Learn How to Remove Wallpapers
Before you start stripping the wallpaper off your walls, make sure you also learn how to remove wallpaper glue. Trust us, the last thing you want to do is spend hours scraping every last bit of dated floral paper only to find that your plan to immediately paint is sunk because of leftover glue. The wallpaper stripping process, which involves soaking the surface with water or a liquid stripper and then scraping with a putty knife, removes the paper, but leaves stubborn, sticky residue. (There's a reason some people just paint over it.)
To get a clean and smooth wall that’s ready for painting, you’ll need to get rid the glue once and for all. Read on to find out how to remove wallpaper glue so you can finish your wallpaper stripping project like a pro, because what you need is a serious cleaning and preparation before adding paint.
Tools You Will Need For This Project:
• Tarps or plastic drop cloths
• Painter’s tape
• Liquid dish soap
• Baking soda
• Vinegar (if needed)
• Commercial wallpaper stripper (if needed)
• Rubber gloves
• Putty knife
• Trash bags
Step One: Prepare the Room
Move as much furniture out of the room as you can (or if that's impossible, to the center of the room). The process involves plenty of water, so cover floors and any remaining furnishings with tarps and use painter’s tape to cover all the electrical outlets, light switches, and vents. It’s also a good idea to turn off the power to the room. (Safety first!)
Step Two: Mix Cleaning Solution
Combine hot water, liquid dish soap, and a tablespoon of baking soda in your bucket. If you find that the glue doesn’t come off easily when the solution is applied to the walls, add vinegar to the mix—about 1 cup per gallon of water. Particularly difficult glue may require commercial wallpaper stripper, but the vinegar method should do the trick.
Step Three: Apply Solution to Walls
Put on your rubber gloves and use a damp sponge to rub the solution onto a section of the wall. (Don't try to tackle the whole wall at once—it's important to work in sections no larger than 5' x 5' so you can remove glue while it is soft.) Let the cleaning solution sit for a few moments, then wipe off the glue residue with a rag. You can use a putty knife to gently scrape off any stubborn pieces. You may need to soak sections multiple times. Dispose of residue in trash bags. Repeat the process, working one section at a time, across the entire room until all the glue has been removed. Try a chemical stripper spray to get any last bits that really won't budge.
Step Four: Clean the Walls
Wipe the cleaning solution off the walls in a circular motion with a clean, damp rag. Dry the wall with another clean rag or towel.
Step Five: Clean Up the Room
Air out the room and allow the walls to dry completely (about 24 hours) before painting them. The walls should feel smooth; if there are any sticky spots, you'll need to repeat the process. If you aren't going to paint, remove painter's tape and tarps from the space and move furniture back. Now sit back and enjoy your clean, wallpaper- and glue-free walls!