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How to remove anaglypta

Updated February 21, 2017

Anaglypta is a type of wall covering that features a raised texture or pattern that can be painted over. It is very popular for creating the look of a crushed tin or metal ceiling and as a substitute for wainscoting. Removing anaglypta from a wall or ceiling is much like removing any other wallpaper, except the strong adhesives used to hang anaglypta make the process slightly more difficult and time consuming.

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  1. Prepare the room you will be working in by removing or covering furniture, covering the floor with dust sheets and shutting off power to any electrical sockets, since these may get wet in the removal process.

  2. Score the surface of the anaglypta with a utility knife or wallpaper scoring tool. Cut criss-cross patterns over each section of the wall covering, being careful not to cut deeply into the wall underneath. If there are numerous layers of paint, consider removing the paint first with a chemical solvent, but scoring should be sufficient for one or two layers of paint.

  3. Spray the anaglypta-covered walls with a solution of warm water and fabric softener or dish washing soap with a large spray bottle or the garden sprayer attachment on your water hose. You may also choose to use an adhesive dissolving chemical available at most home improvement stores. If so, remember to wear rubber gloves and a mask to protect yourself from the harsh chemicals.

  4. Allow the solution to soak into the wall covering until wet. This may take five minutes or longer, so spray the next section you want to remove to save time while you work on the first section.

  5. Scrape off the anaglypta using a large scraper, starting at the top and working your way down the wall. Use a smaller scraper to scrape off stubborn sections that stay stuck to the wall. Paint flakes may fly through the air, so be careful not to inhale these. Repeat to remove all sections of the anaglypta from the wall.

  6. Spray down the wall again to help soften any remaining wallpaper paste. Anaglypta application requires a heavier, clay-based adhesive that will need some extra care to remove.

  7. Scrape the remaining adhesive off of the wall using a scraper. For tougher residue, use a stiff bristled grill brush to attack these spots. Once all the adhesive is loosened, wipe the wall clean with a damp towel or rag.

  8. Warning

    Be careful not to dig in or damage the wall when scraping. If you do, you'll have to putty and sand the damaged areas to get the wall smooth and ready to paint or wallpaper again.

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Things You'll Need

  • Utility knife or wallpaper scorer
  • Large-capacity spray bottle or garden sprayer
  • Detergent solution
  • Large (3 to 5 inch) scraper or putty knife
  • Small (1 inch) scraper or putty knife
  • Grill brush
  • Towels

About the Author

Laura W. Smith has worked as a freelance writer since 2007, producing content for various online publications. She has worked as a women's fitness trainer for three years and specializes in health and fitness topics. Smith holds a bachelor's degree in music education from Baptist Bible College and has studied journalism at Wayland Baptist University.

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