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The Stigma of Wallpaper

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013
by Sherry Castaldi
Category: Home Staging

Why does wallpaper carry such a negative stigma when selling your home? Wallpaper is subjective décor that usually only appeals to the person who chose it, not to potential buyers if you are selling your home.

Add in the unknown fear factor of how difficult the wallpaper will be to remove and voila you have the “stigma of wallpaper”!

If the wallpaper job was done correctly and the walls were prepared with a sizing or primer to allow for removal, this activity is a time consuming and messy procedure at best, but a manageable one.   If the walls were not properly prepared in advance of the papering job, or the wallpaper itself of lesser quality, it is a tedious, frustrating and labor intensive process.

Anyone that has ever had to remove wallpaper that wasn’t installed properly will never forget what a infuriating, painstaking procedure it is! Not to mention that you if you don’t know how to remove improperly installed wallpaper you stand the risk of gauging and destroying your drywall in the process. I have seen homeowners intending to save money by removing wallpaper themselves only to end up hiring a drywall finisher to repair the walls they damaged while trying to remove the wallpaper!

One of the many facets of my business may include a project such as wallpaper removal as a step in helping a seller prepare and stage their home for sale or it may be a step for a homeowner requesting a room makeover. Either way, the wallpaper must be removed for the project to proceed.

It’s important to know that removing the glue left on the walls after removing wallpaper is a critical step in the wallpaper removal process. When you paint with latex (water based) paint, which all interior paint is now, the water-based paint will reactivate the glue! This is not something you want to do!

My exceptional team of skilled painters handles not only painting, but drywall repair and wallpaper removal projects.  Recently working at a beautiful home in need of wallpaper removal my professional painters hit upon one of the worst wallpaper removal scenarios!  The paper was coming off in miniscule pieces as was the backing behind the paper. The wallpaper previous to this application had not been properly removed, leaving much of that backing and glue had on the walls, along with some paint over the old glue, adding more complexity to this already painstaking process. The progress slowed down immediately to a crawl and took days to properly complete the process. In this particular circumstance, my painters did their customary A1 job that I have come to depend upon for my projects and all ended very well.  This is also why it pays to hire a skilled a professional!

So when it’s been recommend you remove your wallpaper as a step in preparing your home to sell, remember the same reasons that you don’t want to do it; because it is too much work to do yourself or because you don’t want to pay someone to do it, are the same exact reasons your buyers don’t want to do it and they will definitely consider the sight of wallpaper a strike against your home. Wallpaper removal is a lot of work! Do it first and do it right before you put your home on the market to remove the negative stigma of wallpaper from your home!


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