LESLIE: Hey, is your house stuck in the 70s? Well, it could be; like our next caller Maureen who is dealing with some sticky, vinyl wallpaper. Welcome.
How to Remove Vinyl Wallpaper
TOM: I remember vinyl wallpaper. My mom had that in our kitchen. It was covered with big, yellow flowers. (all chuckle)
MAUREEN: OK, this wallpaper – that’s what it is; big, yellow flowers almost.
TOM: Oh, you probably have the same wallpaper we had.
MAUREEN: Must be. Anyway, it’s vinyl wallpaper. It’s in the main bathroom. The paper itself comes off …
TOM: Mm-hmm. Yeah, but the glue stays behind. Yeah.
MAUREEN: But the backing of the paper is stuck on the walls.
TOM: Yeah. Now, have you tried any wallpaper paste remover or any of that sort of thing?
MAUREEN: Oh, yes.
MAUREEN: It’s doesn’t work.
TOM: Doesn’t work that well, does it? Have you tried – Maureen, have you tried to rent a steamer; a wallpaper steamer?
MAUREEN: No, I have not done that yet.
TOM: I tell you, sometimes you’ve just got to bring out the heavy artillery with this stuff. It’s old, it’s sticky, they don’t make the glues like they used to and it’s just very hard to get off with any of the paste-remover products. So I think what you should probably do is just go right and rent the steamer. They’re very inexpensive to rent. It’s going to save you a lot of hours of hassle. And even when you get it all off, what you’re going to have to do is – you’re going to have a very rough surface underneath; even the best job is going to leave a very rough surface. So I want to make sure that you do two things.
Number one, you want to prime that surface completely and I would recommend an oil-based primer. And then you want to cover it with flat paint; nothing with a sheen because if you put anything with a sheen on an uneven surface like that, it’s going to show the lumps and the bumps every time the light hits it in a funny way. OK?
MAUREEN: OK. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Maureen. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.