Taking down wallpaper can be extremely satisfying, but it can also be time-consuming. Additionally, you’re going to need to mask the floor under the area you’re removing, especially if the walls weren’t primed. If the wallpaper is already peeling, you’re in luck!

Check for Primer

If the walls were primed, you should be able to peel off wallpaper in sheets. Should you start pulling and only peel off little strips, you’re going to have to dry strip the walls. Put down tape over the baseboards and lay down a fabric drop cloth along the wall. You may be tempted to use plastic, but if you’re spraying water on the wall, the plastic could get slippery, so fabric is safer.

Water and Glue

While you’re still in the testing phase, dampen a sponge and work some water under the edges where the paper is peeling. Let it sit a few minutes, then tug. Cheap paper will separate easily from the backing. If peeling off the top layer is easy, you have to get everything wet.

Scoring the paper with a paper tiger is a good start. It won’t damage the sheetrock like a knife will. Spray everything down with hot water and leave it alone for 15 minutes, then start peeling. Patience is vital at this point; house painters the world over know you can’t rush this without gouging your walls.

Garbage

Put a trash bag inside a cardboard box behind your workspace, and toss the big pieces in the bag. Continue to spray any backing stuck to the wall and wipe it away as it loosens. 

Just use water. Chemicals are stinky and hard on your lungs and eyes, and fabric softener leaves everything slick, including your tools. A big yellow sponge, such as tilers use to clean up grout dust, can be a useful tool, so get several. Once they’re loaded with glue, toss them.

Damage

If the wallpaper was applied over a painted wall, you can patch and do your painting prep once you get the glue off. If, however, the wallpaper was applied directly to sheetrock, work carefully. The paper on the sheetrock will be fragile. Wipe away glue and wallpaper backing gently, and don’t scrape unless there’s no other way. Badly torn up sheetrock paper may need skim-coated. Professional house painters may be needed to get the wall smooth at this point.

Final Finish

If you find out your walls were papered because they were beaten up, a skim can help. The best painter in Las Vegas can’t make a battered wall look good just with paint, so get them checked out by a pro before you prime.

There’s a lot of gunk that comes with removing wallpaper. If you’re not excited about getting dirty and making a mess, hire the best painter in Las Vegas to turn the worst wallpaper into a beautiful, smooth wall. Contact Ram Painting for a conversation about going from paper to perfection.