How to Remove Wallpaper From Unprimed Drywall?

All you need to know about removing wallpaper from unprimed drywall

We sometimes feel very much into some renovations in our homes. And often it implies wallpaper removal with further appliance of the new ones. However, since wallpapers were created for sticking to the walls, not being removed from them, changing one layer of old ones to another layer of brand new ones may turn into quite a challenge!

Have you always thought of the wall paper stripping as a tiresome and extremely hard-to-do process? If you did, then today you will learn how to remove wallpaper from unprimed drywall relatively easily using the simplest tools and solutions.

Ready for DIY wall paper removal? Then off we go!

How to Remove Wallpaper From Drywall If It Is Unprimed

So in a few simple words, to remove wallpaper from the unprimed drywall, you need to prep the paper layer for stripping first, then apply the wallpaper remover solution, and start peeling them off. In the end, you will only have to clean the bare wall and, well, apply the new wallpaper you chose.

We already hear you saying that it only sounds so simple, and in fact, the procedure will end up being hard and tiresome. Well, to a certain point, yes. But only if you don’t know exactly what and how to do to get to the finish line successfully.

See, drywall has a paper coating. This is why, when we attach wallpaper to it, what we basically do is that we stick one piece of paper to another! And if you did that with common paper, you know how hard (almost impossible!) it is to get those two pieces apart later.

For this reason, removing wallpaper from drywall is indeed tiresome because you must act carefully and slowly. This is definitely not something that can be fixed quickly!

With that in mind, we are going to describe to you the best way to get wallpaper off drywall step by step.

How to Remove Wallpaper From Drywall If It Is Unprimed
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Prep Your Wall For Taking Off Wallpaper

First of all, you need to get the wall ready for further wallpaper application. You need to be absolutely sure that the wall is properly cleaned and the old wallpaper layer is removed thoroughly. Like this, the new wallpaper will be attached evenly and easily.

So to help release the adhesive of the wallpaper, make use of a cutting tool to make cuts and tears. However, we would not recommend you choose knives or cutters! The reason is simple: they will most likely create more harm rather than use leaving marks on the drywall. And you surely don’t need that!

So instead, better opt for a claw. It is a cutting tool made of plastic (which already makes it way less harmful) with gentle blades on its underside. All you need to do is to sweep the claw across the surface of the wall moving gently in circles.

How to Remove Wallpaper From Unprimed Drywall prepare your wall
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Apply Wallpaper Removal Solution

This is the next step you need to take. Once the wall is prepared and the layer of old wallpaper is cut, proceed with applying the stripping formula. At this point, you can feel a bit frustrated since there are tons of different stripping formulas available in hardware stores.

Nevertheless, what you need to look for is the solution designed for the drywall specifically. Otherwise, if you accidentally pick up a solution that is too harsh, it will damage the delicate drywall construction.

As for the application process, it can be done in any way you prefer it to be. What we mean is that you may feel free to use sponges, pulverizing bottles, or a simple microfiber cloth!

Also, make sure the solution is applied everywhere. Every inch where you plan to remove wallpapers must be covered with it! Once done, wait for fifteen minutes until the product is soaked in.

Types of Drywall
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As an option, you can remove wallpaper with a propane steamer if you don’t feel like soaking or spraying and waiting until the solution starts working. If you choose a steamer, simply sweep it across the entire surface of the wall for taking off wallpaper.

After a while, you will see bubbles appearing on the surface of the old wallpapers. It means that the adhesive starts losing its grip and it is gradually detaching itself from the drywall surface.

By the way, this steaming method works way better if you have to deal with old drywalls since it creates less damage.

How to Remove Wallpaper From Unprimed Drywall solutions
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Peeling Next

For a more successful and easier peeling, wait for fifteen minutes after the stripping solution was applied. Once you see that bubbles start appearing on wallpapers, it is time to proceed to peeling!

Find any corner where the resistance is the least intensive and pull carefully. The wallpaper must smoothly and effortlessly peel off. However, if it does not happen, avoid pulling too hard to force the wallpaper to strip! Otherwise, there is the risk of damaging the outermost drywall layer. Instead, simply wait patiently a bit longer and let the formula work further.

There is one more tip you should keep in mind when stripping wallpaper off. Remember to apply the stripping solution now and then during the process since the formula tends to dry up which may lead to harder peeling.

Also, if you see the leftover paper parts that can’t be taken off the wall because they are way too thin, don’t get upset. Simply add hot water and scrape them off carefully.

How to Remove Wallpaper From Unprimed Drywall peeling
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Clean the Wall

Finally, when all the wallpaper is removed, the last thing you need to do prior to applying the new wallpaper is to clean the drywall. For that, make use of only water and a bit of cleaning solution. Like this, you will easily get rid of sticky residue and paste, and you will prep your wall for further renovations.

As you can see, removing wallpaper from the unprimed drywall is not as difficult as you might think. However, the fact that this is the optimal method does not mean it is the only one that can be used!

How to Remove Wallpaper (The Easy & Fun Way)How to Remove Wallpaper (The Easy & Fun Way)

Alternative Methods Of Removing Wallpaper From Sheetrock

If you wonder how to remove paper wallpaper from drywall carefully and safely to not damage the wall itself, you can, of course, opt for the method we have just described above in detail for you.

However, anything can happen and you might not have wallpaper stripping formula at hand, for example. What shall you do in such a situation? How to get wallpaper off unprimed drywall using other ways? We can suggest a few alternative ideas.

  • make use of white vinegar as a solvent
  • prime over your wallpaper

You see, white vinegar contains strong chemical components that help dissolve the adhesives and thus detach the wallpapers. And since most of us have a bottle of this stuff in our kitchens, it can become a true salvation if we happen to have no stripping formula at hand!

As for the application method, it is extremely simple. You just need to mist the entire wall with the acetum using a pulverizing bottle. There is no need to soak it excessively, a light coat will be more than enough!

Nevertheless, in case you don’t feel like taking risks removing the old wallpaper and probably damaging the wall, you can opt for a safer variant. Just paint over it! Simply coat the old wallpaper with primer, wait until it gets dry, and then you can either attach new wallpaper or paint over this primed layer. You decide!

Both methods are alternative, and thus both have certain downsides. As for the vinegar, it will most likely not work on wallpapers that have liquid absorption properties. In case of primer, applying it may result in a rough wall texture.

How to Remove Wallpaper From Unprimed Drywall alternative methods
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What to Consider Before You Remove Wallpaper From Sheetrock

If you have wallpaper applied directly on drywall that is unprimed, removing that paper layer might be tricky and pretty complicated. Especially if you are not aware of certain nuances.

So to be able to peel old wallpaper off correctly without damaging the drywall, take into consideration the following specifics of this material and the whole process.

  1. Consider the age of the wall
  2. Primer matters
  3. Use solvent for wallpaper removal
  4. Don’t forget about the alternatives

Now let us explain what each of these points is about. So first there is the age of the walls. You see, the age of the wall has a lot to do with how roughly the old wallpaper can be removed from it.

If, for instance, you are dealing with drywalls that were manufactured before 1940, you can safely stem them to peel the old wallpapers. Why is that? Because the drywall that was produced back then consisted of gypsum combined with wood fiber or fiberglass. This is why, if you steam the wallpaper off that unprimed surface, it will stand the heat and further scrubbing better.

Modern drywall that was manufactured recently, on the other hand, will most likely mash when exposed to steam and getting wet.

Next here comes the primer. You might not know about it, but in the old days, people could simply stick new wallpaper over the old ones because the drywall material allowed that. But today, the thin paper layer on drywall is not strong enough which means it will not survive the application of wet wallpaper adhesives!

This is the reason why it is strongly recommended to prime your drywall first these days. Like this, you will seal its surface from moisture. And in addition, stripping wallpaper off the unprimed drywall surface can result in damaging the surface which will lead to its replacement.

All right, you may say, but what does solvent have to do with the wallpaper removal from the drywall? See, it is pretty simple. If we apply solvent, it can help to soften and dissolve the glue on the back side of the wallpaper.

And one of the cheapest and the best-working solvents you can always stick to is white vinegar! Simply pulverize it all over the wall lightly, and the wallpaper will get off the wall much easier.

Finally, always keep in mind a few alternative wallpaper removal methods just in case. For example, one of them is to prime the drywall right over the old wallpaper, wait until the primer gets dry, and then simply paint the surface! That method can be successfully used when you have no time, proper tools, or desire for soaking and scrubbing.

With these nuances and tips in mind, removing wallpaper off the drywall will hardly be a problem for you again.

How to Remove Wallpaper From Unprimed Drywall fix it
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How Can I Fix Damaged Drywall?

There is no such thing as guarantee when we are up to any renovation projects. Especially if we are going to do them on our own without professional assistance. This is why quite many enthusiasts that decide to peel the old wallpaper off end up with damaged drywall instead.

If this is your case, do not get upset, and there is definitely no reason for panic! It is still possible to do a quick fix and save your wall.

To fix the damaged areas, sand them first and then apply primer using a common paint roller. Or, if those damages take little space and are minor, you can even make use of a small paint brush.

Wait until the first coat of primer gets dry and apply the second one. Afterward, sand the surface again to make it smooth and even. Of course, this is not a solution if you need to fix the color of the wall. But this method will be handy in case you need to take care of the uneven surface.

This was our detailed and yet brief description of wallpaper removal from the unprimed drywall. Now you know the step by step instruction that will help you to carefully peel off the old wallpaper layer and prep the wall for the application of the new one.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ How long does it take to peel wallpaper off in a room?

If the room is small, it will take you approximately one day.

⭐ Are wallpaper removers toxic?

Normally, they are not. But you should still wear a protective mask.

⭐ Can you get sick from removing wallpapers?

Yes, That’s possible if you inhale the solvents or the remover too deeply. This is why always wear a mask when working with such chemicals, and ensure the room is well ventilated!

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