Will removing wallpaper damage my wall?

Remove old wallpaper: these tricks will help

The freshly moved home can be designed individually and colorfully with new wallpapers. But before you start wallpapering, you must first remove the old wallpaper - as completely and thoroughly as possible. This often takes longer and is much more tedious than attaching the new wall decoration. Here you will learn a few tricks that will make your work easier.

Because of the effort, many do-it-yourselfers shy away from completely removing the old wallpaper and trying to stick them over. However, unevenness and overlapping seams are the frequent consequence, and the color of the old wallpaper can also show through. The wallpaper paste with which the new strips are attached can also soften the old wallpaper so that it no longer adheres well to the wall and additional waves form. You should therefore not forego thorough preparatory work when wallpapering.

How can you remove woodchip wallpaper?

How well or poorly old woodchip wallpaper can be removed depends on the type and age of the wallpaper and the paste. In order to determine the solubility, you can do a test in advance: To do this, brush a test surface with water. If it turns dark, the old wallpaper can be removed from the wall relatively easily.

If this is not the case, you can help with appropriate means. Commercially available wallpaper remover or simple washing-up liquid work wonders here. The wallpaper remover is dissolved in warm water and then applied evenly and over a large area to the old wallpaper. You can use the paste brush for this, for example, but it is quicker and more thorough with a pressure sprayer. After a short exposure time, the wallpaper can usually be removed easily with a spatula.

What tricks can you use to remove water-repellent wallpaper?

The only problem is water-repellent woodchip wallpaper, as it absorbs too little liquid and therefore does not come off easily. With lightweight walls made of plasterboard, this method is taboo anyway, as the walls would be damaged by the moisture.

Wallpapers in damp rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms are often made of a moisture-regulating and tear-resistant fabric. While this is beneficial in terms of durability, it prevents soaking. If you cannot get them off the wall at all, sanding and filling over are possible alternatives.

The situation is not quite as dramatic when you are dealing with two layers of normal paper wallpaper glued on top of each other. Here it is sufficient if you use a little more water and washing-up liquid or wallpaper remover than with a single-layer wallpaper. All that is important is to apply it thoroughly and several times so that the adhesive force of the lower layer of glue is also eliminated.

How long do the wallpapers have to soak before removing?

When removing wallpaper, you should definitely observe the soaking times. You should leave the solution on the wallpaper for at least 30 minutes. The longer the wallpaper soaks, the easier it can be peeled off. You can easily remove small remnants of wallpaper with a spatula after peeling it off.

How can I remove vinyl wallpaper?

Vinyl wallpapers are particularly moisture-resistant. Some are even treated with water-repellent latex. This makes it difficult to soften the wallpaper layer with a lye. Only a so-called wallpaper hedgehog can help when removing the wallpaper. This prickly device is visually reminiscent of the eponymous animal. It perforates the surface of the wallpaper, making it permeable to water.

If the old wallpaper has been thoroughly prepared with the wallpaper hedgehog, water, detergent or wallpaper remover can be used as with ordinary wallpaper.

When using the wallpaper hedgehog, be careful not to apply too much pressure, otherwise the sharp stainless steel needles could also damage the wall. This is especially true for plasterboard walls. To be on the safe side, you can do without the wallpaper hedgehog and use sandpaper instead. You can use it to roughen up the old wallpaper instead of perforating it.

How can you remove several layers of wallpaper at once?

Old wall coverings are often simply wallpapered over. If you want to apply new wallpaper, you have to deal with two or more layers when removing it. In such a case, you should not start watering immediately, but rather pretreat the wallpaper with the wallpaper hedgehog. The surface must be perforated down to the last layer. This is the only way for the solution of water, wallpaper remover and washing-up liquid to reach and soften the last layer of paste. Since a relatively large amount of liquid has to be used to remove the wallpaper in this case, you should cover the floor with foil.

Extra tip: With multi-layer wallpaper strips, you can optimize the solvent power of the lye. Simply add some paste to do this. This improves the consistency of the liquid, prevents it from draining again quickly and ensures that it penetrates well into the layers of wallpaper.

In the case of particularly stubborn wallpaper that still does not come off the wall, you can temporarily cover the wall with a thin painter's film. It prevents the moisture from evaporating quickly. If you then extend the exposure time a little, multi-layered wallpaper can also be removed effortlessly. In order to dispose of wallpaper, with a few exceptions, they are disposed of in the residual waste.

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How can you remove wallpaper with steam?

If you want to shorten the exposure time, you should work with hot steam when removing wallpaper. To do this, fill the caustic solution described above into an evaporator. This heats the water and directs it into a steam plate. You can then move it evenly over the old wallpaper. The steam penetrates through fine nozzles through the wallpaper and into the layer of paste, removing both.

Coated, multilayered and vinyl wallpapers should be perforated beforehand for this method to work. After a short exposure time, the soaked wallpaper can usually be removed from the wall quickly and easily. You can use a spatula to help with stubborn residues. You should not use hot steam on plasterboard walls.

What is removable wallpaper?

If you want to change your wallpaper more often, you should use removable wallpaper. Similar to stickers and wall decals, removable wallpaper is coated on the back. For wallpapering, all you have to do is peel off the protective film, apply the wallpaper strips evenly and smooth out any unevenness.

These new types of wallpaper adhere reliably and can still be removed quickly and easily. To remove the wallpaper, all you have to do is lift one corner with the spatula and then pull the wallpaper strip off the wall in one piece. This saves you a lot of time and work.

Removable wallpapers are now available in many different colors and patterns as well as woodchip, fleece or vinyl wallpapers. When purchasing removable wallpaper, it is important to note that there are different models: some are completely removable, others can only be split, leaving a thin residue on the wall. A third variant can be peeled off when wet, i.e. it has to be moistened, but can then be removed in one piece. Removable wallpaper is a good solution, especially for plasterboard walls that do not tolerate much moisture.