Material Matters When Removing Wallpaper - Angieslist

Material Matters When Removing Wallpaper - Angieslist

There are plenty of opinions on how best to remove wallpaper, but not all methods work with each type of paper. Knowing exactly what type of paper is on the walls – and what’s underneath it – is key to saving time and money.

The most common wallpaper is either vinyl-coated paper or fabric-backed vinyl. Both can present challenges to homeowners trying to remove them.

  • Vinyl-coated: Can resist or not resist moisture, depending on how heavy it is.
  • Fabric-backed: Designed to strip off entirely. When you remove it, it can come off rapidly with no damage or not quite so rapidly with a lot of damage, depending on how the wall is treated or what kind of surface it was installed on.

Angie’s List, the nation’s premier provider on consumer reviews, asked its highly rated wallpaper covering experts for advice on removal methods:

  • Hire Help: A professional can save time and energy by completely removing the paper and paste with non-toxic chemicals, skimming the walls – which involves filling holes and repairing chips and dents – sanding, and then any adding any needed touchups so the wall is ready to prime or paint.  Pricing is typically based on labor and materials, but an average room can be done for around a couple of hundred dollars.
  • DIY: Those attempting to do the job themselves should first determine which type of paper and paste is on their walls and find a removal solution best designed for that product. Use a flexible scraper that allows you to maneuver under the wallpaper, and a good sponge. A perforating tool creates multiple holes in the covering to allow a liquid remover to seep through, but experts say this should be used as a last resort because the perforation makes it come off in tiny little pieces. Cover floors, baseboards, countertops and other areas vulnerable to moisture damage. And be ready to practice plenty of patience.

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