How to Remove Wallpaper

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Home Improvement

Replacing outdated wallpaper with a fresh coat of paint is one of the many ways a home seller can help to increase the visual appeal of their home. Today's Palm Desert real estate market requires home sellers to stay a step ahead of the competition, and outdated decor will leave a buyer feeling like there is too much to do before moving in. In order to appeal to the largest number of buyers, removing wallpaper should be at the top of your to-do list. Wallpaper removal has a reputation of being a laborious and tedious task, that takes lots of time and can be messy. Here are proven tips and steps to take to remove wallpaper as painlessly as possible.

Supplies Needed - Any job will be easier if you are working with the proper supplies and tools. Start by gathering the following items:

• fabric softener (the secret ingredient!)

• drop cloths - you could use old sheets instead of buying plastic drop cloths

• three inch putty knife, or other scraping tool

• sponge, rags, towels

• bucket of hot water

• garden sprayer or paint roller

• garbage bags

• fine grit sandpaper

• vinegar

• flat-head screwdriver (to remove switch plate covers)

• safety glasses and protective gloves

Wallpaper removal is a project you will need to do during the day, when sunlight is available. Because the outlets and switches will be without the covers, you MUST turn the electricity off before you start the project.

To start the wallpaper removal project, cover any furniture and flooring in the room with the drop cloths to eliminate the chance for accidents, as the wallpaper coming off will stick to the floor and anything else it falls on! The next step is to remove all of the switch covers and put them aside until later. Locate a loose corner or peeling seem, and carefully pull it away from the wall, removing as much as possible. If there are no loose corners, use the scraping tool to get it started. You will be left with the backing of the wallpaper still on the wall.

Fill the bucket with very hot water and one cap full of the fabric softener. Using either a garden sprayer or a paint roller, start wetting down the wallpaper backing with the solution, only doing 4 foot sections at a time. Soak the section of wall really well, then let sit for 10 minutes. The solution of water and fabric softener will loosen the adhesive, allowing you to use the scraping too to remove the remaining backing. Immediately put the sticky mess into the garbage bags, as the adhesive will quickly stick to anything it touches.

Once the wall dries, use fine grit sandpaper to remove any of the backing you may have missed. Wipe a rag dampened with water and vinegar to fully remove the rest of the adhesive. Let that completely dry, and your walls are ready to be prepared for painting! Removing wallpaper and putting up a fresh coat of paint will not only increase the visual appeal of your home, but will add value and help a home on the market to sell quicker.

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