Wallpaper removal can be a messy, labor-intensive job. But it can also be a cost-effective project if you take the time to find the best way to complete the job. The kind, quality, and method of wallpaper installation are just a few things that can determine how much a project to remove wallpaper will cost.
Water and Vinegar
The most affordable wallpaper removal costs involve water and vinegar. This method requires many tools, including a steamer, scraper, and scoring tool. The vinegar helps to soften the glues that hold the wallpaper to the wall and allows the steamer to loosen the paper more quickly as it is removed.
This method is labor-intensive and time-consuming, as it is necessary to spray, wait and scrape the wallpaper. It may also require extra time if the room has nooks and crannies that are challenging to reach. It is a project best left to professionals, especially those who can climb tall ladders safely.
Another issue that can increase the cost of this project is the type of wall hiding behind the wallpaper. Drywall is more likely to absorb moisture than plaster and can suffer damage if too much water is applied when stripping wallpaper. Identifying which substrate is on the walls before starting can help homeowners avoid these additional costs.
Some homeowners keep vibrant wallpaper styles for aesthetic reasons, while others want to remove them before selling their homes. Either way, the cost of the job can be substantial. However, homeowners can better manage their expectations and budget for the project by understanding how the wallpaper’s quality, type, and composition and how it’s adhered to the wall can impact the price.
Wallpaper adds style and character to a room and can help absorb light in certain rooms, like bathrooms or kitchens. But it’s no secret that removing it is a pain. For many homeowners, it’s one of the most unpleasant tasks they can undertake when renovating a room and requires endless hours of scraping tiny pieces off the wall while trying not to damage the drywall or plaster beneath it.
Fortunately, there are ways to make the process less painful and faster. If the wallpaper is newer and strippable, it can be easily removed by loosening a corner and slowly peeling it down to remove any remaining adhesive. This method is also affordable if the homeowner hires a professional to perform the task.
For older and non-strippable wallpaper, a steamer is the most effective solution. These machines use heated water to saturate the paper’s surface and loosen its adhesive. The scoring tool helps improve the results of this technique, as it contains wheels set at just the right angle to perforate the surface without damaging the drywall underneath.
Homeowners should prepare the room before beginning this task, removing switch plates and taping over outlets to prevent moisture from leaking onto them or baseboards. They should also lay down a drop cloth or poly sheet to protect the flooring from wet paper and wallpaper residue. They should also use a straightforward solution to minimize the risk of staining walls or drywall.
If you prefer a chemical-free method of removing wallpaper, steaming is an option. It lets the water evaporate into steam, penetrating and loosening the glue underneath the paper. You can use a scoring tool to perforate the wallpaper before using the steamer. However, you must still soak and scrape the wallpaper to delete it. You can find a variety of steamers on the market that are specifically designed for this task. Some feature steaming plates that are large and perfect for this purpose. Steaming can be time-consuming and laborious, especially if it involves high walls. It may be a project best left to a professional with access to tall ladders and safety equipment. It is also very messy and adds a lot of moisture to the room.
Many wallpaper removal techniques rely on a solvent, which softens and relaxes the glue binding the paper to the wall. Fabric softeners, laundry detergents, and rubbing alcohol are everyday household items that double as solvents. They may be used in a solution with water, or they can be directly applied. Before using a solvent, protect surrounding floors with a plastic painter’s tarp and wear rubber gloves and eye protection. Additionally, it’s a bright idea to have a sizable garbage can available to catch the numerous wallpaper fragments that will come off the walls as they are scraped.
Before removing the wallpaper, score it to reduce the solvent you must purchase. Scoring means poking little holes into the paper, allowing your cleaning solutions to penetrate more quickly and do their job.
It is significant for vinyl papers, which tend to repel moisture and can be more challenging to remove than non-vinyl papers. Even if the wallpaper doesn’t come off ultimately, scoring can help you get to the underlying drywall and prevent any mold problems from developing. Once the wallpaper removal is done, a thorough sanding—preferably with a pole sander—should be done to prepare it for primer and a fresh coat of paint.