The process of stripping off wallpaper is not as easy as many people assume. You might also be thinking, what is so difficult in simply wetting the walls and stripping wallpaper? Indeed, it sounds very simple to soften the glue first, and remove the wallpaper in large patches. But, when you get down to doing it, you will realize that it is not as easy and simple as it sounds. Rather, I will say it is a tricky task and requires a lot of patience.
It is always better to remove the old wallpaper instead of pasting new wallpaper over the old. Based on the quality of the paper and the condition of the wall it's on, you can use different methods to remove the wallpaper from the drywall.
Prior to starting the project, gather the necessary supplies. You will require a scoring tool (to mark the wallpaper), wallpaper removal product, sponge, spray bottle, and a utility knife. Once you are ready with these materials, you can proceed.
Removing wallpaper can be a mess, hence, you will need to prepare the room where you are going to remove the wallpaper. You can lay pieces of cloth near the wall and remove the furniture from the room or shift them to the center. If necessary, nail the pieces of drop cloth to the walls using small nails. Also, do not forget to switch off the circuit breakers before starting the procedure.
Using a scoring tool or scraper, score the wallpaper in a circular motion. This will help the remover solution penetrate through for easy removal. You can use a sturdy ladder to reach the upper areas of the wall. While doing so, ensure that you do not dig the tool deeper into the wall.
Apply the removal solution as per the directions provided in the kit. For a liquid product, pour it into a spray bottle and spray the solution over the wallpaper. In case you're using a gel, you can apply it evenly with the help of a paint roller. Leave the product in the wallpaper for the stipulated time period (10 to 30 minutes).
Try stripping the treated wallpaper from one corner. If only the top layer comes out, wait for another few minutes and allow the mixture to penetrate deeper. Starting from a corner, strip off the wallpaper gently in one direction. Make sure you are removing only the wallpaper (not the drywall layers).
Cover a small area at a time and continue until the entire wallpaper is removed. Clean the wall with water by using a sponge. This will aid in removing paper stuck to the drywall. Also, you can use a utility knife to get rid of tough paper bits. Leave the wall to dry completely and use a filler to fill wall cracks and fissures (if any).
The last step is to smoothen the wall by sanding. You can use medium-fine sandpaper to remove any remaining pieces of paper.
Prior to re-papering the wall, check for any paper bits and smoothen them. Once you are sure that the surface is smooth enough, you can repaper the wall with the latest wallpaper design.