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A Family Tradition of Excellence

A Family Tradition of Excellence

HOW TO…Wallpaper

I am frequently asked about how to properly remove wallpaper coverings. Patience and primer: the two most important words in installing wallpaper coverings. Many times we are asked to repair and spackle damaged walls done by rookie painters who lost their patience during the job or because the walls weren’t primed before the paper went up.Hanging Wallpaper

Homeowners can save substantial money removing wall coverings themselves, but it does take time and effort to do the job right.  But please note, that it is always more cost and time efficient to hire the professionals to remove wallpaper coverings. It is extremely easy to miss a step in the eight step wallpaper removal process, which can quickly turn into a messy and costly situation. Hiring the professionals such as O’Connor’s Painting Service can avoid any unnecessary damage to your walls and can ensure all of the glue is removed from the walls before painting.

O’Connor’s Painting Step-by-Step Wallpaper Guide:

Step 1: Buy DIF wallpaper stripper concentrate solution, available at home improvement centers and paint stores. DIF contains enzymes that break down the glue behind the wallpaper. Additionally, you will need a garden sprayer, a 4-or 6- inch putty knife, a spackling pan, a step ladder and hot water.

Step 2: Cover the floors with tarp or plastic sheeting; things are going to get wet and messy. O’Connor uses rubberized drop cloths with cardboard on top. Keep outlet covers on during the wettest part of the process to avoid shorting out your electrical circuits (or turn off electricity to the room).

Step 3: To make mix for a 2.5 gallon garden sprayer, uses 24 ounces of DIF and fill the rest of the container with hot water.

Step 4: Work on one wall at a time in eight-to-10-foot sections. Using the garden sprayer, heavily soak the area. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then repeat spraying. Try pulling the paper off by hand. If needed, use the putty knife to scrape as you peel.

Step 5: While peeling, keep spraying the paper underneath. Make sure not to let the section you are working on dry out; it will become harder to remove if dry.

Step 6: To remove the brown paper backing that sometimes remains, spray it, then start working with the putty knife. Wipe the glue goo off into a spackle blade pan as you work.

Step 7: When all the paper is removed, wipe down the wall again; this time, with only clear hot water to remove any remaining glue residue. Let the walls dry completely. 

Step 8: To prep for painting, O’Connor recommends priming walls with oil primer, instead of latex, because it seals better and prevents future problems from undetected glue residue, which will crack the new paint finish.


  1. ana on July 29, 2010 at 7:03 am

    thank you, good information

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