Strip Wallpaper with a Power Steamer
LESLIE: Rhonda in Alabama, you’re on the line. What can we do for you?
RHONDA: My children have been gone now for about 10 or 12 years. And I can safely say, without a doubt, that the twins will probably never come back now that they’re married and off. (chuckling)
TOM: (chuckling) Safe.
RHONDA: And I decided to take my daughter’s middle bedroom and turn it into an office/giant closet for mom. And it has this little, pretty, Victorian wallpaper. And I’d like to strip it off and I’ve heard so many horror stories that I bought one of those Wagner power strippers.
RHONDA: And I’ve heard all the pros and cons of stripping wallpaper and I’d sort of like some advice on what I can and can’t do so that it doesn’t look like I’ve gouged and poked the walls out and everything else.
LESLIE: Now, is this power stripper – is it a steam machine?
LESLIE: Well then that’s really half the battle. If you can steam that wallpaper – really saturate it; start at the top down; work on individual rolls; each individual sheet – start at the top down, get it really steamy and gooey and ready to go, you should, theoretically, just be able to peel it away.
RHONDA: OK, do you have to do the paper tiger route and all of that before?
TOM: Well, you don’t necessarily have to. If you want to lightly score it – it really depends on the type of wallpaper that’s there. If it has any kind of like a – if it’s like a vinyl surface …
RHONDA: It is.
LESLIE: Yeah, if it’s a vinyl surface, then definitely score it. I’m not a big fan of that paper tiger because it just cuts like a million, zillion cuts and as you start to peel it, you’re dealing with these tiny little pieces. So if you score it in long strips that you can really tackle area by area, you’re going to do a much better job.
TOM: Rhonda, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.