Moldy Old Wallpaper

6 Materials
$5
2 Days
Easy

Kill mold and remove the old wallpaper in the bathroom. Small issues can become big problems if ignored for too long. This bathroom had what I thought to be water damage on the walls. Thankfully, no leaks. The former owner seemed to have started a DIY project and didn't finish it. Mold is unhealthy and the wall is open to water damage. A temporary fix is in order ASAP.
The wallpaper is cut and pulled away from the wall in some areas and gone in others. There is also some kind of wall covering, paper and glue?
First thing to do is make sure the room is dry.
Tools needed for this part are minimal and you may have them in your home already. A putty knife, wide plastic works well for this. Peroxide in a spray bottle. White vinegar in a spray bottle. At least 2 tablespoons of Dawn to mix with the vinegar later. Clean cloth you can dispose of, like old socks.
Spray molded areas with the Peroxide and wait 10 to 15 minutes. Remove any paper that is already pulled away. Be gentle, you do not want to pull the sheet rock tape under the wallpaper.
Spray the vinegar on and use a disposable cloth to clean the mold away.
While the wall is wet with the vinegar, gently work away any wallpaper that comes away easily.
For areas where you have layers or difficult paper to remove, add two or three tablespoons of Dawn to your vinegar and shake to mix. Spray on the wall and wait about 20 minutes.
Harder paper may need to sit longer. You can apply more of your mix if it soaked in and didn't go through all of the layers. If you have water proof paper, you may need a Scoring tool. It's a small cylindrical tool with teeth for making small holes in the paper.
This is after waiting 5 minutes. Using the plastic knife, I gently pushed foreword. Do not push the blade into the wall, just along the wall.
This is after 10 minutes.
20 minutes and the paper comes up much easier. A Scoring tool is a good tool to invest in if you plan to do a lot of wallpaper removal. I did not use one for the small bathroom. I have two lost in the garage, hence the garage being my next large project. For now I am happy to have a healthier home. I'm ready to primer the walls while I decide on a color!
 

Suggested materials:

  • Dawn  (HEB)
  • Plastic Putty Knife  (Home Depot)
  • White vinegar  (HEB)
See all materials

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Jul33645551
    Jul33645551
    on Jun 21, 2018

    How do n u get rid of musty smell

    • Carlitakragland
      Carlitakragland
      on Jun 21, 2018

      I sprayed the white vinegar on every thing and let the whole room dry for a few days before doing more. You could set up a small fan or box fan in the room to help it air out and dry completely. Hometalker Tammy Roads, below in comments, said fabric softener works to remove wallpaper and smells nice. For my bathroom, the root issue was that it stayed wet and dark so drying it out and getting all the nasty cleaned off did take care of it.

Join the conversation

3 comments
  • Wendy
    Wendy
    on Jan 9, 2018

    What a fantastic tutorial!
    • Carlitakragland
      Carlitakragland
      on Jan 9, 2018

      Thank you, Wendy. Lots more work to do on this bath, but removing wallpaper seems to be one of the most difficult tasks in an old remodel. I hope this helps other folks with getting the job done.

  • Tammy Roads
    Tammy Roads
    on Jun 16, 2018

    sponge fabric softener on the wall paper to remove it. Works like a charm!

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