Since I was pregnant through the whole remodel, we had to be careful not to use any chemicals while we were stripping the wallpaper. But even if I wasn’t pregnant, I love staying away from chemical-laden products anyways, so these tips are great for any of you that might feel the same way!
Use a steamer
When we stripped wallpaper in our first house, we did it with a squirt bottle of hot water and a scraper. Oy. I think I had always thought that steamers were really expensive, so I didn’t even look into buying/renting one. Big mistake!
This time, my dad went out and bought a really simple steamer. I’m sure an industrial one would be even more effective and efficient, but this was a minimal investment and saved us a LOT OF TIME! This is the one we bought and used for the whole project – it’s under $50 and super simple.
Work from top to bottom
Since you’re going to be getting your wall wet, it works out best to start from the top of the wall and work down. This way, water can seep down as you’re working up top and save you a little more time and effort on the bottom layers.
Get a good scraper
When you’re removing wallpaper, you’ll want to have the steamer in one hand the the scraper in the other.
Start by steaming with one hand (I did this with my left) and then scrape that wet section with your scraper while you’re already steaming the next section. Doing it this way will help you be a lot more efficient with your steaming/scraping time.
Patience is definitely NOT my strong point. I’m super impatient!! But stripping wallpaper really requires a healthy dose of patience. Be mentally prepared that it will not go quickly!
If you’re able to, do this job with a friend. It will make it go a lot quicker, even if it’s just because it gives you someone to talk to! Or look into some audio books/podcasts to distract yourself while you’re working.
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