LESLIE: Now we’ve got Venita from Missouri who needs some help with a wallpaper project. Tell us what you’re working on.
Removing Wallpaper Glue
VENITA: Well, we’re working on the kitchen and taking wallpaper down and the first layer came down just fine and the backing came down just fine.
VENITA: And then we have a glue problem. Now I still have the adhesive there and I was told to get DIF or whatever and spray it on the walls and you scrape it off with a putty knife.
VENITA: That works alright; except I gouged a hole in the wall in one place and I was just wondering if there was an easier solution to this problem I’m in.
TOM: No, because what you’re using is wallpaper paste remover, essentially.
LESLIE: Remover, yeah.
TOM: And that is the best way to soften it up. You’ve got to be a little more gentle with the …
LESLIE: (chuckling) With your scraping.
TOM: With your scraping. But that is the best and most effective way to do that.
Now, fortunately, you have several other steps that need to be accomplished and you can easily fix this gouge at the same time. You want to spackle that. If it’s really deep, do it in a couple of coats but after you get most of this off, you’re going to have to prime these walls. You absolutely can’t do anything until you prime them because that’s the great equalizer. That’s what’s going to make everything that comes after this stick.
Now, are you planning on new wallpaper or are you planning on paint?
VENITA: Well, we were going to paint. No more wallpaper.
TOM: And then – fine.
TOM: Then you want to prime them. I would use a good-quality primer; you know, like a Behr primer or a KILZ primer. Let it dry really well and then put the paint on; the topcoat. Only use flat paint. Don’t use anything with a sheen because the walls aren’t going to be perfectly clean even after you get that glue off and any sheen whatsoever is going to highlight the defects in the wall. So if you prime it and then you use flat paint, you’re going to have a beautiful surface when you’re all through.
VENITA: OK. Well, that sounds like a good plan then. (Leslie chuckles)
VENITA: OK, I thank you very much.
TOM: You’re very welcome, Venita. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974. And lots of tips on how to remove wallpaper in the decorating section of MoneyPit.com.