Posts Tagged ‘strippable’

Dry Strippable Wallpaper

November 7, 2021
Usually when you strip wallpaper, it comes off in two pieces. The top, inked layer peels off first – leaving the backing on the wall. Then you use water to soak the backing and reactivate the paste. See my how-to page to the right. But today I got lucky, because this paper stripped off easily and without needing any water. And – bonus – no damage to the wall at all!
This paper is decades old, but I believe it is an early version of the non-woven papers becoming more and more popular today. In this photo, you can see the top, decorative layer separating from the backing. The fibers showing in that backing, and the fact that I had a hard time tearing it, lead me to believe that it has the polyester fiber content that non-woven wallpapers do. This ability to strip off the wall easily and in one piece is one of the key selling points for this non-woven material. I particularly like this very thin version, because it is pliable and hugs the wall tightly.

Easy Peasy Wallpaper Removal

October 27, 2017

Digital Image

This wallpaper is dry-strippable, which means that it is coming away from the wall with just a gentle tug, rather than needing water or a lot of time and various steps to remove it.

This is partly because of the type of paper and the paste used by the previous installer.  But it has more to do with the fact that he hung the paper on the  porous surface of a newly-floated (smoothed) wall, and didn’t bother to prime / seal the walls first.

In fact, the wallpaper was failing and coming away from the wall on its own, long before I arrived to replace it.

A simple primer, a few dollars, and about an hour’s time would have prevented this.

Wet Stripping and Dry Stripping Old Wallpaper

February 19, 2017

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

I hung these papers 15-20 years ago. Still in perfect shape, too, I might add. 🙂

The homeowners are moving, and are trying to make the house as neutral as possible before it goes on the market. So the child-friendly lime green wallpaper had to go.

In the top photo, I am stripping a paper-backed solid vinyl paper. It is considered a peelable paper. These are pretty easy to get off, if you are patient. You peel off the top plastic printed layer, which usually comes off in large pieces. That leaves the tan paper backing stuck to the wall, which you can see as a “V” in the upper center of the photo. To the left of that area, I have wet the paper with a sponge and hot water, so it has turned darker tan. Once the water reactivates the adhesive, this backing will peel away from the wall easily; or it may need to be gently scraped off with a stiff 3″ putty knife. This process is pretty easy on the wall, and leaves little damage.

The second photo shows a thin paper wallpaper coming off by simply pulling on it. This is what is called a strippable paper. Interestingly enough, this paper was most strippable up high, where humidity from showering would have collected. Even strippable papers don’t always come off in one piece, and when they do, the process can put too much stress on the wall, so you might get pieces of the primer or underlying surfaces pulling off, too. To minimize damage to the wall, these papers can also be removed in the 2-step process outlined above. Since they are thinner, it’s a little harder to get the top inked layer off. But if you wet the surface first, which seems to make it stronger so it comes off in larger pieces, and then use that stiff 3″ putty knife to gently get under the top layer, and proceed as above.

Of course, what is under the paper has to do with it, too. In this case, my wonderful primer oil-based KILZ Original has provided a strong and water-resistant surface that sticks tightly to the underlying wall, and that let go of the wallpaper with no damage to the walls.

Words on the Label – Unpasted, Washable, Peelable

September 7, 2014

Digital ImageYou might read something on a wallpaper label and THINK you know what it means. But in many cases, you would be mistaken.

“Unpasted,” means just what it says, that you will have to apply the proper adhesive to the back of the paper before hanging. Some papers are pre-pasted, and only need to be wet to activate the paste before hanging.

But the next two words can be deceiving. Actually, “Washable,” is about the middle of the pack when it comes to cleaning wallpaper. “Wipeable” is for the MOST delicate papers, which are the LEAST cleanable. If you wipe it with a damp rag, you had better do it just once, because more than that might well damage the paper, by abrading, staining, etc. Not recommended for kitchens, bathrooms, or kids’ areas.

“Washable,” means that you can gently wipe the paper with a damp cloth (no cleaning agents). The stain may or may not come off.

“Scrubbable” is the term used for heavy-duty papers, generally thick vinyls, that can actually be scrubbed with a cloth or even a brush, depending on the type of material. But you still had better be gentle, and definitely never brush or wipe across a seam – always in the direction of the seam, not across it.

“Peelable” sounds like the paper will simply peel right off the wall when you want to redecorate. Actually, only the top vinyl layer will peel off, leaving a paper backing on the wall. Then you’ll have to spend more time and mess with water and a bucket and a sponge, to soak the backing until the paste softens and you can peel or scrape off the backing.

“Strippable” means that, when ready to redecorate, the whole strip of paper SHOULD peel easily away from the wall all in one piece. That doesn’t always happen, though, so you may still end up soaking some bits of backing to get them off the wall.

And papers will only “peel” or “strip” as suggested IF the wall was properly prepared before the paper went up, with an appropriate primer, and if the right amount of the right paste was used.