This really doesn’t have much to do with hoarding per se. At some point, after the cleanup, you may be faced with soiled walls, which are covered in wallpaper. The removal of said wallpaper and prep for painting is one of the more fun filled tasks. Assuming you don’t farm it out.
I am being sarcastic re the ‘fun’ part. Tedious, finger numbing at best but can be worse. We have a few suggestions discovered through trial/error/trial again. I am sure there are probably simple means to this end, but we didn’t discover them yet.
We have two large bedrooms and a 20+’ hallway which joins them. These areas were covered with quite gaudy and tired wallpaper. My wife had tried the steamer route, sponging the paper route and washing the surface down route. Let me explain.
The steamer route would seem to be a kick ass way of removing wallpaper. For us it wasn’t. It made a huge mess, and damaged moulding as the hot water unavoidably ran down the wall atop the varnished moulding. One the wall was steamed, it did not seem to afford any removal advantages the other methods didn’t provide. The steamer is heavy when full of water…takes 10+ minutes at least to get hot each time and you have to be careful where you set the scalding hot steaming pad. It is easy, if renting such a device to burn yourself on valve caps and scalding hot water if you don’t pay attention. We tried it and were not impressed.
The sponge hot water over the wallpaper and wait route, was ok. My wife found it did not really saturate the wallpaper surface enough, but did to some degree. You apply the water to the surface of the wallpaper and wait 3-5 minutes before attempting to scrape away the wallpaper with the sharp bladed tool.
In the end, the Use a Wet Rag and Glob it over the Wallpaper route, was the most efficient. All these methods cause water to run down the wall and to the moulding or floor. Care must be taken to wipe up as you go. I mess will ensue if you don’t.
The rag is wiped over the wallpaper, you wait about 3-5 minutes and then you take your sharp bladed tool and set to scrape the paper off the wall. Seems easy enough, but for us it wasn’t. The surface of the wallpaper comes away…but there is a backing that is stuck to the wall as well as the adhesive. A second effort has been necessary to wet down the backing…wait…and scrape away all the soggy paper backing. Often the adhesive does not come totally away with the backing. This soggy mess falls to the floor or you pick it away in strips and care should be taken to drop into something besides the hardwood floor or worse…carpeting.
The remaining adhesive it felt as a tacky, rough surface and that must be removed too. A very smooth surface is desired and for us, these multiple, finger/hand crunching exercises have been needed to get down to the final surface. Be careful of the angle of the scrape. Too shallow nothing happens. To angled and you are definitely going to gouge the surface of plaster…ouch! Changing razor blades often is critical to this effort. Wiping debris off the blade is important. And….don’t slice your fingers open….you will eventually so have toilet paper or paper towels nearby for dripping blood.
Having the correct tools is an absolute necessity. You are not scraping paint or decals from a window. Your fingers will take a beating. The yellow type and the silver one (upper right) are typical and are ok as a last resort, but not for an extensive job.
Pay attention to cleaning any cuts to avoid infections. Keep the water and falling scrapings cleaned up. Have good lighting. Run your hands over the walls for rough residue and scrape them away. Use the wet rag & wait a few routine…then scrape the film off until smooth. Good luck!
We are headed back to do a final scrape down for any remaining adhesives. Sanding would make too much of a mess we feel. Repairs for divots/gouges may have to be made and those lightly sanded though. Fun!
I have to give my wife credit. She has been tenacious in this project. But she has paint samples in hand and a vision already. That helps.