That’s right folks, wallpaper removal has been completed. It was not pretty, nor was it fast, but it’s over (for now…after our discovery we carefully inspected other rooms of our house. We have painted wallpaper in 2 other rooms. GRRR…but they are neither here nor now).
So once we got through all of the trial and error, we finally settled on our winning “painted wallpaper removal” format.
1) If there is an area of unpainted wallpaper, this is your new best friend. It’s MUCH easier to get the wallpaper process if you have an edge to get under. We found unpainted wallpaper behind the toilet, sink, towel bar, toilet paper holder, outlet cover, and light switch cover. This gave us a start on 3 of the 4 walls.
2) Once you have a bit of an edge to pull, get the putty knife under there and carefully start to work it loose. You will not get the glue up in this step and that is okay, your goal should be the paint and actual wallpaper design. If you do it slowly and patiently, you will be able to get large peels started. When this happens, you will feel ridiculously victorious…
Once you get the hang of the “large peels” part of the process, you will find that it’s easier to control the “rip” if you periodically take a utility knife and cut down the extra.
3) After you have peeled off the majority of the painted wallpaper, you are ready to tackle the glue. The good news is the glue is easier. Phew. Take your preferred glue removal method (hot water and Dawn dish soap, fabric softner and water or in our case, DIF concentrate and water) and a sponge and work it into the gluey sections of the wall. Be sure to start at the top because it will run down. Once you have wet the glue down, wait about 5 minutes and try it with a putty knife. If it doesn’t peel away from the wall easily, use the sponge and apply more solution, wait another 5 minutes.
4) Once you glue has started to loosen, take your putty knife and start to peel the glue up. We were also able to get the well-soaked glue to peel off in large chunks similar to the wall paper.
You can see up by the ceiling the glue is starting to bubble, that means it’s ready to get off the wall. Woo hoo!
5) After the majority of the white glue is removed, you will find there were probably some stubborn spots that didn’t pull lose with the solution. I highly recommend the DIF concentrate for this job. Since it’s a gel, it stays put where it’s sprayed and makes it easy to remove the stubborn spots without drenching the wall. Wait 5 minutes and remove with a putty knife. This part of the process was very sticky, so we had a warm, damp paper towel ready to wipe off our putty knives.
6) Once all the glue is off, your walls will probably look awful….maybe even something like this.
Never fear…you’re getting somewhere. So once you have the glue off the wall, you will need to clean your walls one last time. We used warm water and vinegar to remove the remaining stickiness.
7) With clean walls, you are ready to start the drywall repair process. I won’t detail that since Steve is in charge of drywall repair, but it’s really not too hard, just time consuming. Be sure to wear a mask and block off the impacted room from the rest of your house.
We quarantined off the room with a drop cloth and some painters tape. We also have the shop vac plugged in and ready to go when Steve is done. It took 3 coats of dry wall mud (and corresponding sanding in between) but our bathroom is mudded, sanded and ready to prime!
Once we got this down, it wasn’t too bad, but it still took us a LOT longer to complete than I would have liked. This was easier than removing the sheetrock (which is what the internet had led us to believe was the only solution). We’ll probably end up doing this again to save ourselves some dinero, but I can’t say for sure If you are looking to tackle such a project, it’s definitely doable, just be sure to give yourself plenty of time to complete your task!