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Replacing wallpaper: what tools to use

replacing wallpaper

Date: 01.15.2022

Written By

Editorial Staff

I am a blog scientist by the mind and a passionate blogger by heart ❤️. Fountainhead of upkeen. I am a freelance writer and lover of all things tech, crafting and general geekery. i am currently living in New York, United States.

Often, to freshen up the interior of a room, it is enough to replace the wallpaper on the walls. If you are not afraid of the difficulties associated with the wallpaper replacement, you can re-glue the wallpaper yourself. Wallpaper replacement is not a very difficult process, it is enough to know the basic steps and rules for replacing wallpaper.

Table of Contents

How to quickly and correctly remove old wallpaper from the walls for wallpaper replacement?

quickly and correctly remove old wallpaper from the walls and replacing wallpaper
A man Removing Wallpaper for Replacing wallpaper with new one

Before pasting the walls with new wallpaper, it is necessary to carry out a preparatory stage: removing the old wallpaper from the walls. Back in Soviet times, very often, having decided to “update” the walls in their apartment, the owners neglected this stage and glued new wallpapers directly onto the old ones.

But now it is not recommended to do this, since modern wallpaper is not just paper, but a canvas with applied protective layers, depending on their type (vinyl, non-woven, etc.). The work on removing old wallpaper from the walls is carried out in several stages.

Premises preparation for replacing wallpaper

Preparatory work is important not only for a high-quality coating with a new canvas, but also for your safety and wallpaper replacement.

Things to consider for replacing wallpaper are as follows;

quickly and correctly remove old wallpaper from the walls and replacing wallpaper
A man Removing Wallpaper by using tools for Replacing wallpaper with new one
  • We remove from the walls everything that is attached to them and take out the furniture. Those pieces of furniture that cannot be taken out are moved to the central part of the room and covered with a protective oilcloth, because the work is dusty.
  • It is better to protect the floor too: cover it with polyethylene, and to avoid slipping, make the flooring of cardboard.
  • Don’t forget about the skirting board. It must either be dismantled or protected from contamination, for example with masking tape.
  • De-energize or tape outlets to keep moisture out.

Preparing the necessary tools for wallpaper replacement

The success of your workflow depends a lot on the right tool for replacing wallpaper. You will need:

  • ladder;
  • spatula, roller, rags;
  • perforating roller;
  • stationery knife;
  • masking tape;
  • garbage bags;
  • a spray bottle with water or a special wallpaper remover.

Removing the old canvas

The procedure for removing wallpaper depends on the material of its manufacture:

  • Old non-woven wallpaper? You’re in luck: they come off the walls very simply and almost entirely. We pick up the wallpaper by the edge from above, and if some parts come off with difficulty, a spatula or knife will come to the rescue. If the wallpaper is vinyl or paper, then one of the following options will do.
  • The principle of removing wallpaper with water is simple: soak it so that both the wallpaper and the glue begin to dissolve. In order for the water to penetrate better, you need to use a perforating (needle) roller. This is especially important if the wallpaper is water-repellent (washable). We wet the surface of the old wallpaper with a sponge or a simple rag, you can use a spray bottle. We leave it wet for about half an hour and start working with a spatula. To prevent the water from drying out, it is better to process the walls in parts.
quickly and correctly remove old wallpaper from the walls and replacing wallpaper
Removing the old canvas for Replacing wallpaper with new one
  • It so happens that the wallpaper is glued so well that you cannot do without special means. There are special fluids for wallpaper replacement, that are quite aggressive in composition and require the use of personal protective equipment. It is better not to use such in apartment renovation, but to choose safe ones based on non-ionic surfactants.
  • The wallpaper replacement tool is diluted in water according to the instructions and works in the same way as in the previous method. But it is more convenient to apply such a solution to the surface of old wallpaper with a roller. The required exposure time is always indicated on the packaging, after which the wallpaper literally falls off by itself. If this does not happen in some places, it is enough to lightly work with a spatula.

Wallpaper strippers can help you save a lot of time at this stage, as well as eliminate the need for extra effort. The product is economical: one bottle is enough for an area of ​​up to 100m2.

Also Read: how much paint does it take to paint a bedroom

How to choose wallpaper glue

quickly and correctly remove old wallpaper from the walls and replacing wallpaper
Applying wallpaper glue for Replacing wallpaper

When choosing glue for replacing wallpaper, you need to be guided, first of all, by the material of the wallpaper. There are universal and special wallpaper adhesives. The manufacturers of the first claim that such wallpaper glue will withstand wallpaper made of any material, but from the experience of professional repairmen, we can say that it is worth choosing specialized compositions. They are divided into:

  • Glue for paper wallpaper. The most inexpensive and generally available wallpaper glue, but due to the unpopularity of simple paper wallpapers, it is not very much in demand.
  • Glue for non-woven wallpaper: This type of wallpaper glue able to penetrate into the smooth surface of non-woven and hold fairly heavy wallpaper. This wallpaper glue is applied only to the wall.
  • Glue for vinyl wallpaper: has the longest setting time (up to 20 minutes), is applied to both gluing surfaces: walls and wallpaper.
quickly and correctly remove old wallpaper from the walls and replacing wallpaper
Applying wallpaper glue for Replacing wallpaper

When you have decided on the material from which the wallpaper is made, take into account the following characteristics of the wallpaper glue:

  • Adhesion – the strength of adhesion, which depends on the percentage of PVC in the composition and the ability to penetrate into different surfaces. Unfortunately, the adhesion indicator on the packs is not prescribed and you will have to choose based on the advice and feedback from buyers. But remember that the more PVC, the stronger the adhesive.
  • Moisture resistance: its highest values ​​are necessary if you are going to glue the wallpaper in the bathroom or in the kitchen, that is, with high humidity in the room.
  • Surface compatibility: it is indicated on the packaging, for which wall material this adhesive is suitable.
  • The acid-base balance of pH is not higher than 7: the absence of visible yellow spots on the wallpaper depends on it.
  • The consumption of glue is always indicated on the package, but as practice shows, it is better to take with a margin.

Related Readings

In addition, wallpaper adhesives are divided into dry wallpaper paste and ready-made wallpaper paste. Pay attention to the shelf life of different formulations for wallpaper paste: diluted dry wallpaper paste cannot be stored for more than 10 days, and ready-made liquid unopened mixtures wallpaper paste – about 3 months.

Rules for using wallpaper glue

A liquid wallpaper paste mixture saves time, since it does not need to be diluted, but with dry wallpaper paste you will have to tinker and follow some rules:

quickly and correctly remove old wallpaper from the walls and replacing wallpaper
Applying glue for Replacing wallpaper
  • Only dilute the wallpaper paste with clean cold water.
  • It is best to reduce the amount of water indicated on the package so that the wallpaper paste does not get too runny. It is better to add water during the dilution process than ruin the entire batch of wallpaper paste.
  • Add the dry wallpaper paste mixture to the water gradually, stirring constantly and avoiding the formation of lumps.
  • If lumps do appear, strain the wallpaper adhesive.
  • Let the wallpaper paste infuse according to the instructions.

Using a brush for wallpaper glue / wallpaper paste, the finished composition is applied according to the instructions. Let me remind you that;

  • when gluing paper wallpaper, wallpaper paste is applied only to the wallpaper itself;
  • non-woven wallpaper is not smeared with wallpaper paste, but only the walls;
  • when gluing vinyl – wallpaper paste is applied both to the wallpaper and to the walls.

The process of replacing wallpaper is quite laborious and has some nuances, but having studied the issue in theory, you will certainly cope with practice. An excellent result will delight you for a very long time, until you again want changes in your interior.

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