How to remove wallpaper, in 12 steps:

After all of the difficulties we've had with the wallpaper in our kitchen, I thought I'd post our step by step process. Note - this is not how we've removed all the rest of the wallpaper in the house, just the extremely stubborn kitchen wallpaper. It might not be the best method ever, but it's what worked best for us. And we tried several different methods. I'm posting this so if anyone else is having similar issues, maybe they can try our method and see how it works for them. Or, more likely, so that those of you that actually read our blog can just appreciate it even more when we finally get paint on the kitchen walls :-P

1 - score the wallpaper lightly in the area you're working with a wallpaper scorer tool. The more the better, but don't press too hard. You just want to score the wallpaper, but not the drywall underneath. Not sure of it's exact name, but it looks like this:

2 - wet surface with mixture of DIF wallpaper remover and hot water. We used the concentrated DIF, mixed per the directions on the bottle. We used a large bucket and a sponge to apply the DIF to the walls. Let sit for 15 mins.

3 - wet surface again with DIF mixture, and start peeling away the top layer of wallpaper. For us, we could just peel the top layer with our fingers b/c the edges would start to come up after it had soaked in the DIF mixture. Our wallpaper was very paper like (unlike the vinyl wallpaper in other rooms) and would rip into small pieces. It also came off it 2 layers - the top decorative layer, and the bottom paper layer with the glue. This step just removed the top decorative layer.

4 - soak wall again with DIF, let sit for 15 mins.

5 - time to scrape. We used two large putty knifes, but found that the slightly smaller one (maybe 3") worked the best. This was by far the worst part. The paper with glue would just come off in tiny little pieces.

6 - repeat steps 4 & 5 as many times as needed to remove all of the wallpaper.

7 - after repeating steps 4 & 5 many times, we were still left with a lot of glue and small bits of paper on the walls that we just couldn't scrape off. Mike suggested using a SOS sponge, and it was the best idea ever. We still used our DIF mixture, but this time, we'd use the sponge shown below and wet the surface again with the sponge side, let sit for a few mins, and then scrubbed with the SOS side. Surprisingly, this didn't take very long in the grand scheme of wallpaper removal, but it made a huge difference. The SOS side got off almost all of the leftover glue and paper bits. The walls are all white and clean now! Oh, our total DIF purchase for the kitchen was 4 bottles. On the back of the bottle it said you would only need one for a room that size.

8 - we haven't gotten this far yet, but the next step will be to fill in all the holes and patching the areas where the drywall paper came off with the wallpaper. This happened a lot in some of the more stubborn areas of the wall.

9 - sand walls, we like to use just a sanding block.

10 - repeat steps 8 and 9 as needed until the surface is smooth.

11 - prime walls. We like to use Kilz.

12 - paint walls!

So there you have it, our 12 step process. Hopefully this will help someone else out. Although, if I had to do it all over again, I think I might just drywall over the wallpaper, hehe...

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