Wallpaper is a decorative cover for bare walls. The decorative quality of the wall paper can degrade over time, however. Wallpaper on the ceiling, especially, can sag from leaks or the pull of gravity. Textured wallpaper, which can be heavier than other kinds of wallpaper, can sag, tear, and show the wall beneath it. Though removing textured wallpaper is tedious, it is a straightforward process. So long as you can reach the ceiling with a scorer, a putty knife and a long-necked paint roller, you'll have your ceiling free of textured wallpaper in a weekend or less, depending on how much wallpaper needs to be removed.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Drop cloths
- Putty knife
- Wallpaper scorer or utility knife
- Spray wallpaper remover
- 220 grit sandpaper
- Surgeons face mask
- Long necked paint roller
- TSP cleaner
Move the furniture out of the room or cover it in drop clothes. Since you'll have to reach all areas of the ceiling, it's better to move the furniture out of the room in order to have plenty of room to place a ladder.
Set up the ladder at a spot underneath the ceiling. Climb the ladder and see whether you can easily reach the ceiling with the wallpaper scorer. If you can't, consider buying a larger ladder or renting one from a tool store such as Lowes or Home Depot.
Wedge the putty knife under a seam in the wallpaper and pull it away. If you can pull easily, continue in this manner. Most likely, only a fraction of the paper will come off. If that is the case, continue to the next steps.
Score the wallpaper over the entire surface of the ceiling with the wallpaper scorer. Do not score too deeply or the ceiling material itself will be cut. However, make sure to apply enough pressure so that the scoring goes through the protective surface of the wallpaper.
Put on the goggles and surgeons face mask to protect yourself from the mist of the spray wallpaper remover. Spray the entire surface of the ceiling with the remover, leaving it on for as long as the instructions on the bottle recommend.
Peel the textured wall paper off the ceiling with the putty knife. Look for seams in the wall paper to insert the putty knife into as a wedge. Pull gently since the texture of the wallpaper encourages the wallpaper to rip and tear. Big strips of paper are easier to remove than many smaller ones.
Sand down any stubbornly clinging remnants of wallpaper with 220 grit sand paper.
Mix the TSP cleaner with the water in the bucket. Dunk the paint roller into it and roll over the ceiling to clean off the last traces of wallpaper and glue.
Tips and warnings
- A utility knife can be used instead of a wallpaper scorer. Scoring will take a little longer with a utility knife, however. Score the wallpaper in a crisscross pattern.
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