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Prepping for Paint: Seattle Wallpaper Removal

wallpaper removal

Getting rid of outdated wallpaper and switching to paint has long been a Seattle home improvement project. Wallpaper removal is hard and messy work, especially if your living space has plenty of walls and other partitions; but what makes this Seattle home improvement task different from the rest is that you can actually do it yourself using mostly the things you have lying around the house plus a few minor accessories. There’s really no need for you to call on the professionals or buy expensive tools. Save whatever money you have, and follow the step-by-step wallpaper removal process as recommended by some Seattle home improvement specialists.

For do-it-yourself wallpaper removal, you will need the following items: fabric softener, vinegar, a bucket of hot water, used sheets or plastic drop cloths, a scraping tool like a putty knife, rags or old towels, a paint roller, garbage bags, sandpaper, a flat-head screwdriver, and protective gear like rubber gloves and safety goggles. This may seem like a lot of items for something as relatively simple as wallpaper removal. On the other hand, using power tools and little else for this job is simply overdoing it.

Before you begin the actual wallpaper removal process, remember to turn off the electricity in your house. This must be done first of all in order to safely remove wallpaper from walls that have power outlets and light switches, and even a small suburban home has more than a few of those installed. It is therefore recommended to remove wallpaper only during the daytime when sunlight will be able to help you.

The next thing to do is to cover exposed surfaces on floors and furniture with used sheets or plastic drop cloths. Wallpaper has a nasty tendency to stick to anything it will fall on, even after it has spent a long time on a hard wall. If you don’t have the time to temporarily relocate all your furniture so that these will be spared that unfortunate fate, simply cover these with drop cloths or any other protective material.

Take off the switch and outlet covers using the screwdriver and temporarily put them aside. Find any loose portion of wallpaper or use the scraping tool if there are no loose portions. Grab a portion of the wallpaper, even something big enough for you to hold between your fingers, and slowly and carefully peel it off the wall. Even after you have already removed much of the paper from the wall, the backing will still remain.

Pour one capful of the fabric softener into the hot water. Dip the paint roller into the resulting solution and then use it thoroughly on the wallpaper backing. Give the solution 10 minutes to loosen the adhesive then use the scraping tool to remove whatever backing remains on the wall. The loosened adhesive will retain its sticky quality so make sure the strips of backing will go directly into the garbage bags as soon as you take them off the walls. Some backing will remain even after this has been done but these can be easily removed using sandpaper once the wall has dried.

Dip a rag in a mixture of water and vinegar. Wipe the rag on the walls to fully remove the last traces of adhesive. Once your walls are dry, they will be ready to receive a fresh coat of paint. Contact your Seattle painting contractor to figure out what kind of painting “look” you want on your newly bare walls!

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