When I first started out as a contractor I would give a hard bid for wallpaper removal. It only took a couple jobs before the estimates were given in a time and material format. The difficulty with estimating wallpaper removal comes from several factors. Did the person who installed the wallcovering properly prime and size the wallpaper? What kind of adhesive was used to install the wallpaper? How thick is the wallpaper? Does the wallpaper have a thin vinyl coating? All these factors can affect how to take off wallpaper.
We have removed wallpaper that easily comes off in large sheets. We have also spent a 12 hours in a small bathroom pulling off half inch pieces of wallpaper. At times wallpaper stripping can be a real chore, but with proper processing it can be done in a timely manner and damage can be minimized to the underlying drywall.
Kwekel Painting’s Superior Wallpaper Removal Process:
- Remove all nails in the wall that were used to hang pictures and decor
- Remove hardware from the wall
- Leave the electrical switch plates and outlet covers on to prevent water penetration into the outlets
- Protect the floors by layering plastic covered by a dropcloth, that in turn is covered on the wall side by 12 inch masking paper. (newspaper can be substituted)
- All wall surfaces are thouroughly wet down with hot water delivered through a pump garden sprayer (sometimes adding Diff can help break down the glue)
- The wallpaper is then stripped off the wall
- Walls are re-wet to scrub off the wallpaper paste with brillo pads
- A final rinse of the wall is done with warm water and a sponge
- The last part of removing wallpaper is taking off the outlet cover and switch plates and cleaning around the electrical opening
- When wallpaper stripping is complete the mess is rolled up in the masking paper and placed into trash bags
- The plastic and drop cloths are rolled up and removed
Once the walls are dry, proper preparation and primers can be applied to restore the walls to their original condition.