Is Wallpaper Removable? Why and how?
"Removing" Wallpaper or "Removable" Wallpaper? What does it all mean?
Wallpaper has changed and it's for the better. Aside from the huge variety of designs we have a new method of hanging wallpaper. Better still it's easy to remove!
People often ask us if they can remove wallpaper. The answer is yes and today it’s even easier. All wallpapers are removable if the wall has had the correct preparation before installing or applying wallpaper. This step is not hard, and often correct wall prep means to have the wall sealed (most walls are already painted) and to apply a latex size or a powder size first. That’s all!
The beauty of traditional wallpaper is that it is usually very workable. Meaning that you can lift and re position as many times as you need to get the correct positioning. Slip and stick is really important. You need to be able to slip it around, slide it into position and still have enough stick once it dries and to adhere well for many years to come. This is why using the correct wallpaper paste is important and not just some hobby glue bought from the hardware store or craft shop.
Once a wallpaper is in position it should also be easy to smooth out creases and bubbles. The pastes today usually contain water and so it relaxes the wallpaper and allows slipping and softening in most wallpapers. Some wallpapers are stiffer than others eg Grassweaves but some of these have pastes applied to the back of the paper and this helps to soften the wallcovering. Other wallpapers like non wovens remain the same (that is dry) as when you unroll them because you apply paste to the wall surface. Basically wallpaper is a Do It Yourself Product and is most successful when one person takes control of the project. Too many people trying to do the same job can cause stress! Wallpapering is an easy task if the proper steps are taken. Never try to take shortcuts and always read instructions.
In the years to come you may want to remove the wallpaper? Well usually the wallpaper will dry strip and in some cases may leave behind a backing paper. The backing paper is usually removed by a wet sponge and water and a scraper. Or in some cases a wallpaper steamer can be purchased or hired. Because you have used water soluble products in glues during installation etc, cleaning down the wall is easy and often a clean with sugar soap is enough for you to be able to either repaint or wallpaper.
Now back to the word “removable” You can now see that wallpaper is always removable.
Many have heard about Removable stickers and decals, and it usually means that the under surface of the decal is sticky but gentle enough to remove later without damaging the wall surface. Placing a very large self sticking decal or mural could be tricky. Especially if it’s large enough to fold over and stick to itself. This is where two people may come in handy during installation. The beauty of these are that they can later be removed and in some cases reused on other areas. Problems mainly occur with these products when they are applied to dusty or rougher surfaces, or onto freshly painted walls. The result can be that the edges of the product may curl and the product can even fall off.
When applying self sticking products you should always leave fresh paint for a few weeks before putting the sticker or decal on. Other paints that include Teflon will often stop a product sticking well too.
Removable decals can also be a bit temperamental in positioning. These products do not have the slip and stick nature of wallpapers, and often the whole piece without a backing needs to be handled too much in order to get the panel or decal aligned. This will increase the chances of problems with creases appearing and edges not sticking. The secret is to remove small amounts of the backing and smooth out the decal onto the wall as you remove the remainder of the backing.
Be careful when buying these products to ensure they can be used in all areas and on all surfaces.
If you are in doubt, consider asking us about product suitability before purchasing.
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