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    • #32887

      Im hearing two ways to remove wallpaper..using Diff, or the steamer.which way is more effective?

      also must you always sand the wall before priming?how are those sanding machines that you rent?


    • #156814


      I have taken down lots of wallpaper and I have never used a steamer although I have heard that it does work. The cost and hassle of renting the steamer from Home Depot has always precluded me from using a steamer. Diff with very hot water has always worked for me. Some steps you might want to take:

      1. Score the walls with a razor blade. You don’t need one of those scoring tools that they sell for 6 bucks, a razor blade will do. Ensure that you make Xs on the wall that cut the paper but do not push down so much that you cut into the wall.

      2. Use Diff in the proper ratio with hot water and a sponge or roller. Roll or sponge the walls several times. Let it soak in for 10 minutes or so. The more you soak the walls the easier the paper will be to take off. If the paper was put up well and you soak it thoroughly, the paper will fall off with minimal effort. If the paper was put on poorly it will be a fight no matter what you do.

      3. Scrape the paper off with a scraper that you find in the paint section of the store.

      4. Once you remove all of the paper rinse the walls with water and a clean sponge and let it dry.

      5. There will probably be spots that you need to spackle. You will need to spackle those with some joint compound and sand them when they dry. I prefer to hand sand because you get a much better feel for the smoothness of the spot. If you sand it well, when you paint, the spots you spackled will not show at all.

      6. Once you sand the wall you will again have to rinse the wall with a slightly damp rag so that the dust from the sanding is removed. You do not want to rinse the wall too hard so you do not remove the dry spackle.

      7. Once the wall has dried and you have taped the trim, you are ready to paint.

      Hope this helped.

    • #156892

      I heard both sides also. I went with the Diff at first. The first wall I did seemed to go fine. Then it got very tiresome. I ended going to HD and buying a Wagner steamer, sells for under $50. That’s what I use now, much less mess too.

      The key to either method is scoring the paper. That way the steam, or stripper, can get to the adhesive.

      Good Luck.


      Pick up the trash as you go. Otherwise you’ll finish, and have a big mess to clean up, when you just want to go to bed. It’s amazing the volume of paper that will come off.

    • #156911

      Hello Jen, I have used both methods and found them both useful in different ways. The first time I remover w/p I used DIF because the paper was already pealing up and once I lifted the first layer off I applied the DIF solution and scraped it off great! I am working on a house now and the paper is not cooperating as well! So I have a steamer and it worked great on the stubborn paper. A word of advice when using a steamer, you need to have patience. Let the steamer really soak in an area, once you do it will lift the entire paper and adhesive too! Depending on how much w/p you plan to remove, I would start with the DIF and see how that works. If this is your first project I would recommend getting the little $6 gaget that makes the holes in the paper for you rather than using a blade…more safe in my opinion. Good Luck!!

    • #157010


      A steamer is the best way to go, especially if you have a vinyl covering. Just start in one corner, steam and pull up the paper while you keep steaming where the wall and paper meet and pull gently. To remove the paper backing, I used hot tap water in a deck sprayer. Saturate the paper, wait five minutes and use your scraping tool. Don’t bother with DIF gel or liquid, even with a Paper Tiger I got terrible results!!!

    • #167749

      Ok, Here’s the situation. I live in a house that was built in the 50’s. can you guess the type of walls? Your right! Plaster. So here’s the kicker. the first layer comes off fine, rips right off, whooo hooo! But here’s the challenge – there are two more layers under that one! I think I have scraped my way to the first wallpaper that was hung when the house was built. I have used DIF for two days, a lot of scraping. I have to put one coating on to get the first layer off then spray again to get the second layer off. I’m afraid of ruining the plaster walls with sharp putty knives. I read somewhere that steaming is best for plaster walls. any thoughts/advice???

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