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Homeowner Helper : Wallpaper Removal

preparing your home to sell or just sprucing things up learn how to remove wallpaper.

Ready your home to sell, or make it uniquely yours with Wallpaper Removal!!!

Today’s tip is one you will not want to miss if your new home has unwanted wallpaper. We all know the feeling… you go house hunting and virtually every home which is not new construction has something you want to change. Eventually you may even stop thinking about the wall covering because you have begun setting your sights on bigger changes… after all, wallpaper is easy…

After viewing a bunch of home listings in Central Texas, then playing the waiting game with the offer, (and before signing), you might have forgotten your new home had wallpaper or not.

But here you stand. (I imagine you standing with your smartphone in hand and just googled, [wallpaper removal totally sucks]) Wallpaper removal is set in your future. Making you perfect Austin, Texes home demands this step and you will take it on with honor to all the homeowners of the past who stood where you stand now.

Maybe your story is slightly different…

You have decided to spruce the place up a bit because you want to sell. It is time to search for a new home in Austin, Texas or maybe elsewhere, and doing a few projects around the house will increase the salability. We spruce up and reface, we swap out appliances, and declutter! We even remove wallpaper!!!!!

Ok, I am going off on an epic… let me reel it back.

Sometimes it is just a matter of an individual’s taste.

If you want to update your home to sell or to update your life, try removing the wallpaper.

Removing wallpaper sucks….

Now this is not always true.

Sometimes it is quite easy.

But even then, it is a bit of a chore.

Here is a list of the basic tools.

Perforator– these little tools may only get used once in your life, so if you can find one from a friend, go for it. Otherwise, they do not cost much and the work they do is worth every penny.

The perforator uses little spiked wheels to punch little holes in your new home’s old wallpaper. With a multidirectional rolling pattern and easy to hold grip, all you have to do is get your inner Karate Kid training system on. You know, “wax on, wax off”… but in this case it is something like “perforator circles clockwise – right arm, perforator circles counterclockwise – left arm, perforator circles counterclockwise – right arm, perforator circles clockwise – left arm”… repeat…. but I digress….

Scraper– Nothing too fancy here. You might not know it now, but if you don’t have one of these, you won’t regret having one. The number of moments you can use a nice scraper like this on a house will dumbfound you. If you have not set up a Junk Drawer / Hand Tools and Misc. Hardware and Random Stuff Drawer

Bucket– Find a nice 10’’ pail with a handle, that, again, can come in handy in the future. So don’t fret about needing to borrow one…. bet you didn’t think you would have to think about buying a small pail when you were researching new homes for sale.

Sponge– Get one of those big yellow ones from the tile and grouting section of the Hardware Store. Find the one that has rounded corners, it holds a bunch of water without pouring out all over the place unless you give it a squeeze. (And when you decide to redo your backsplash, this bad boy will make use again… and for washing your car in your new home’s driveway!)

Now the steps.

BEFORE YOU GET YOUR TOOLS– take and peel off a bit of the wallpaper at a seam. Use a little water and moisten the area. Let it sit for a minute or two, and then, using a fingernail, or a flat edge scraper, even an old credit card, give it a bit of a scrape. See if the glue comes loose easily. It should. If not we may have problems – please proceed to bottom of post – otherwise continue reading.

Also. To prepare the room, move all furniture out or into the middle. Cover with a drop cloth if you can’t get much room. If you have wood or tile floors, you can go without covering, but you will have to do some mopping up of wallpaper paste. If you have carpet, using a heavy drop cloth along the area you will work is the best bet. I like fabric drop cloths that have a thin plastic coating on the underside. These are the best for painting too, so invest in a nice one if you plan on doing any interior painting in the future.

Perforate!– Go to town! Make it aerobic! Run that little bugger all over the walls of your new home! (Make sure you stick to the walls that have the “to be removed” wallpaper. It is easy to get carried away!)

Wet– Take the sponge and with plain water moisten the wallpaper. There is a solution you can put in the water that helps release the wallpaper glue, but for the most part, plain warm water will do the trick. It is important that you don’t wet the wall paper too far in advance. If it dries while working on it, it will reset, but you can just remoisten it.

Remove– In most cases the wallpaper will pull right off in big pieces. Make sure you roll it, fold it, squish it, up with the glue side inwards… this will help prevent activated paste/glue from getting on stuff as you remove it. Make sure you have some big garbage bags to shove it in… get the strong heavy duty ones, wallpaper can get all pointy and will rip thin bags.

Once you have all the paper removed from an area, then use the sponge and water to wipe off excess paste left on the wall. You might just keep moving on to new areas and just keep coming back to wipe the stripped areas periodically while refreshing your water in your bucket. Keeping the water fresh will help keep from just moving paste around but instead dilute it and remove it.

Once you have all paper down and out, and the walls have been washed, you are done. Congratulations…. Now you have to paint! (Painting Tips coming soon….)

Want to paint your home? Maybe want to know what to do to make my home ready to sell? Well a coat of paint will work.

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS – this is why you check.

Wood paneling underneath – Pretty easy to remove wallpaper, but you might not want to know what is behind the paneling… maybe wall paper back over, or paint the paneling, or go retro.

Getting a home ready to sell or just bought and want to make it yours... try updating the wallpaper.

More wallpaper underneath – Generally you can activate that layer also and go at it… if the house is really old and paper removal might damage the wall board, you might be ready to pull all the wall board and put up new… ?insulate while you are at it?

Not typical wallpaper paste – Sometime people squirt in glue when paper peels… this is now fun… you may have to experiment to remove and repair.

More homeowner helper tidbits –
I love to help. Is there a topic you’d like to see addressed? Drop me a note!
If you are in the market to buy a home, if you just bought one, or if you have owned a home for a while, I hope this little tidbit of information will help you out.

I sell homes in Central Texas. If you are looking at homes for sale in the Mueller Neighborhood, Austin, TX, or the surrounding area, please reach out to me. If you already own and have penchant to move, reach out. And please recommend me to your friends and family. Thanks.

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