How do I remove wallpaper in my home?

One of the tasks that we often see in traditional Chicago IL. homes is the removal of wallpaper. While wallpaper can bring that traditional/colonial look to a home it also dates the home, locking you into a particular decorative theme. Because of this many decide to change from wallpaper to paint. Listed below are some useful tips to help you remove wallpaper from the walls of your Chicago IL. home.

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While we’re going to cover some tips in this article that’ll help you remove wallpaper there are so many different variables that are involved with this project. Even the box stores websites have pages and pages of instructions on different types of wallpaper, different surfaces the paper is attached to, dealing with multiple layers of paper removal, discovery of wall damage and more. In many cases, you don’t fully grasp how large of a project that you’re dealing with until you actually get into it, by then you’ve got half your wall torn apart. Samanco Construction can provide a free estimate of how much it would cost to remove the old wallpaper properly; along with, reasonable estimates to repair any damage that is discovered during the removal. Our complete home improvement service means that we can also provide you with an estimate for professionally painting after the wallpaper is removed.

Make a determination of what type of wall you’re dealing with.

Plaster is frequently found in homes that are over 50 years old in Chicago IL., this material is known for its dull sound if you knock on the wall, because of its thick construction material made up of lime or gypsum. Added on location to a wooden frame, this traditional construction method is known for imperfections in the plaster which made wallpaper a common covering to help hide the blemishes. For plaster, use steam to help the glue release the paper from the wall; steam is effective but tricky because you have to peel and steam at the same time. Commercial grade steam machines can be very heavy and cumbersome, make sure you have enough help to complete the job correctly. Remember that the glue is very sticky, so take precautions and properly cover your furniture and floors to protect against glue residue.

Drywall is generally used for houses that are fewer than 50 years old. Drywall is made of a chalk like substance covered with a lightweight cardboard/paper. It has more of a hollow sound if you knock on it. These boards are attached to a wooden or aluminum frame with screws or nails (screws are more common). The drywall is then painted or, depending on the style of the home, hardcoated and textured. Removing wallpaper from drywall is often a very tedious project needing a great deal of trial and error in some cases. Due to the cardboard that drywall uses, wallpaper removal with water or chemicals can quickly damage the drywall. Using steam can be effective depending on the amount of glue that was used to adhere the wallpaper.

Wood walls are rare, but have been found in older Chicago IL. homes. Sometimes these are thin wooden sheets or wainscoting that have been covered by wallpaper. Depending on the extent of the wallpaper removal project; careful examination of the wooden panels may help determine whether replacement of the panels with drywall or restoration of the wainscoting might be preferred. Removal techniques for wood walls will vary based on the type of wood and whether that wood has been treated with any coating.

Make a determination of what type of wallpaper is on the walls

There are many types of wallpaper that have been used over the years. Just like walls, age helps determine what type of paper and application technique might have been used. Older homes used a glue that was brushed on with wallpaper applied either in strips or sheets. The wallpaper was a made from a variety of different materials based on the look the homeowner was going for. Newer homes that utilize wallpaper are generally a self-adhesive type of paper that was easy to apply and easier to remove. (Usually this type of wallpaper can be removed with water saturation being mindful of the construction of the wall as to not cause damage to the drywall.) Wallpaper found in kitchens and bathrooms can often be the washable type of wallpaper. While this makes the surface easier to clean, it also makes it more challenging to remove. To determine whether you have a washable wallpaper look for a shiny look to the paper.

Call Samanco Construction Today – (773) 298-0620

Labeled for reuse by Flickr - Downloaded on May 17, 2017 Wallpaper removal tips

Now that we’ve discussed the types of walls and the types of paper and concerns for each let’s discuss some general tips for wallpaper removal.

  • First divide your wallpaper into sections. Take a razor knife and lightly score the wall into smaller sections to make it easier to work with. Nothing’s worse than having large strips of paper laying everywhere that you step on or gets onto your furniture.
  • Next grab a corner of the paper to remove and begin to pull laying the paper as close to itself as is possible when pulling. While you are pulling use your hands to further the expanse trying to pull that paper section off as a complete section. If it starts to tear, stop! Try to grab the next edge and pull until you have moved past the tear. (Use caution during removal that if you see that the removal of the wallpaper is damaging the material of the wall stop to consider your removal options)
  • If the wallpaper is being a little stubborn use a razor knife to help separate the paper from the wall. Remember to use caution as to not pull the drywall material off with the wallpaper.
  • If the wallpaper is not the type that is a self-adhesive, easily removable wallpaper then a liquid stripper concentrate will be needed. Mix the concentrate with hot water following the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply using a sprayer to soak the wallpaper in small sections so as to not give time for the wallpaper to dry. Again, keep in mind the type of wall material that you have! If you soak the wall too much it can easily cause damage to drywall which could be expensive to repair.
  • For those other types of wallpaper the need steam removal, the instructions will vary based upon the manufacturer specifications of the equipment. Smaller handheld steamers can sometimes do the job if you cut small holes in the wallpaper to enable the steam to get behind the paper. Use extreme caution when dealing with steam, it can quickly burn you and damage the walls with direct contact. Be sure to use the proper safety equipment such as goggles and gloves.

When Experience Counts

Samanco Construction in Chicago IL. can come in and help take care of this time-consuming, delicate and often nasty job. Wallpaper removal is a skill set that often can become an expensive trial and error project. As we started with this article we recommended you give us a call to let us quote a reasonable price for professional removal of wallpaper in your Chicago IL. home. Samanco Construction has been providing quality service and home improvement expertise to the Chicago IL. area for years. Our reputation for customer service and fairness goes beyond even our reputation for our workmanship. Give us a call today and let us quote your wallpaper removal project.

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