Wallpaper removal made easy
Staring down a roomful of wallpaper you need to take down can be intimidating. It’s messy, wet task. But with a little practice and patience, it’s a project most DIYers can handle, provided the wallpaper wasn’t painted over or installed incorrectly.
“Wallpaper removal is grunt work,” says Christer Bechtell, owner and installer at Macuna Wallpapering. “[But] once you get good at it, it’s pretty easy to do.”
We asked the experts for tips to help your wallpaper removal project go smoothly.
Tape skirting boards
Begin by putting masking tape over skirting boards and the top edge of wall panels.
Water will drip down the walls as you soak the wallpaper. Michael DiGilio, Wallcoverings Installers Association president and owner of DiGilio Decorating, says taping over the skirting boards will keep water out of the crevice between your skirting board and wall where you don’t want moisture to collect.
Keep outlet covers on
Keep the plates on your outlets and light switches when you soak the wall to help water flow over areas with electrical wiring. Take covers off when you start to remove wallpaper in that area. Bechtell says putting masking tape over outlets keeps water from seeping in as well.
Remove wall sconces at the start because they can be fragile, DiGilio says. Use a sponge instead of a sprayer to wet areas near wall sconce wiring.
Above all, be smart when working around electricity. Don’t spray directly onto outlets. Soak up excess water that drips near wiring. Work slowly. Better yet, go to the fuse box and turn off power to the room.