wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

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mbres60
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wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by mbres60 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:45 pm

Anyone ever take down wallpaper themselves? If not how much did you pay someone for one room ? We are removing the wallpaper in our kitchen but it is going so slooow. Also, there is tons of paste left on the wall. When the wall is wet it is incredibly sticky. We don't feel a thing when it is dry. Will this be bad for paint or will we have to get all this paste off?

As an fyi the process we are using is to spray the wall with water and some vinegar. Then we try to scrape it off. Mostly the paper comes off with some of the backing. Unfortunately it is mostly coming off in tiny little strips. Years ago we removed wallpaper from a bathroom and used a scorer to make holes in the paper. We either didn't go all the way through or marked up the wall so we are trying to do this without that. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.

DTSC
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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by DTSC » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:52 pm

I find that one of those vibrating multi-tools really helps for sanding do the left over paste.
For me, DIY versus paying someone depends on how much I enjoy the task and how good a job I can do. I guess it also depends on opportunity cost - can you make more money doing something else while you hire someones to do the job.

Sidney
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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by Sidney » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:53 pm

We used to wipe down the wallpaper with a vinegar/water solution. That seemed to loosen the paste.
I always wanted to be a procrastinator.

Khanmots
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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by Khanmots » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:59 pm

I removed wallpaper from a *large* master bath with a vaulted ceiling. Some areas had almost no glue (to the point that I was worried that painting over it would pull the paper off) some had almost a quarter inch thick of glue and was a big pain.

I used one of those enzyme gels and a scorer as well as a spray bottle with water. I'm not sure how much the gel/scorer actually helped having never done it before. It turned into a 3-day project with 2-3 friends helping each day (spread out over a month or so).

I planned to texture the walls after stripping them as
1) I really like the knockdown texture look
2) It meant I could get away with being lazy and doing very little surface prep! (really just patching up the spots where I really messed up the drywall paper, no sanding or any of that mess) Didn't mess with any scoring marks at all.

As my brother had a (small) air compressor, I invested $20 in a harbor freight cheapo sprayer and bought a bag of texture mix from home depot for maybe another $20ish? Wasn't much. Then experimented on a peice of plywood a bit before trying the wall. I wound up texturing the entire bathroom before I decided that I really didn't like the job I did. It was *really* easy to remove the texture by simply spraying it with water and scraping it off with a big wide putty knife. So I then tried again and was *very* pleased with the result.

Followed by priming then painting and caulking, etc. Still have a bit left to do with rehanging towel racks and such, but have been quite pleased with the result.

Not sure what it'd have cost to have someone else do it, but I suspect that I wouldn't have been as happy with the final result. The guest bath was de-wallpapered by the previous owners and due to their age I'm guessing they hired it out. It's obvious that whoever did it didn't take care to get clean removal around the top edges of tile and baseboards and such and just painted over bits of wallpaper that was still there. So keep in mind that while professionals may be faster and require far less elbow-grease they don't have the personal investment in ensuring that all the minor details are just right that you may have.

Oh, as for the spots with really thick paste, I tried to get off what I could but know that I didn't get it all. So far I've had paint up for a few years now and haven't seen any issues.

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:07 pm

I've used a steamer with great success, it's considerably easier than using a wet sponge. I rented it, but they are cheap enough that it might be worth buying if you've got a lot to do.

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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by reggiesimpson » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:08 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote:I've used a steamer with great success, it's considerably easier than using a wet sponge. I rented it, but they are cheap enough that it might be worth buying if you've got a lot to do.
+1 for the steamer. Cheap to.

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bengal22
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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by bengal22 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:13 pm

we used a circular scoring tool coupled with hardware wall paper removal. I think removing wallpaper is a true test of love for any couple that wants to find out.

good luck
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mbres60
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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by mbres60 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:02 pm

Thanks for the replies. We previously did a bathroom and used that circular scorer. Either we did too little pressure and it didn't go through or we used too much and it put loads of little holes into the wall. That room I had put the wallpaper up myself and sized the wall. My kitchen I had hired out and that guy put paste and sizing together and then put it on the back of my prepasted paper. Lots of glue on the walls.

We have been using water and vinegar. Not sure how much to use but I spray it on a small portion of wall but it never seeps through. We seem to only get small to tiny pieces of wallpaper off at a time so it is taking a long time. I found a guy who removes wallpaper and he just said he would charge us $350 for one day or less. He also said we would never get all the paste off so we should make sure we prime the wall with an oil based primer as water based primer will loosen the paste and not look good.

A few years ago I hired a company to remove wallpaper in several rooms and paint. They did a horrible job. Lots of wallboard torn. They fixed it but never primed the walls. I found several spots where you can see they just painted over paste. This company was recommended to me by someone too!

jwtietz
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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by jwtietz » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:36 pm

Use fabric softner and h20 or the home depot stuff after scoring it. Most ofter you have to repair wall or redrywall it. I would never wallpaper again.

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mbres60
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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by mbres60 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:23 pm

jwtietz wrote:I would never wallpaper again.
Amen!

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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by Calm Man » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:21 pm

I like your idea of paying the guy. Who knows what damage you will do and it sounds like you can use some help. Good luck.

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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by czeckers » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:33 pm

I've used everything you can think of. Renting a steamer from your local Home Depot is by far the easiest. I used to loathe removing wallpaper. Now I don't really mind it.

When you paint over glue residue, the paint tends to peel off over those spots. I'd use the steamer, then sponge with vinegar solution or commercial paste remover, then prime before painting.

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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by Steelersfan » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:42 pm

A good wallpaper remover solvent (Chomp) plus lots of hot water did it for my very stuck-on wallpaper.

I used a steamer on day one and that worked really well. On day two I just went with lots of hot water and letting it soak in for several (well maybe many) minutes and that was almost as good.

Did I mention lots of hot water and time to let it soak in?

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Watty
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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by Watty » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:02 pm

Unless it is the strippable wallpaper that was put on a previously painted wall I have pretty much given up trying to de-wallpaper walls.

There are a couple of other alternatives though;

Depending on the wallpaper and if it is in good condition it may be possible to paint directly over it if does not have a texture. I have found that for more challenging painting like this it is worthwhile to pay a bit more to get the paint form a paint store instead of a big box hardware store since you can tell them exactly what you need and they will have a better selection or can even special order in a specific product. I thought my wife was crazy the when she wanted to try this but it ended ip looking fine.

There is also make special paintable wallpaper that is made to be painted so you can put that up over either over the old wallpaper or on the wall after taking the wallpaper down as best as possible. I have damaged a wall trying to get that %^&* wallpaper down and this was able cover up the minor but widespread damage.

In the worst case they also make special thin sheetrock that is about a quarter of an inch thick that can be put up over badly damaged drywall or even something like paneling and then primed and painted to get a totally fresh wall. Hiring a drywall company to do this may not cost very much since people that drywall every day can put it up very quickly and will often look very good compared to DIY drywall.

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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by carolinaman » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:30 am

I have removed wallpaper from 2 rooms. Both had been sized before papering which made it somewhat easier. It is a tedious job and we were able to remove wallpaper with very minimal damage to sheetrock. However, the surface is not as smooth as I would like and is noticeable after painting. I would pay a pro to do this if I had to do it again. The most important thing is the appearance of the walls after removing the wallpaper, not the cost of getting it done.

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mbres60
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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by mbres60 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:55 am

johnep wrote:I have removed wallpaper from 2 rooms. Both had been sized before papering which made it somewhat easier. It is a tedious job and we were able to remove wallpaper with very minimal damage to sheetrock. However, the surface is not as smooth as I would like and is noticeable after painting. I would pay a pro to do this if I had to do it again. The most important thing is the appearance of the walls after removing the wallpaper, not the cost of getting it done.
So far our work is leaving our walls looking a LOT better than the pros I hired about 5 years ago to take down lots of wallpaper and repaint a lot of my house. The walls looked awful after they took down the paper.

We are going to Home Depot today to see if the solutions they sell will work better than ours. I'm trying to figure out how you keep the water hot as it turns to room temperature rather quickly. Also for those who use a water and vinegar solution ... how much vinegar do you use?

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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by NHRATA01 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:09 pm

I did it in 2 bathrooms recently. The first I used the spray gel + scorer and a scraper. It did not go well. When I went to do the second bathroom, I spent $60 for a steamer from Lowes. I kicked myself for not buying it the first time. Much, much better.

In my opinion it is not a job worth paying for, but depends on how gung-ho you are for DIY work and the value of your free time.

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DocHolliday
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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by DocHolliday » Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:03 pm

Rent a steamer. It will make the job easy. It makes a mess but messes can be cleaned up.

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Jerilynn
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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by Jerilynn » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:30 am

One of my philosophies is to 'never do anything yourself that you can pay someone else to do for you. Assuming that they will do as good or better job of it.'
Cordially, Jeri . . . 100% all natural asset allocation. (no supernatural methods used)

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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by Valuethinker » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:29 am

- yes rent a steamer - it works way better than the chemicals

- steamer and scrape you will do as good a job as any professional - I am quite happy to pay someone else to hang and paint, there is a knack to doing that right, but scraping is just easy

- get eye protection - seriously-- when a huge piece comes off it can hit you right in the face

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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by Valuethinker » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:31 am

Jerilynn wrote:One of my philosophies is to 'never do anything yourself that you can pay someone else to do for you. Assuming that they will do as good or better job of it.'
I agree with your philosopy eg repainting the entire house internally BUT scraping wallpaper, if you have the steamer, you will do a better job with less hassle-- it's not a job a contractor really wants to do (he has to hire someone on min wage to do it OR he charges his usual markup and has one of his regular decorators do it).

With my house, to get a good estimate of the cost of redecoration, you really needed to take the paper off, as paper hides a multitude of sins (plaster, not dry wall/ plasterboard, underneath).

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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by Valuethinker » Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:19 am

NHRATA01 wrote:I did it in 2 bathrooms recently. The first I used the spray gel + scorer and a scraper. It did not go well. When I went to do the second bathroom, I spent $60 for a steamer from Lowes. I kicked myself for not buying it the first time. Much, much better.

In my opinion it is not a job worth paying for, but depends on how gung-ho you are for DIY work and the value of your free time.
+1 re steamer.

It's a low skill job for a painter and decorator. Anyone good would rather get on to their next job.

It's not like their casual labour will do a better or more skilled job than you will. There is skill in painting and decoration, but it's not in taking the paper off.

I was working 60 hour weeks when I did my apartment but it turned out to be a fun, mindless thing to do on weekends and evenings.

Just get eye protection-- broken record but it's easy to get hit with a big piece of paper/ plaster right in the eye.

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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by Woodshark » Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:51 am

I've removed wallpaper from several rooms and tried several methods from steaming to scoring and spraying with fabric softener. The ONLY way I will ever do it again is to use the sheet method. Basically what you are doing is saturating a special synthetic cloth with wallpaper stripper and sticking the wet fabric to the wall. Now just walk away. Wait 30-45 minutes and using a pump sprayer, recoat the the fabric. Repeat until the wallpaper is so loose it almost falls off.
Simple Strip HydroSheets is one brand. If you a real DIY'er or don't mind working harder you can use old flat bed sheets. They don't hold moisture near as well but I hear they work.

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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by Peter Foley » Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:54 pm

I removed wallpaper (multiple layers) from a number of rooms in the first house we owned and from 3 rooms in the second house. I've tried both the scorer and chemical routes. I thought the scorer was a waste of time. My experience has been that some removes easily and leaves little residue - other is difficult with a lot of clean up.
I can't imagine how someone could accurately bid the job - and paying by the hour could be expensive.

I would bite the bullet and do it myself. You have to get the residue off or the paint job won't last. At times you can't see the residue but can feel it if you wipe the wall with hot water.

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mbres60
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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by mbres60 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:58 pm

Today we went and bought a steamer. I looked at Home Depot and Lowes and they both had the same one. Home Depot was $5 less. Tons of reviews online all making it seem like this was something magical. I hope it is. One person mentioned that Lowe's price matches and then sells it to you for 10% less. So that is what we did. I got it at Lowe's for $5 less than Home Depot was selling it for. Good deal. Now let's hope it works. We will try it out tomorrow.

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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by S&L1940 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:26 pm

if the wallpaper is a vinyl coated or vinyl top layer, you must remove or score it so that the soaking gets the paper layer beneath it. Fabric wall covering should come off quite easily.
In either case, you need to wash the walls before painting.
You may be able to rent a steamer which is nothing more than a tank of water electrically heated and has a hose leading to a large plate. Patience, let the steam or the soaking do the work.

I hung wallpaper professionally for eighteen years. Today, I would not put a scrap of wallpaper in my house no matter how much my wife yelled and cried.

Good luck, Rich
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:05 am

mbres60 wrote:Today we went and bought a steamer. I looked at Home Depot and Lowes and they both had the same one. Home Depot was $5 less. Tons of reviews online all making it seem like this was something magical. I hope it is. One person mentioned that Lowe's price matches and then sells it to you for 10% less. So that is what we did. I got it at Lowe's for $5 less than Home Depot was selling it for. Good deal. Now let's hope it works. We will try it out tomorrow.
Eye protection. And heavy gloves. Long sleaves. The stuff can *burn* (hot steam).

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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:07 am

1530jesup wrote:if the wallpaper is a vinyl coated or vinyl top layer, you must remove or score it so that the soaking gets the paper layer beneath it. Fabric wall covering should come off quite easily.
In either case, you need to wash the walls before painting.
You may be able to rent a steamer which is nothing more than a tank of water electrically heated and has a hose leading to a large plate. Patience, let the steam or the soaking do the work.

I hung wallpaper professionally for eighteen years. Today, I would not put a scrap of wallpaper in my house no matter how much my wife yelled and cried.

Good luck, Rich
I think most of us deeply undervalue the abilities of a good home decorator.

It's hard to find those skills now, the building trades have been deskilled. Plastering skills are even rarer, in Canada when my brother redid his house, he had to go for plasterboard/ gyprock -- except for Italian labourers in their 60s there's no one left who can do plastering.

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mbres60
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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by mbres60 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:57 am

Question for those that used a steamer: What did you do to keep water from the steam out of your outlets?

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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by S&L1940 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:34 am

mbres60 wrote:Question for those that used a steamer: What did you do to keep water from the steam out of your outlets?
maybe I was lucky, never had a problem
you could leave the plate on for added safety and dry scrape off the last scrap afterwards.
twenty years ago - the last time I did this stuff - there were razor scraper that if you were careful enough, could remove the paper without destroying the rock lath.

my quick Lucille Ball story: many years ago I took my teenage son on a job to keep him busy. I charged the homeowner almost as much to remove the old wall covering as to put up the new. The room had paper backed vinyl and we easily stripped off the vinyl face. While waiting for the steamer to crank up I used a pump sprayer to wet the paper with a water and chemical mix. The homeowner chose that moment to watch what we were doing as the paper backing started falling off the walls in full sheets. No steaming, no scraping and in no time whatsoever. My son (who just turned 50) and I smoothly started pushing the paper BACK :oops: onto the walls in true Lucille Ball and the candy factory fashion. We got away with it. But most jobs were not that easy...

To answer the original question; try a small area and if it does not come off easily, get a handyman, a professional a neighbor, your wife but do not do it yourself unless you are in therapy!
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

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mbres60
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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by mbres60 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:43 pm

Update - We tried the steamer on one strip. That was enough. The paper was hard coming down (although easier than what we were doing before) and actually was taking down some of the paint with it. It also took down a large section of the outer layer of wallboard. Soooo it was back to the old way. Because the room is our kitchen we don't have much in the way of floor to ceiling walls (the strip we used the steamer on was a floor to ceiling strip). We only have one left (behind the refrigerator). All the rest are the walls above the cabinets and below (we have no backsplash).

Thank goodness there are no other rooms in my home with wallpaper! 27 years ago I paid someone to put up the paper in the kitchen and my daughter's room. He mixed sizing in with paste and put it on the back of prepasted paper I bought. Maybe this would have been easier if the sizing was on the wall. It is what it is though.

Thank you all for your ideas!

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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by S&L1940 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:43 pm

mbres60 wrote:Update -
Thank goodness there are no other rooms in my home with wallpaper! 27 years ago I paid someone to put up the paper in the kitchen and my daughter's room. He mixed sizing in with paste and put it on the back of prepasted paper I bought. Maybe this would have been easier if the sizing was on the wall. It is what it is though.
no self respecting paper hanger would hang pre-pasted wall paper by simply wetting it. proper way is to seal the walls with a primer meant as a wallpaper undercoating and then to paste the material, let soak a bit and hang.
score the surface with a razor blade or a hand tool made to punch holes without harming the wall board. SLOWLY move the steamer across your surface. there should be enough commercials during the Oscars to give you plenty of time.

27 years ago, I hope it was not one of my guys...
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

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mbres60
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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by mbres60 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:59 pm

Not one of your guys. This guy worked for himself.

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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by NateH » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:38 am

jwtietz wrote: I would never wallpaper again.
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Re: wallpaper removal - diy or pay someone?

Post by wilpat » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:49 am

Jerilynn wrote:One of my philosophies is to 'never do anything yourself that you can pay someone else to do for you. Assuming that they will do as good or better job of it.'
My Father taught me "Never do anything yourself that you don't know how to do".
Contrary to the belief of many, profit is not a four letter word!

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