How to remove wallpaper from walls

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How to remove wallpaper from walls
How to remove wallpaper from walls

Dismantling wallpaper, preparatory work, technologies for removing material by mechanical and chemical methods, the nuances of removing coatings from drywall. Removing the wallpaper is the first thing to do when starting a redecorating room. The old layer can contain fungus, mold, insects, stains and unevenness. You need to get rid of all this. Otherwise, any new surface finish with tiles, wallpaper or painting will be meaningless. Today you will learn how to remove old wallpaper in various ways.

Features of removing wallpaper from walls

Removing wallpaper from the wall

Modern wallpaper is much easier to remove than those that were pasted a couple of decades ago. There are reasons for this. Firstly, most modern wallpapers are two-layer, and this design provides for the possibility of their delamination. In this case, only the decorative outer layer can be removed, which has already lost its normal appearance. The backing can remain and serve as the base for the next glue.

Secondly, modern wallpaper glue, possessing excellent adhesion properties, is at the same time quite easily dissolved with warm water or washes, which greatly simplifies the dismantling of wallpaper.

Despite the fact that the currently existing wallpapers differ in types, the structure of their base, be it non-woven or paper, does not particularly affect the dismantling technology - in any case, the presence of water is necessary. Certain difficulties can arise when removing wallpaper, the surface of which does not absorb moisture - these are washable and vinyl coverings. Also, problems may appear when removing materials glued with any non-standard PVA glue or on an unsuitable surface, for example, drywall sheets. It is quite difficult to remove wallpaper from drywall, as it is covered with a layer of paper on top, which must be left intact. And if paper wallpaper and drywall sheets are not covered with a layer of putty, then in this case it is almost impossible to separate two adjacent glued layers. However, all these difficulties are quite solvable, since there are special methods for all cases.

If you really want to save on putty, then non-woven wallpaper should be glued to the gypsum board, which delaminate during dismantling, and only a thin layer of the base may remain on the gypsum, new wallpaper can be glued on top of it and putty applied.

Preparatory work before removing wallpaper from the walls

Construction trowel

Before work, it is recommended to protect the floor from the waste of dismantling old wallpaper, as it will be wet and have a rather dirty look. To do this, cover the floor with plastic wrap and fix it around the perimeter of the room to the baseboards with construction tape.

The power supply will have to be temporarily turned off for safety reasons, and the switches and sockets will have to be glued.

The set of tools required for work may differ in their composition. It depends on the type of wallpaper and the way it was applied. It can include:

  1. A couple of spatulas, one narrow and the other wide. It is important that both of them are sharp enough so that they can be sharpened in advance on emery.
  2. A paint roller and a needle roller, which you will need to perforate the wallpaper before dampening it.
  3. Construction knife, sponge and bucket.

In addition to tools, you will need warm water and a special liquid, which can be used to remove both paper wallpapers and others, including "problematic" ones. If you have a household steam generator at home, such as a steam mop, it can make all the work much easier.

Removing wallpaper from walls mechanically

Moisture-resistant wallpapers are stronger than paper ones and therefore tend to tear less.For this reason, they are easy to remove by mechanical means, which involve the use of a knife, hot steam, spatulas or perforation of the coating. Let's consider each of them in detail.

Removing wallpaper with a knife

Wallpaper remover

This method works well for vinyl wallpaper, as it consists of a tough film bonded to a paper backing. Before removing vinyl wallpaper, you need to scratch it and moisten it with water. After a certain time, the liquid will seep under the polymer layer, separate it and soften the glue. After that, a transverse cut should be made at the top with a knife and, gently pulling the wallpaper by the edge, remove it from the wall.

Due to the fact that the polymer layer of the material is strong enough, vinyl wallpaper is removed in one piece and does not tear into pieces. If any fragments of the base remain, they can also be moistened and then removed with a sharp spatula.

Not all wallpapers have the ability to exfoliate. If the entire canvas cannot be removed, you can solve the issue with the help of notches. Before removing washable wallpaper, you need to make many small notches on their surface with a sharp knife. The more there are, the faster the coating will get wet later. You can use coarse sandpaper instead of a knife.

The purpose of this procedure is to expose the adhesive to the water. Typically, such wallpaper will soak for a long time; wetting will have to be repeated more than once. But thirty minutes later after their first abundant hydration, you can see its result. The softened wallpaper can be easily removed with a spatula.

Removing wallpaper with a steam generator

Removing wallpaper with a steam generator

If you have a steam generator at home, you can use it to remove both non-woven wallpaper and any other. From exposure to hot steam, the coating quickly swells and peels off the wall. The effect of this method is one hundred percent, but the most important thing is that the result of the work will not keep you waiting for a long time. In order for steam under pressure to penetrate into the wallpaper layer, their surface must first be treated with a needle roller or wallpaper "tiger", which is a very handy tool. It has a scratching part and a base on wheels. With rotating movements, the wallpaper tiger allows you to perforate large areas of wallpaper without much pressure. The arrangement of the wheels does not allow them to damage the plaster or putty - after removing the wallpaper, no traces remain on the walls.

A steam generator is not a cheap tool, so buying it for a one-time job is not rational. If you do not have one, you can use a rag and an iron that has a steam function. True, to steam in this way 30-40 m2 the walls are unlikely to please anyone. After this procedure, the softened wallpaper can be easily removed with a mechanical tool.

The steaming method is excellent for removing wallpaper from drywall. You can use a steam generator, and if it is not there - an ordinary iron, water and a rag. In the latter case, the process, although effective, is too long.

Removing wallpaper with a spatula

Removing wallpaper with a spatula

If the wallpaper was pasted with PVA glue or some other not specially designed for these purposes, it may not lend itself to dissolution by any liquid. In this case, you will have to use a dry dismantling method. The wallpaper is scraped off by hand with a sharp spatula. To speed up the process, you can use an angle grinder equipped with a coarse abrasive or a drill with a metal round brush.

This method of removing the coating is accompanied by dust. Therefore, before removing the old wallpaper from the walls, glued with a non-standard composition, you must first put on a respirator and cover the furniture with foil.

Removing wallpaper from walls by chemical method

Old wallpaper remover

To remove coatings, special substances can be used that work much more efficiently than water, while having excellent penetrating ability. These fluids are safe and used indoors.The chemical is mixed with the right amount of water and applied to the wallpaper with a paint roller or brush. Penetrating through the base layer, it acts on the old glue. A few minutes after the liquid has been applied, the adhesive layer begins to deteriorate. The wallpaper can then be easily removed with a spatula. Such chemicals can be:

  • Vinegar or linen conditioner… Before removing the wallpaper from the walls, add a small amount of any of these products to a bucket or bowl of warm water. After that, the surface of the coating should be moistened with a roller or sponge with the resulting solution and left for 10-20 minutes until the paper and glue swell. First, you can remove the largest pieces of wallpaper with a spatula, and then the rest of the paper, periodically wetting the surface.
  • Washing powder or soap… Solutions based on them are quite effective and inexpensive. However, they contain alkali in themselves, and this is not particularly useful for a cleaned wall. Moreover, the effect of these substances on the glue, which will be used in the future to apply new wallpaper, is completely unpredictable. Therefore, after such cleaning, the walls are recommended to be thoroughly rinsed with clean water.
  • Special fluids Atlas Alpan or Quelyd Dissoucol… These are well known fast acting and highly effective drugs. They are used when household chemicals are powerless. Thanks to their excellent penetration into the structure of the material, they guarantee effective removal of the coating without destroying the base. For economical consumption of liquid, the proportions of the working solution are indicated on the packaging and depend on the type of wallpaper to be removed. Before removing the wallpaper from the walls, they should be moistened with the finished compound using a brush, sponge or roller and left for a few minutes to soak. The effect can be enhanced by preparing a kind of jelly from the composition and wallpaper glue, which, penetrating for 2-3 hours under the wallpaper, will make it possible to remove them from the walls in layers.
  • Pufas Tap-Ex… This special compound removes textiles, paper, vinyl and glue paint from walls. It is sold in 250 ml polyethylene bottles. This amount is enough for processing 75-100 m2 coatings depending on the concentration of the mixture. Usually 250 ml of the product is diluted in 10-12 liters of hot water. For a good impregnation of the wallpaper, the solution must be applied with a roller or brush. If a one-time application of the composition is not enough, after 15 minutes you can repeat the procedure. If the material is moisture resistant, then, before removing the wallpaper from the walls, they must be cut with coarse sanding paper. Wall stains can be washed off with plain water. This composition does not manifest itself in any way during the subsequent wallpapering.

Before removing old wallpaper from drywall, you should buy a special ATLAS ALPAN liquid from the store, which was mentioned above. It has a penetrating ability, but its main advantage is that the solution acts only on the glue and does not damage the base. After removing the wallpaper and drying the surface, drywall does not lose its characteristics.

Important! When using Pufas Tap-Ex, it is recommended to wear protective equipment - goggles and gloves. Skin contact may cause minor burns. And even more so, children need to be protected from him.

Removing liquid wallpaper from walls with water

Tools for removing liquid wallpaper

Liquid wallpaper is a finishing coating that includes cellulose flakes, dyes and other additives. In addition, among the components of the material there is a water-soluble glue, thanks to which liquid wallpaper is adhered to the surface of the walls. They are good for ease of application and removal. The glue can be dissolved with water even after it dries. Therefore, in order to remove such wallpaper, it is enough to wet them with warm water. This can be done with a cloth, foam sponge or spray. After a few soaks, the wallpaper will swell. After that, they should be cleaned off with a metal spatula.If desired, the mass removed from the wall can be reused. If you use a steam generator to moisten the liquid wallpaper, work will go faster. The heated steam will quickly and effectively remove wallpaper with minimal damage to the walls.

How to remove wallpaper from the walls - look at the video:

In conclusion, I would like to give a couple of tips. Firstly, when gluing wallpaper, try not to violate the technology by using an unsuitable glue for them. And secondly, almost any wallpaper can be removed in the old-fashioned way, which still works today - with the help of a wet rag and an iron. Good luck!

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