any better. Hot pressurized water works the best, so keep pumping it every few minutes. The hot mist works fast fore you start and penetrates most wallpapers. Keep the surface wet at all times and allow 10-15 minutes beremoving. Keep in mind:
- The mist is not harmless, it is best to protect the floor and furniture.
- Keep the mist away from your face and allow ventilation.
- Wear goggles and gloves.
- Keep the water away from the ceiling if you are not painting it.
- Use a paintbrush or sponge to get to the ceiling edge.
- Make gravity your friend start from the top first.
- Don’t leave an area until most of the glue is removed.
Gel Removal Solution Applied with Roller or Sponge
The Plastic Sheet Solution
Pre-cut enough plastic sheet to cover the area you are working on. Score the top layer of the wallcovering with the specialty “paper tiger” tool, a wire-brush or coarse sandpaper. Apply some gel stripping solution with a paint roller. Work it into the surface and use a generous amount of gel. Apply the plastic sheets to cover the wet surface. It will keep the solution active longer, and hopefully dissolve some of the glue. Allow about half hour for this method to work. Remove only the plastic from the area you are working on, while keeping the rest of it moist. Suggestion: Use the thinner plastic you can find and work it onto the surface with your hands.
Nothing works, now what?
- If it’s too late and the wall is damaged, prime it with an alkyd primer. If you don’t want to use an oil primer, there is a clear primer made by Zinsser, called Gardz. It works as well but two coats are better. Skim coat damaged wall with drywall compound, sand and reprime again. Keep fixing final imperfections, spot-prime and you are ready to paint.
- If you realize early enough that the wallpaper is not going to budge, stop right there, you don’t have to remove it. You can actually paint over the wallpaper by priming it first with an alkyd primer. After priming, patch the visible seams, cut out any loose pieces and patch. Reprime or spot-prime with the same primer. Note: if the wallpaper has a heavy texture you will see it through the paint. If you think that is the case after priming, skim coat the entire surface with drywall compound and prime again.
Homemade Removal Solutions
Handy Tools to make the job easier
- Hand held spray pumps
- Patching knives in different sizes.
- Coarse sandpaper or wire brush to score and scratch the top layer
- Paper tiger by Zinsser to score tough wallpapers
- Buckets and rugs for water and cleaning
- Plastic sheeting to protect floors and furniture
- Very large sponge to apply the solution and wash the glue
- Small ladder with tray
- Gloves and goggles
Ecopainting has been offering a wallpaper removal service in Toronto for years. We can just remove the wallpaper for you or we can prep and paint the surfaces after. Call us at (416)733-7767 and speak to one of our representatives about all your options.