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Re: Stripping Wallpaper

From: NotoriousAngel269@yahoo.com
Category: Painting and Wallcoverings
Remote Name:
Date: 04 Oct 2005
Time: 02:57 PM


Question: I'm 18 years old and live with my dad. My mom recently passed away and she did all the painting and decorating. In my bathroom there is wallpaper that is probably older then I am and I want to tear it all down and paint the walls. My dad runs his own business and is never around that much, and I am a full-time college student. How do you remove wallpaper properly?

Builders Websource® Answer: Stripping and removing wallpaper is a messy and painstaking process. However, with the right tools and solvents, the process is easier today than ever. While there are many viable products on the market for wallpaper removal, Builders Websource recommends DIF® Fast-Acting Liquid Wallpaper Stripper from ZINSSER. It's a mildly scented, non-toxic, spray-on or roll-on wallpaper stripper that penetrates and softens the adhesive backing, allowing you remove the wallpaper with relative ease. The spray-on variety is available in 32-oz spray bottles or 1-gallon jugs with a sprayer. One gallon removes approximately 300 square feet of wallpaper, depending on the type of paper. This product contains a diluted formulation of Dipropylene Glycol Monomethyl Ether (CAS# 34590-94-8), which is fully soluble in water. The solvent penetrates the wallpaper and acts to soften and dissolve the adhesive, typically in under 10-30 minutes. Using a Zinsser Paper Scraper™, start along the top edge of the wallpaper, gentry scraping in a downward motion. The Paper Scraper is specifically engineered to remove wallpaper while minimizing damage to the drywall underlayment.

Zinsser also makes an enzyme-based gel formulation of DIF that penetrates residential and commercial wallpaper to soften heavy clay-based adhesives. The more viscous gel can be brushed, rolled, or sprayed. Gel clings to the wall surface longer eliminating the need for multiple applications (in most cases). According the Zinsser, DIF gel works well with the following types of wallpaper:

  • Traditional wallpaper
  • Vinyl Coated Paper
  • Solid Vinyl Wallpaper
  • Foils
  • Mylars
  • Grasscloth
  • Textiles
  • Painted Wallpaper

When using DIF with coated wallpapers that are not water permeable, you must first score the surface using a special tool called a PaperTiger®. Depending on the version, the PaperTiger has one to three steel wheels with tiny spikes which, when rolled over the wall surface in a random motion, create small perforations in the wallpaper with minimal damage to the drywall underneath. These perforations allow DIF to penetrate behind the paper to soften the adhesive. Note that DIF works with starch-based adhesives, and not glues or vinyl-over- vinyl adhesives sometimes used in border elements. For large areas, use the three-wheel version of the PaperTiger to speed up the process and reduce fatigue.

Once you've stripped the wallpaper, apply a thin coat of DIF for 10 minutes to remove any residual adhesive. Then clean and rinse the wall surface thoroughly according to Zinnser product instructions and allow the wall to dry thoroughly. Anytime you're using solvents or chemicals to remove wallpaper, wear protective clothing and goggle and work in a well ventilated room. Damaged areas require repair prior to painting or repapering.

Builders Websource®


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