What’s the Best Way to Strip Wallpaper?

Real Simple answers your questions.

Propane tankMark Lund
Q. What is the best way to remove wallpaper? 
Amy Gaynor
Jacobus, Pennsylvania

A. Time for that 70s paisley print to come down? There’s no easy way, but here’s how the pros do it.

Prep the area by covering the floor and any furniture with plastic sheeting. Then run a wall scorer or perforator (such as PaperTiger, $8, zinsser.com for locations) over the walls, pressing lightly in a circular motion to cut thousands of tiny holes into the paper. Next, saturate the wallpaper with a nontoxic stripping solution (such as Dif Concentrate, $5, zinsser.com for locations). Use a garden sprayer (like the one shown above) to do this job quickly. The solution won’t harm stained wood trim, but don’t let it remain for more than a few minutes on trim that’s finished with latex paint. Before the solution dries, use a metal scraper to peel away the paper. If the backing remains, repeat the previous steps. Finally, wash the walls with warm water and a sponge to remove any leftover paste and you’re done. Now, about that shag carpet…

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