When it comes to redecorating your home, one of the trickiest jobs you may face is stripping old vinyl wallpaper. Here's how to get rid of that stubborn wall covering with minimal hassle.
There are three types of vinyl wallpaper that you may encounter: fabric-backed, paper-backed, and vinyl-coated, and removing each of these requires a slightly different approach.
What you'll need
- wallpaper scraper
- washing-up liquid
- plastic spray bottle
- white vinegar
You'll find everything you need at your local DIY store.
How to do it
Fabric-backed vinyl wallpaper
- Start off by lifting one corner of the old paper, using a wallpaper scraper to get it started, and pull the fabric backing away from the wall, folding it back on itself. Try to remove the fabric backing off the wall in one complete sheet.
- Now make up a solution of washing-up liquid and water. Using a sponge, soak the backing paper and adhesive that are still on the wall with the solution. Allow the solution to soak into the paper for a few minutes, and then scrape the paper off.
- Remove the paper-backed vinyl as per #1 above. You will find that a thin sheet of paper is left stuck to the wall.
- Now, make up a solution of equal parts white vinegar and cold water and decant it into a plastic spray bottle.
- Spray the wall with the vinegar solution and allow it to soak into the paper until it begins to loosen. If the paper is very old, you may have to spray the wall several times.
- Use your wallpaper scraper to remove the paper and adhesive residue.
- Finish off by making up a solution of warm water and washing-up liquid, and washing down the wall with a sponge to get rid of any stubborn bits of paper and glue.
- Begin the process of removing the paper as per step #1 above.
- Now you'll need to use sandpaper to remove the remaining vinyl. This is because the vinyl coating is made from plastic and the paper behind it is therefore dry. Soaking the wall will only be effective once most of the vinyl has been sanded away.
- Next, you'll need to use a PaperTiger scoring tool to perforate any remaining areas of vinyl to allow the water to penetrate. To do this, run the spiky wheel of the PaperTiger over the vinyl so that it is full of tiny holes through which water can seep.
- Spray the wall with a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Allow the solution to soak into the remaining paper, spraying the wall several times if necessary, until the paper starts to come loose.
- Use the wallpaper scraper to remove the remaining paper and adhesive. When all the paper has come off, wash the wall down with a solution of washing-up liquid and warm water.
You can get rid of stubborn vinyl wallpaper by following the guidelines above. However, if you're not confident in tackling this job or you don't have the time to do it yourself, contact a wallpapering services firm in your area to solve the problem for you.