Wallpaper Removal, to DIY or not to DIY
When it comes to wallpaper removal a big question you might be asking yourself is should I do a DIY project or should I just hire someone to do it for me?
Today and probably just as often in the past, people are more than ready to make cosmetic changes to their homes and do it on their own. The recent rise of at home DIY projects has greatly increased this number of people and really, honestly, there’s nothing wrong with that. More power to the homeowners.
The concern here rises when searching the internet for whether or not to DIY when removing wallpaper, when message board after message board pops up with frustrated homeowners asking others how they succeeded at removing their wallpaper and if it isn’t better after all to just hire professionals.
It’s true that removing wallpaper is tedious. It is time consuming, messy and can be extremely frustrating. There’s no nifty project that will immediately remove everything from your walls and it requires hard work and determination. But maybe you think you can handle the job easy peasy; you want to give it a shot and think it’ll save you some money.
Or maybe you just want some more answers before you decide which way you’re leaning on the subject. No problem.
In order to help you figure out what exactly it is you want to do we’ve written about the wallpaper removal process, and the pros and cons of DIY vs Professionals. We think it can help you out a bit.
How to Remove Wallpaper
The room or rooms that you are removing wallpaper from are going to get saturated in water, so you’ll have to be prepared for that. The first step is to completely remove everything from the room, including vents and lighting covers. The things that cannot be removed will need to be completely covered, including the floor, so as not to receive any water damage. Glue and water will be running down your walls. As long as there is proper preparation though, everything will be fine.
Next, the top layer of paper is pulled off with no water and a putty knife. The goal is to get as much off as possible, but the longer it has been up the harder this job will be. Then the backing (the sticky part) that is left on the walls must be applied with hot water. The water has to be absorbed and may need to be applied multiple times.
This part can be tricky because you have to be aware of your wall type (drywall can’t have prolonged contact with the water otherwise it may be damaged) and you have to work in small sections so that the backing hasn’t already dried back up by the time you get to it.
Once the backing is softened enough, you scrape it off, but scraping can be difficult because you can damage the wall. You’re still not done at this point, though most people mistakenly assume they are. The paste still has to be removed from the wall otherwise it will cause new paint to flake and new wallpaper to bubble or not stick. Finally you can do any repairs to the walls, sand them and then prime them.
As you can see it’s a long process, and you’ve got to make sure it’s done right to get the best results, but let’s keep this in mind and move on to the pros and cons of DIY versus hiring professionals.
Pros and Cons of DIY
The good thing about doing a DIY project when it comes to your wallpaper is that it might teach you a little patience because of how lengthy the process can be. And when it comes to doing it yourself the initial cost might be less than hiring someone, but you’ve also got to keep in mind that this lower cost doesn’t factor in the time you’re going to spend on the project and any damages or repair that you’ll need to take care of after.
If you’re looking for a home project that you can do and pat yourself on the back for, this would be the one, but as a DIY project, the lack of experience here can really serve to frustrate you. If you read a bunch of articles and watch a few videos, you might be able to do a good job, but the best job is what you need done for when you’re ready to paint or re-wallpaper your wall. Not to mention that you’ll have to front the cost for your materials.
So the only pros really to doing this yourself is the money you could potentially save (if no issues arise) and that you can do this on your own time and be proud of yourself for it. The cons here are your inexperience and the potential damage that can be done to the walls that you would be responsible for and would cost you more money. Another con is that if you don’t have the proper amount of time, the project could stretch out for a longer period of time then you’d initially intended.
Read the pros of having it done by the professionals and see what else you would potentially be missing out on.
Pros and Cons of Hiring Professionals
There are a number of pros to hiring the professionals to remove the wallpaper from you home. To offset that, the only real con that can be presented against this is that you may have to pay a little bit more money; it’s good to keep in mind here that you’ll get what you pay for. A professional’s job is one that is well done, and if they are a licensed and insured company they will usually fix any issues.
So the first benefit of hiring professionals is a quality job that you won’t have to worry about or lift a finger for. Your area will be properly prepared, your wallpaper topping, base and paste completely removed, and then the wall repaired (if necessary) sanded and primed. The job will be done efficiently and not require very much of your personal time. A weekend job that on your own time could turn into a month long process can remain a weekend one. So the time and quality benefits alone make it well worth it.
The experience that professionals bring is also important. When you begin removing wallpaper you might sail right through the whole thing, but just as often if not more, you can encounter issues with stubborn and difficult to remove wallpaper. Or you could damage walls while scraping off backing. Anything that arises is well within the knowledge of a professional wallpaper remover and they can take care of it as easily as anything else. They will also already have the proper tools and equipment to get the job done.
The next pro of hiring professionals to remove your wallpaper is to think about the continuity. Once your wallpaper is removed, the room will be a mess. Hiring professionals means the room gets cleaned and you don’t have to worry about it. It also means better deals. If they offer painting services as well you could have them paint – or even re-wallpaper – after they’re done and they might give you a deal for having multiple services done.
So whatever you decide there are benefits to both doing a DIY project and hiring professionals, but you might want to go with the professionals because they’re worth it.