When I first got my apartment, I didn’t like the wallpaper there. I called a painter to remove it so he could paint the wall with my desired choice of paint and, to my shock, the painter advised against removing the wallpaper.
He said: “Just leave it and paint other areas. Continue using it because if you remove it now, everything will not come off because wallpapers have two layers of paper and the paint job will be ugly.”
I thought deeply about this. Clearly, it was annoying. I want the wallpaper gone and I’m going to do it myself, if I have to. As you would guess, I checked online for tips and guides to removing wallpaper. I checked YouTube videos too.
Many of them mentioned a type of machine called steamer that you can use to force heat into the wallpaper and denature the bond. There is also a wallpaper stripper liquid that is specially made for removing wallpaper from walls.
But these items are not easy to get from Nigerian stores so I opted out for improvisation. Thankfully I saw an article that provide some insight.
Here are the steps I used to remove wallpaper from my wall:
Items you need:
- Warm Water
- Baking Soda
- Washing liquid or detergent
- Spray bottle
- Paint scraper
- Scrubbing form or sponge
- Support (for tall walls)
- Physical strength
1. Move away all items and clear the wall
You will need as much space as you can get so it is advisable to start by moving away all furniture, TV and console and any other obstruction that there may be.
2. Mix proportionate quantities of warm water, baking soda, vinegar and washing liquid
My recommendation is that you fill half bucket of water and add 1 cup of vinegar, half cup of baking soda and another half cup of washing liquid or detergent to it. The water shouldn’t be too hot so you can work with it easily.
3. Spray the solution on the wallpaper and wait for 10 -15 minutes
Fill your solution in a spray bottle and get to work. Using a spray bottle will ensure that you don’t spill too much water and make a big mess that will take longer to clean after. Spray the solution all over the wallpaper or you can do it section by section. If the wallpaper does not have porous ends, tear parts of it before spraying so the solution can be adequately absorbed. You can keep a cloth on the floor to absorb excess water.
4. Trying removing the wallpaper after spraying
You will find that some of the glue has gone loose and you can easily tear away sections of the wallpaper. You can keep spraying as you work. Use your paint scraper for stubborn areas.
5. Assess your progress and see if more work is needed
Truly, not all parts of the wallpaper will come off as there are usually two layers. You should try to ensure all parts of the first layer are removed. The inner thin layer is easier to work with and can be painted over.
How to paint your wall after stripping off wallpaper
Because your wall will obviously have some leftover wallpaper material stuck to it, it is advisable to first coat the wall with light emulsion paint (the painter will mix it with water). The coating will completely soak any leftover wallpaper material. Use the scraper to get rid of the ones coming off and look bad while you work.
Then, you can paint over the ones that are stuck firmly flat on the wall. It will come out nice. It is recommended that you use satin paint for your final coat. Also, it is very necessary that you recoat the wall the next day to get the best results.