Safe and Simple Wallpaper Removal Products and Services

Safe and Simple © Wallpaper Removal is a company that specializes in wallpaper removal work in the Los Angeles area and does wallpaper removal daily.  The experiences we learned have been educational. We feel it is important to educate you to better understand wallpaper removal from drywall.

Up until the late 1960’s most walls were made of lath and plaster.  Plaster took 2-4 weeks to install, was a multi-step process, needed trained installers, and was sealed with oil based paints which needed 30 days to cure.  Wallpaper removal from plaster is usually easier than from drywall.

Due to the housing boom of the late 1960’s drywall became the typical wall material.  Homes were selling as fast as they could be built.  To answer the need for speed drywall was developed.  [Wikipedia] “Drywall (also known as plasterboard, wallboard, gypsum board or LAGYP) is a panel made of plaster pressed between two thick sheets of paper.  Drywall construction became prevalent as a speedier alternative to traditional lath and plaster.”

Lath and Plaster Construction Image

Drywall Construction Image

Drywall was usually finished (sanded) to a smooth look.  To spend less time sanding to achieve a smooth finish plaster look or to make the walls and ceilings appear more uniform textured finishes were applied on the outer face of the drywall.  Textured finishes were also used to create a new look.  Common names for these are orange peel, splatter, or knockdown.

Orange Peel image
Splatter Image
Knockdown ImageKNOCKDOWN Accoustic Popcorn Cottage Cheese

A popcorn ceiling, (also known as acoustic or cottage cheese) is a term for a spray-on or paint-on ceiling treatment used from the late 1950s into the 1980s in American residential construction. It was the standard for bedroom and residential hallway ceilings for its bright, white appearance, noise reduction qualities and ability to hide imperfections, while kitchen and living rooms ceilings would normally be finished in smoother skip-trowel or orange peel texture for their higher durability and ease of cleaning

In early formulations it often contained white asbestos fibers. When asbestos was banned in ceiling treatments by the Clean Air Act of 1978 in the United States, popcorn ceilings fell out of favor in much of the country. However, in order to minimize economic hardship to suppliers and installers, existing inventories of asbestos-bearing texturing materials were exempt from the ban, so it is possible to find asbestos in popcorn ceilings that were applied through the 1980s. After the ban, popcorn ceiling materials were created using a paper-based or styrofoam product to create the texture, rather than asbestos.  
Although the process is messy, popcorn texturing can be easily removed by spraying it with water to soften it, then scraping the material off with a large scraping trowel or putty knife ] As the texturing may have been applied before the ban on asbestos, its removal should only be done by a licensed professional or after testing of a sample by a qualified laboratory has ruled out asbestos content.

Use of wallpaper was at its peak in the late 1970’s.  Professional paperhangers were back logged for months and could not fulfill the demand for their services.  For ages wallpaper had been made from pulp or “paper” but needed to be installed by the pros.  Wallpaper manufacturers reacted to the booming market and lack of installers by developing and selling new wallpaper types designed for the home owner to install.  New products with names like prepasted, paper backed vinyl, strippable appeared.  At the time it seemed like a good idea and wallpaper manufacturers made a fortune.  In the long term this actually led to the beginning of the decline of wallpaper use.  The “power” of wallpaper installation shifted from the pro to the inexperienced.

Prepasted wallpaper.  As the name implies prepasted wallpapers are usually vinyl coated patterns printed on paper stock. The back included adhesive that was applied at the factory.  It was installed by “dipping” the wallpaper in water to activate the adhesive.


Prepasted Vynil image
Paper Backed Vynil

Paper Backed Vinyl wallpaper.  Consists of a vinyl outer layer with the pattern printed on it laminated to a paper backing.  The backing is usually tan colored but may be white.  The outer faces pulls off easily and wallpaper manufacturers were quick to capitalize on this and often called this type of wallpaper “Strippable”.  In our opinion this was a marketing ploy.  Yes the outer layer removes easily but the backing requires work.

Now that you have gained knowledge let’s move on to wallpaper removal from drywall and texture. Our experience found that in many instances wallpaper removal from drywall will result in torn drywall or damaged texture.

Torn Drywall Image
Dammaged Texture

This condition usually occurs when the wallpaper has been installed on:

  • Bare drywall (no paint, no sealer).
  • Weak paint such as PVA sealer (inexpensive paint meant to receive a top coat).
  • Existing painted walls with no wallpaper primer.
  • Poor quality construction whereby wallpaper was used to hide imperfections.
  • A combination of any of the above.

Improper wall preparation can create a nightmare because the water based wallpaper adhesives cure over time by absorbing into the paper face of the drywall or unsealed texture or paint.

All wallpaper and adhesive manufacturers recommend some type of wallpaper primer be used to seal the walls as part of their installation instructions and to meet the terms of their warranty.  While this is admirable, in the real world there are no “wallpaper police” enforcing this recommendation.  To save money or time a lot of wallpaper has been installed with little or no regard to recommended standards. 

More and more wallpaper was being installed by fewer and fewer individuals who follow directions.  Enter human nature (which the manufacturers ignored to continually sell product).

  • I can save time and money not using wallpaper primer.
  • I have some left over stuff in the garage that I can use.
  • I don’t want to go back to the store and get the right stuff.
  • I don’t believe that dipping this wallpaper in water will be enough. I will add paste.
  • I want to do it the right way but Uncle Bob keeps telling me . . .
  • I have to finish this today.  The party is Saturday.
  • I have to finish this before she comes home from work.
  • I have to finish this before he comes home from work.
  • It’s a model home, we’re selling it anyway.

Whatever the reason, poor installations led to difficult removals.  Almost every customer we meet has a nightmare wallpaper removal story to tell us. 

When considering all of the above factors it is not surprising that wallpaper sales have been on the decline since the early 1990’s.

To repair torn drywall or texture:

  •  The torn drywall must be sealed.  In the past this was usually done by applying oil based products such as varnish.  It was smelly, took days to dry, and difficult to work with.
  •  Do not use oil based sealers.  Seal the walls with a water based torn drywall sealer.
  •  The only product of this type that we recommend is Draw Tite manufactured by Scotch Paint Corp.  We have come to trust Draw Tite so much that we offer it for sale in our on line store.  We make little profit from a sale.  We offer it for sale because it works.
  •  Draw Tite is about the consistency of water.  It works on the premise of penetrating to the gypsum behind the paper outer face of drywall.
  •  As the name implies it draws tight and dries fast.  Keep a wet rag handy to remove any excess Draw Tite from (for example) baseboards and trim while the Draw Tite is still wet.
  •  Apply the Draw Tite directly onto the wall.  This should be done before applying any patching compound.  We recommend using a 6” or 8” sponge roller cover.

Applying Draw Tite

  1.  It takes about 30 – 45 minutes to dry and clean tools with water.
  2.  Coverage is about 350 – 400 sq.ft. per gallon.
  3.  Apply patching compound over drywall tears and gouges.  Let dry and sand smooth.
  4.  Apply Draw Tite onto the patching compound. Let dry.
  5.  Apply patching compound or texture onto the Draw Tite.

Draw Tite is an excellent product to use to seal chalky walls or as a wallpaper primer.  There are four different types of Draw Tite.









#325-LOW VOC



#325-C Draw Tite Sealer/Primer Clear
This was the FIRST penetrating water base sealer for porous surfaces on the market. Other uses: Drywall sealer, Wallpaper primer, sealer, and sizing. Also used as damage drywall restorer. Great for hotels, hospitals and caves.
Soap and water clean up.

#325-W Draw Tite™ Sealer/Primer White 
Used mainly as a wallpaper primer, drywall sealer, sizing & sealer. 
Use one generous coat by airless sprayer, roller or brush. 
Soap and water clean up.

#325-NR Draw Tite™ Sealer/Primer No Run 
We came up with the No Run because the original clear was just too runny, so we jelled it up and voila, No Run was born! Easier to use, handle and control. Has the same penetrating power as the original. Great for Brown Baggers! 
Soap and water clean up.

#325-G Draw Tite™ Sealer/Primer Zero VOC 
No Odors or V.O.C.'s. Works like Draw Tite™ clear but 100% odor and VOC free. Samples available upon request
Soap and water clean up. 


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