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Removing Wallpaper Without Damaging the Walls

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Dominic in New York has a wallpaper question. What can we do for you today?

     
    DOMINIC: Well, I have an older farmhouse and I’m doing some remodeling. And one of the rooms has like a raised texture wallpaper.
     
    TOM: OK.
     
    DOMINIC: And I just want to know how is the best way to remove it without, you know, really ripping the walls up.
     
    LESLIE: Now, Dominic, prior to having just done this project, the way that I had always done it is score the paper, use a steamer and then gradually loosen up the adhesive behind it with the steamer. But I just recently, while filming an episode of my new show for A&E, did wallpaper removal – same thing: score it lightly with a blade; don’t cut through so you’re going all the way to the drywall behind it but, you know, just score it so that you can get underneath it; fabric softener; and water.
    DOMINIC: (overlapping voices) OK. Ah. Liquid fabric softener?
     
    LESLIE: Yes, liquid fabric softener and water. Way more fabric softener than water. You’re going to kind of want to experiment with the mix here. But slather it on there – use even a paint roller to get it on there and get it underneath – and you’ll see it softens everything. I mean you’re still going to have to sand once everything is dry underneath, like leftover adhesive, and then prime. But it worked; I was shocked.
     
    TOM: Plus, when you’re done, your walls smell lemony-fresh. (Dominic chuckles)
     
    LESLIE: Exactly.
     
    DOMINIC: OK, fabric softener and water.
     
    TOM: (overlapping voices) Alright, Dominic. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

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