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7 Helpful Tricks To Remove Vinyl Wallpaper The Right Way

While scraping away the glued-on wallpaper of years past may seem daunting, you can still succeed with tricks the right way. We’ve got the easiest methods to bring them down and bare your walls once again.

Why Removing Vinyl Wallpaper is Necessary

Whether you plan to repaint your walls or cover them with an alternative wallpaper pattern, you must remove the vinyl wallpaper before starting any project. If you paint over the wall, the seams between the vinyl wallpaper rows become visible through the paint.

Covering old wallpaper with new wallpaper is also a poor choice. The wallpaper glue cannot form a strong hold on wallpaper. For these reasons, learning how to remove vinyl wallpaper from drywall is crucial to have the best-looking walls possible.

Identifying Vinyl Wallpaper

There are over 20 different kinds of wallpaper available at the department store. Vinyl wallpapers are by far the most popular because of the easy application.

Confirming that your wallcovering is vinyl wallpaper helps you enact the best DIY wallpaper remover solution for your walls. With a sharp joint knife, lift the edge of the wallpaper. If the wall covering lifts away from the wall in a uniform sheet, it is vinyl.

As you peel a sheet of vinyl off of your wall, the wallpaper usually comes off in sheets and leaves behind the wallpaper glue on the wall’s surface. Vinyl wallpaper removal starts by ensuring your wallpaper is vinyl material.

Vinyl Wallpaper Removal on Different Kinds of Walls

Before removing vinyl decals or vinyl wallpaper from the walls in your home, it is also important to check what kind of walls your home has. For homes that are more than 50 years old, plaster walls are most common.

To check if you have plaster walls, knock on the surface. If the knock produces a solid dull sound, it is plaster. Drywall is widespread in homes that have been built in the past 50 years or so.

Drywall is a chalky substance that covers lightweight cardboard. To test if you have drywall, knocking on the surface produces a hollow sound. When using sharp tools, like a scraping tool, proceed with caution on drywall to not damage the walls’ cardboard.

Preparing to Remove Vinyl Wallpaper from Drywall Correctly

Many helpful tools make removing vinyl drywall a lot easier. Proper preparation is necessary to protect the rest of your room, like the furniture, flooring, and baseboards, from damage.

Wallpaper Removal Tools

  • Painter’s tape
  • Drop cloths
  • Drywall knife or putty knife
  • Old towels
  • Rubber gloves

Take all decorations off your walls and clear away as much furniture as possible before removing wallpaper. If you cannot remove furniture from the room, cover it with a drop cloth.

Use painter’s tape to secure drop cloths over the baseboards to prevent top layer wallpaper scraps from sticking to the flooring.

How to Remove Vinyl Wallpaper with a Steamer

An effective way to remove vinyl wallpaper from drywall is with steam. A steamer loosens the wallpaper glue that holds vinyl wallpaper onto the entire wall. Learning how to remove vinyl wallpaper from drywall with a steamer is simple.

Place your steamer on the wall so the glue melts. Make sure you continuously move the steamer, as holding it in one place leads to damage. When using a steamer, work in small sections and scrape the excess wallpaper off with a Paper Tiger scoring tool.

Eliminating Wallpaper Glue with Baking Soda

Baking soda makes an excellent DIY wallpaper remover, as it breaks down the composition of dirt and glue stains, making it a perfect stripper for wallpaper.

Combining baking soda with liquid dish soap makes vinyl wallpaper removal and cleaning wallpaper glue much more manageable and less time-consuming.

Baking Soda Wallpaper Remover

  • 6 cups hot water
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons liquid dish soap
  • Spray bottle

To use this homemade wallpaper remover solution, spray a generous amount of the wallpaper remover on a small section and let it sit for one to two minutes.

If you have a large wall to work on, double the recipe, combine them in a bucket, and use a sponge to spread the solution. Remove wallpaper in small sections so the glue remains strippable. You may find that this home remedy will remove painted-over wallpaper, too.

The baking soda in this recipe is just abrasive enough to work as the best homemade vinyl siding cleaner, as well. Get rid of grime and mold on the outside of your house the easy DIY way.

Clearing Away Vinyl Wallpaper with Vinegar

An advantage of keeping vinegar in your pantry is that it works as a vinyl wallpaper glue remover. Vinegar also works to clean a brick wall if needed. If you do not want to use a chemical stripper like DIF, consider using vinegar instead.

In a spray bottle, pour equal amounts of warm water and vinegar to create a glue remover.

Hold the sprayer a couple of inches away from the wall and spray the solution in a small section. Let the vinegar-water mixture sit for three minutes to let the vinegar break through the glue residue. This method is an ideal way to get wallpaper border off a wall, too.

Repurposing Fabric Softener to Loosen Vinyl Wallpaper

When utilized correctly, fabric softener will remove vinyl wallpaper from the drywall and is not only for cleaning washable clothing. As fabric softener is applied to walls, the ingredients break down the glue that holds the wallpaper together.

In a large bucket, combine one part hot water with one part fabric softener and stir the solution.

For removing wallpaper from plaster walls, spread the mixture on a small part of the wall with a paint roller and let it sit on the wall for about 15 minutes. To remove the vinyl wallpaper, take a scraper or putty knife to remove pieces of the material.

Preparing Your Walls for New Paint

If you plan to paint over the walls that previously had wallpaper, you need to make sure the wall is spotless. A wall free of leftover wallpaper glue, gouges, and small pieces of wallpaper helps the paint glide smoothly.

Fill gouges and dents in the wall with a premixed drywall compound and sand the area. After getting rid of all glue stains on the wall, clean your walls so the paint covers the surface evenly.

Mix about three drops of liquid dish detergent in a bucket of warm water. Using a large sponge, gently scrub your walls with warm, soapy water.

Never apply a fresh coat of paint over wallpaper, as the color appears uneven and the wallpaper becomes nearly impossible to remove in the future.

To remove vinyl wallpaper from drywall, you will spend a considerable amount of your day cleaning. However, several tools make the removal much more manageable.

All-natural wallpaper removers like baking soda, vinegar, and fabric softener break through the adhesive bonds the glue forms. After the glue breaks down, vinyl wallpaper removal is a breeze with a putty knife.

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