Sheetrock, by its very formation, is powdery and easily smashed or broken with force. In houses where previous owners decided to install wallpaper directly over sheetrock, it is nearly impossible to remove it without causing some damage to the sheetrock. However, if you are facing a problem with hideous, worn out, outdated or damaged wallpaper and it is secured to bare sheetrock, there is a way to remove it carefully.
Start with a Special Stripper
There are special chemical strippers made just for removing wallpaper from sheetrock. Your local hardware store or paint and wall coverings store should carry these. Some may be sprayed on to prevent drips, while others are "painted" on with a brush. Either way, you will need plenty of proper ventilation and a warm day to make sure the stripping chemicals work the way that they are supposed to.
Have a Scraper Ready
The stripping chemicals should cause the wallpaper to just bubble up and peel right off the sheetrock like stickers. Most of your old wallpaper should come off quite easily then, but you may have a few stickier spots with which to contend. That is where a scraper comes in handy. (Ask the sales associate about a wallpaper scraper when you pick up the stripping chemicals.)
When you hit a spot of wallpaper that just will not budge regardless of how much stripper you have applied, pick up your scraper and very carefully scrape around the edges of the sticky spots until you have loosened up the wallpaper. Then try to peel it off the sheetrock. If it will not let go, continue to gently scrape around the edges of the area until you get to the centers of the wallpaper bits that are stuck fast. NEVER use hard pressure or scrape with major force! You could put cracks in the sheetrock or holes in your wall!
Clean off Residues with a Damp Cloth
Sheetrock is a temperamental material. You cannot apply to much pressure or use too much water or you will create weaknesses in the material. After you have removed all of the wallpaper, use a slightly damp cloth to gently clean and remove any remaining residues from the wallpaper adhesive and/or the stripping chemicals. Let things air dry, and then run your hand along the surface of the sheetrock to make sure you have not missed any spots. Now you are ready to cover the wall with plaster and paint or apply different wallpaper.
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