How to remove wallpaper before painting?

It's time for a change! A new coat of paint can bring a sense of renewal and give a much-needed refresh to your surroundings. It's time to peel away that faded ol' wallpaper and bring your home back to life. But wait, is there a right and a wrong way to remove wallpaper? In this article, we'll take you through our step-by-step guide on how to remove wallpaper for painting.

PRO TIP: Remove wallpaper a few days before painting your walls. It's important to allow your walls to completely dry for a few days before starting your paint job

Step 1: Prep Work

Do not, under any circumstances, skip this step! If you want a great-looking paint job, then you need a great canvas. Additionally, you need to make sure you have everything you need at hand so that you don't keep stopping and restarting every few minutes. Make sure you clear the space of all unnecessary items so that you don't damage any valuables during the process. Be sure to lay down a drop cloth to protect your floor from spills or scuffs

Step 2: The Sticky Test

Before peeling away, you need to perform "the sticky test". Basically, you need to test the level of adhesion between the wallpaper and the underlying wall surface.
Starting at a corner, gently begin to peel the paper away from the wall. If it comes off easily without damaging the drywall, then you can continue to gently peel away the entire wallpaper without too much worry. If it's really stuck on there, then move on to the next step

Step 3: Mix In Water

Mix equal parts room-temperature water with boiling water together in a spray bottle and spray it on. This should help remove the wallpaper more easily. If not, then mix up a solution of water and fabric softener and try again. Be sure to use a 1:1 mixture of water and fabric softener for best results
Another option is to rent a steamer and use it to soften the wallpaper's glue.

Step 4: Spray Away

Spray the walls evenly until the wallpaper is saturated with water and begins to "bubble". Once it does so, you should be able to peel off the wallpaper quite easily.

Step 5: Removal Tools

Remove the wallpaper with care using a wide putty knife. Starting at the "bubble" areas or at the corners/seams(your choice), use the putty knife in a gentle scraping action to remove the paper. repeat the process GENTLY until you've successfully scraped all the wallpaper away.

Step 6: Remove Residue

Now that you've stripped the walls of the wallpaper, it's time to remove all that gunk left behind by the adhesive. Mix a small amount of tri-sodium phosphate(TSP) with hot water. Dip a large sponge in the mixture and use it to thoroughly wipe your walls. Remember to use gloves that both protect you from chemicals as well as from the hot water. Repeat the process with plain water (without the TSP) to wipe your walls completely clean. Allow your walls to completely dry for a few days before starting your paint job.

Following these best practices on how to remove wallpaper for painting will make a world of difference to how your paint job looks!
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