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Now that I am a stay at home mom, I have a lot of time to focus on projects we have been putting off. High on our list is to fix up our kitchen. We recently had to replace our ancient and tiny fridge, leaving a gaping hole in our cabinets and glaringly unpainted walls. We would love to gut the kitchen and start with a whole new setup but it is so NOT in the new budget. So we are looking at cost effective ways to make our kitchen pretty and functional and first up is removing painted wallpaper and putting up a fresh coat of paint. Cue this DIY wallpaper remover to save the day!
Why DIY Wallpaper Remover?
I am definitely not some home improvement diy queen. In fact, power tools scare the bejeebus out of me! But I’m not afraid to do a little google research and get my hands dirty. So I was researching how to remove painted over wallpaper and I found various products, tools and opinions on what works and what doesn’t. The consensus basically was that removing painted over wallpaper sucks. So I decided to think back to when my Grandpa did some wallpaper removal when I was younger. I can still smell the vinegar, and can vividly picture my grandma using a sponge to apply some mixture while my grandpa scraped it off. I called my dad to see if he remembered the mix for grandpa’s wallpaper remover and then messaged my uncle to see if he remembered. When neither leads panned out, I winged it. With fantastic results!
How to make Wallpaper Remover:
*affiliate links included below, they do not cost you any extra*
I used these 16 oz Amber Glass Spray Bottles and added 1/3 cup white vinegar and then filled it to the top with tap water (about 1 2/3 cups). Shake to mix. Then I tugged at a peeling section of our wallpaper and pulled up the top layers of the paper and paint. I was left with the bottom layer of paper and the glue portion of the wallpaper. I then sprayed the wall until it was quite wet with the mix. Have the mixture soak into the paper for 2-5 minutes, letting it work to dissolve the glue.
Then just gently push the scraper tool under the edge of the paper until you have a section that separates or until you can pull a large section off with your hand.
Some thoughts on Wallpaper Removal
I had no trouble removing our wallpaper with just those simple steps. It took maybe an hour for the entire wall and I made 2 spray bottles of vinegar water mix. If your paper isn’t peeling up and you need to get under that paint, you can always use a Wallpaper Scoring Tool to make small rips in your paper. I was able to peel back my paper edges to get the vinegar to work on the glue underneath by simply peeling or using my scraping tool My final result was perfect! And I now have one blue wall and 3 gray walls in the kitchen. The dark gray pantry/laundry room painted wallpaper removal is my next task. Then its a quick wash to prep for paint!