This is a very common issue when folks remove the paper to fast and allow the glue to dry. simply wetting it is difficult because the moisture does not absorb into the glue surface. One trick is to soak cheesecloth in the wall paper past removal chemical and place the cloth on the wall like your papering it. Keep it damp by spraying the cloth until the glue is again softened and can be easily scraped off using a plastic putty knife, Metal ones tend to dig into the surface making holes.
If you peeled the paper off and the backing still remains, Simply using a garden sprayer, put the chemicals using the hottest water you can in to the sprayer and keep wetting the surface until its ready to be scraped off.
You must once you have removed the bulk of the glue be sure that you take a clean sponge and wash that area clean before you move ahead on to the next section. Once it dries it becomes much harder to remove again
The cheesecloth is a great idea! If by backing you mean the paper that is behind some wallpapers, you are in luck and still have a chance to get all the paste off easily before it re-hardens. Protect the floor with plastic taped to the baseboard and then put a drop cloth or something on top to absorb any excess liquid. Use a garden pump sprayer,spray bottle or a heavy nap roller and a wallpaper remover like DIF according to the directions. Wet the wall from top to bottom until the paper is saturated and the paste soft. The liquid should not be running off the wall but the wall should be wet. Work in strips from floor to ceiling, only as wide as you can remove before the paste starts drying approx 5 feet wide (depends on temperature). Remove the paste with a plastic putty knife as suggested, the paste should come off as easy as frosting a cake if it doesn't wait, re-wetting as necessary until it does -follow immediately with a sponge and maybe some scotchbrite you keep in a rinse bucket - get the area totally clean- just don't move on until it is. You can wet the next section and let it set while working the first, re-wetting as necessary. If you wind up with a haze you can sand the wall with 120 to 150 grit paper and apply a primer that will not re-activate the paste such as Guardz from Zinsser. If you have wallpaper that will not absord the water, sand it lightly first with 80 grit paper or use a tool like a PaperTiger.
I agree with PNP Craftsman 100%. Keep the wall damp and work one or two stripes at time rather than the whole room.Use a 5 gallon bucket of hot water and change frequently.
The first thing you do is buy a case of beer, sit outside in the sun and think about this job for a day or two! (This is just to get you relaxed to face this task!) Then get started. I have no advice on how to get it off except for lots of time. You can't get in a rush. Often you will find that wall paper that has been up for years (sometimes decades) is difficult to get off and there can be come wall repair. Once you have it off, you WILL NEVER PUT UP WALLPAPER AGAIN!!!
Jeanette, if you nothing constructive to say, please do not give your " advise".
@Chris aka monkey Chris you are exactly right! If anyone has ever struggled with wallpaper, I am sure they got this one! Of all the household tasks, removing wallpaper has got to be the absolute worse!
I just recently removed a room full of wallpaper from what is a plaster wall. Since paint had been applied beneath the wallpaper, it was possible to remove. Other rooms in the house the wallpaper is applied directly to the drywall (yes some of my rooms are plaster and some are drywall, its an old house). The existing wallpaper came off in two rounds. The first I just pulled at the top layer of the wall paper which left the glued layer on the wall. I used a skirt/spray bottle on that and a wide flat wallpaper removal scraper we found at the hardware store. getting the wallpaper wet enough without taking off the outer layer was impossible and I don't recommend wasting your money on goo's or those wonky perforation tools As Jeanette mentioned, be patient during the removal, get it as wet as possible, and use the scrapper with the aim to get larger swaths of the paper. My "helpers" weren't as patient as I was and I ended up having to go back over there work. I HIGHLY recommend the scrapper tool, its very effective. (http://www.worldpaintsupply.com/zinsser-02986-wallpaper-scraper/ - Here is the link to the tool that we used.) After the wallpaper was removed, I patched the wall and we painted.
We just purchased this house, built in 1949 & Usonian style. Originally the walls were small planks of drywall with a thick plaster topcoat & all surfaces painted. The second owner wallpapered everywhere. The dilemma is the house has been empty for several years, the roof has leaked excessively around the stone chimney, & the wallpaper/glue is the host for lots of mold. We've bought the haz mat suits & respirators to remove all safely. Some wallpaper has been removed, but the glue & backing remains. Jeanette has the right idea--I know it can't be rushed & the adult beverages may be helpful. It is overwhelming because there is a lot of wallpaper in various stages (still there, somewhat removed, somewhat removed & moldy, etc.) I was afraid that the only sure method is what Katie & the rest of you suggest--keeping it moist & lots of scraping & elbow grease. Thank you all for you input & helpful suggestions.
Buy a little device called a "paper tiger", it will score the backing. Get a spray bottle half fill with hot water, half cheap white vinegar. Spray scored walls. Peel gunk with scraper.
My advice is to hire a professional if you can because not only do you need to remove the paper, backing, glue, etc, but if you are going to paint, the walls need to be mudded with some kind of plaster to even out all the gouges and scrapes that are left. Then the walls have to be sanded smooth before primer is applied, then paint. We just had our Master Bed/Bath walls paper removed and the guys worked for two and a half days to complete the job....I will Never, Ever put wallpaper up again!