Removing Border Paper From Drywall
LESLIE: Holly in Florida needs some help removing a decorative wallpaper border; which, unfortunately, were very popular for a long amount of time but not a lot of people like them. Holly, what’s going on?HOLLY: Well, I’ve got a bedroom border in the kitchen and it’s a 12-inch-wide border that’s been up for well over 12 years. Well, I’m finally getting around to taking it off and I was trying to remove it and part of my drywall facing has started to be removed as well. And I’m afraid to put steam on it or wet it; you know, because of the mold and all of that other good stuff that can happen down here in Florida.TOM: Well, Holly, you’re not going to cause a mold problem by using a steam wallpaper iron and, in fact, that’s probably the best way to get that to separate. You’re going to probably end up …LESLIE: Without destroying the drywall.TOM: Yeah, you’re going to end up scoring it with a utility knife or with a paper tiger – which is a tool that puts little holes in it – and then steam through it. You want to get that steam underneath the wallpaper and get it to separate from the drywall. But if you just try to take it off, you will end up pulling the paper off the drywall and then that’ll be a big mess. So steam would be the way to do that.LESLIE: Yeah, and once you do get it off and the wall sort of dries, you might see sort of a residue or some sort of an uneven surface. You can lightly sand it and see if you can get it nice and smooth again; then go ahead and prime the drywall and then paint. But make sure if you do especially have any sort of unevenness where that border was, when you go to paint, make sure you choose a flat paint because anything with a sheen above flat – you know, the more shiny you get, if you will, the more evident any sort of imperfections in that wall will show through.HOLLY: OK, well thank you so much for your advice.TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.