5 Tips For Removing Wallpaper With Fabric Softener

wk21_blog_contributor_kelly_smith

When we looked at this house and saw that it had a bonus room off of the mudroom, I saw potential in it as the perfect office/studio! Sure, it was drab and a bit on the dingy side, but it was a large enough room to house all of my craft supplies and had enough floor space to work on larger projects.

WMoffice4

But, first things first, the wallpaper needed to go. Wallpaper does not joke around, and removing it can be a big pain. We researched, bought all of the expensive chemicals from the hardware store, and got to work. An hour later, those expensive chemicals were all used up and we still had 98% of the room left to go. A bit more research resulted in something that actually worked much better – fabric softener.

Once the room was painted white and bright, I had the best time adding some of my favorite finds to make organization a breeze. The Gray Augustus Library Shelving speaks for itself and is a showstopper! The desk organization Lucas bins add the perfect modern vibe, the gold wire storage bins make the perfect “mantle” for showcasing treasures, and the Rose Tyley Chair could not be passed up! I also incorporated a few white metal storage bins, a few shower caddy baskets, a new bag, pillows, and two rugs (this one and this one) into the room.

This room has become everything I dreamed it could be! Take a look at the BEFORE | AFTER split images:

before_after

 

beforeandafter

beforeandafter2

Five tips for removing wallpaper with fabric softener:

  • Make sure that you purchase dye-free/scent-free softener. We started off with what we had and it not only tinged part of the ceiling blue, but it also left us with scratchy throats and eyes from the overpowering smell.
  • Use a small bucket with a handle and some water to dilute the fabric softener. We found that 2 parts water to 1 part softener worked well, but it all depends on the glue they used. Experiment with different ratios (less water) if this doesn’t work for you.
  • Make sure that you prep the wall with a wallpaper scratcher. It pokes holes in the paper without damaging the underlying wall and allows the remover solution to seep behind the paper to soften the glue.
  • Use a sponge roller to apply the solution in small patches at a time. You want the wall to be wet while you are removing the paper. But, be sure to give it enough time to work its magic on the glue (10 minutes or so).
  • Use a scraper to get under the paper. For easiest removal, start at a seam and peel vertically. If you are lucky, you can get it to come off in big sheets. Once the paper is removed, use your scraper to get any excess glue that is left on the wall (ours had a lot!).

Nobody has ever said that removing ugly outdated wallpaper is fun, but the results make a strong case for a fun victory dance!

 

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