How to remove wallpaper


Before you start be aware that wallpaper removal can be labour intensive and could cause severe damage to the walls. Most removal damage is due to the lack of a wallpaper primer before the walls were wallpapered, resulting in the glue being absorbed into the wallboard. The top layers of wallboard (paper) will try to come off with the wallpaper backing. If this occurs in large areas, call a professional.

There are many different types of wallpaper on the market today. Some are dry strippable, solid vinyl and fabric backed papers can usually be removed by simply pulling them from the wall without wetting.

Most residential wallpapers are of the vinyl coated type. Vinyl coated papers are by far the most common in residential homes. The vinyl face of these papers is usually “dry strippable” meaning that the face will separate and leave only the paper backing on the wall. Start by removing as much as the vinyl face as possible. Find a loose corner, you may need a putty knife or scraper to get started.

After all the vinyl face is removed the paper backing should also be removed. The paper backing will require a wet removal. Fill a five gallon bucket to about half full with warm water, add about a cap full of fabric softener. Turn off the electrical power to the room. Apply this solution to the wall with a paint roller or garden sprayer, a sponge can be used in corners. Wet a four or five foot section of the wall and make sure the wall section remains saturated with the solution for about ten minutes. Remove the wet backing with a four or six inch putty knife or scraper.

After all the backing is removed finish cleaning the walls with a hand sponge and fresh solution of fabric softener and warm water. Allow the walls to dry and apply a wallpaper primer if you plan to re- wallpaper the walls. If you plan to paint apply an acrylic primer/sealer to the walls before painting.


This is messy work be sure to place rolled towels or bed sheets at the base of the walls before wetting them in order to catch solution runoff.

Do Not spray or saturate electrical outlets or switches with the solution, turn off the electrical supply to the room before wetting the walls.

How to control Mould


Mould and mildew form on painted walls when there’s a high level of humidity and inadequate ventilation. Once mould forms, the spores can become airborne. They can lead to allergic reactions and breathing troubles, as well as unpleasant smells and unattractive spotting. Sometimes mould develops in hidden corners, up high in the back of a cupboard, or around a window frame where it’s hidden by the window treatments. You may not realize you have a problem with mould until smells or health concerns bring it to your attention. If you’ve been coughing and sneezing, or your home doesn’t seem as fresh as you like it to be, check those hidden areas and see if mould is the culprit.

Here’s how to avoid mould troubles:

Keep your home clean, dry, and well-ventilated.

When you dry washing inside, whether it’s intimate apparel on a line over the tub or wool jerseys lying flat on a counter, open a window to allow the extra moisture to escape.

When you run a bath, run the cold water first and then warm up the tub with the hot water. This creates less condensation than running warm water from the beginning.

Use an exhaust fan when you shower.

Deal with leaks or spills quickly, before the moisture soaks down into carpets or soft furnishings. Leaks around windows and damp carpets can eventually create mouldy walls, as well as mildew in the fabrics and fibres.

If weather permits, open a window in your bathroom, kitchen and laundry room. Let the steam escape and have less trouble with mould.

Insulate cold pipes.

Once mould is established in your home, you will need to deal with the source of excess moisture before cleaning it up. Once you’ve fixed the source of damp, you’ll need to decide whether to try to clean the mould yourself.

Here are some factors to consider:

The health concerns of your household – If you have infants, little children, elderly people, or anyone with breathing difficulties in your home, then you would be wise to have professional help.

If you have tried to eliminate the mould once and been unsuccessful, you should have professional help.

If you have a small mould problem on a painted or papered wall, scrub the surface with water and detergent and dry it thoroughly. Check the surface in a few days and make sure no mould is growing. Even after the damp is eliminated and the mould is cleaned, you may still have spots and discoloration. If you decide to paint or paper the area, make sure that your painting and decorating contractors are qualified to deal with the mould problem as well as to do the painting. Preparing the surfaces completely will save you from having to deal with the problem all over again in the future.

Author: Michael Peters