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  • Adam Chitsaz

The Ultimate Guide to Removing Wallpaper Before Painting

wall preparation by painter
Painter removing wallpaper

Are you ready to give your walls a fresh coat of paint but stuck with stubborn wallpaper? Don't worry; you're not alone! Removing wallpaper might seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach, it can be a manageable and even satisfying project. In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to successfully remove wallpaper before painting, ensuring a smooth and beautiful finish for your walls.

1. Gather Your Supplies:

  Before you begin, gather the necessary supplies:


- Wallpaper scraper or putty knife

  - Wallpaper removal solution or homemade alternatives (such as vinegar and water)

  - Spray bottle

  - Drop cloths or plastic sheeting to protect floors and furniture

  - Sponge or rag

  - Sandpaper

  - Patching compound (if needed)

2. Prepare the Room:

  Clear the room of furniture or move it to the center and cover it with drop cloths or plastic sheeting to protect it from any drips or debris. Remove any outlet covers and switch plates, and tape over electrical outlets to prevent moisture from getting inside.

3. Test a Small Area:

  Before diving into the entire wall, test a small section of the wallpaper to determine the best removal method. Start by gently lifting a corner or edge of the wallpaper with a putty knife. If it peels away easily, you may be able to remove the wallpaper without using any solution. If it doesn't, proceed to the next step.

4. Apply Wallpaper Removal Solution:

  If the wallpaper doesn't peel away easily, you'll need to apply a wallpaper removal solution. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for mixing and applying the solution. Alternatively, you can create your own solution by mixing equal parts of hot water and vinegar. Spray or sponge the solution onto the wallpaper and let it soak in for a few minutes to loosen the adhesive.

5. Scrape Away the Wallpaper:

  Once the wallpaper has had time to soak, use a wallpaper scraper or putty knife to gently scrape away the wallpaper starting from a corner or edge. Work in small sections, being careful not to damage the wall underneath. If the wallpaper is particularly stubborn, you may need to reapply the removal solution and let it soak for longer before scraping again.

6. Remove Residual Adhesive:

  After removing the wallpaper, you may be left with residual adhesive on the walls. Use a sponge or rag soaked in warm water to wipe away any remaining adhesive. You may also need to use a sandpaper to smooth out any rough patches on the wall surface.

7. Repair and Prepare for Painting:

  Inspect the walls for any damage, such as tears or holes, and patch them with a suitable patching compound. Once the walls are smooth and dry, you're ready to prime and paint. Apply a quality primer to ensure proper adhesion of the paint and then proceed with your chosen paint color.

8. Enjoy Your Newly Painted Walls:

  Step back and admire your handiwork! Removing wallpaper before painting can be a time-consuming process, but the end result is well worth the effort. With fresh, smooth walls ready for a new coat of paint, your space will feel renewed and revitalized.

In conclusion, removing wallpaper before painting requires patience, preparation, and the right tools. By following these steps, you can successfully remove wallpaper and achieve a beautiful finish for your walls. So roll up your sleeves, put on some music, and get ready to transform your space!

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