Find out how to remove wallpaper. Get tips on using a steamer, starting at the seams, and then pulling the paper away rather than using a paper tiger, which can be messy. Learn why you should use an oil-based primer on the wall before painting.
LESLIE: Alright, our next caller is Sandra from Montana, so we’re going way out west.
Sandra, how can we help?
SANDRA: I have a job painting and taking wallpaper off of a condominium. I had a guy tell me that I could not take the wallpaper off without resurfacing the wall. And I have a steamer and I also have some spray stuff from Home Depot that says it’ll take wallpaper off.
SANDRA: And I’d like to know if you know if a wall that’s been painted underneath has to be resurfaced after you take the wallpaper off.
TOM: No, absolutely not. You can take the wallpaper off and – you may – what you probably would want to do is prime the wall when you’re done. But you’ve got the right tools. You know, a wallpaper steamer is definitely the fastest way …
LESLIE: Yeah, it’s the way to go. There’s also that wallpaper tiger product that sort of like rips it up.
TOM: Yeah. The paper tiger.
LESLIE: But I feel like that makes it more of a mess for when you go to steam it and take it off. I feel like if you slowly work with the steamer and start at the seams, you can pull it away. And the only thing that might cause you to need to surface – which I doubt – is if there’s any glue residue. But with a little bit of elbow grease, you can get that off, too.
TOM: And then when you’re done, what you want to do is prime the walls. Don’t just paint over it; use a primer first. Get a KILZ primer and KILZ has different primers. If you have walls that are pretty dirty and scuffed up, I would recommend the oil-based primer because that actually is going to give you almost like a nice sheen on the wall and it’s a terrific surface to paint on top of.
TOM: So tell that guy he’s wrong. (chuckles)
SANDRA: (chuckles) Well, he’s a professional and I got a bid on it so they want me to do it because I’m their caretaker. And so I just want to make sure I’m going to do it right.
TOM: Yeah, I think you are, Sandra. OK? Thanks so much for calling us in from Montana. 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.