Remove Commercial Wallpaper at my Office!

Hello Chicagoland!! David Cook with Dfranco Painitng and Wallpaper in Huntley with today’s question!

If are in the midwest, especially in the Schaumburg, Elgin, Wheaton Suburb area, and been to your doctor’s office, dentist office, or hotels, you have seen commercial wallpaper. Most of the commercial wallpaper you see on walls is meant for a 15-25 year life span. But what if you don’t want it on your walls?  If you want to know how to remove the commercial wallpaper where you work, then read on because this post is for you.

Can I just paint over the wallpaper?

How to Remove Commercial Wallpaper - paint over wallpaper

This question is one of the most popular questions we receive. The answer is…maybe.  If you have wallpaper that is installed, usually in your home, that is smooth, and won’t easily come off the wall, then the answer can be a yes. However, the wallpaper that is on walls in hotels or offices is commercial grade wallpaper. What does that mean?

  • This wallpaper is very heavy duty-a very thick material.
  • The wallpaper itself has a texture, usually very course.
  • It is not a very good surface to paint over because it is made of vinyl or other materials that are not intended to be painted over.
  • Commercial wallpaper is intended to be left on the wall until it gets removed.

For wallpaper you have that can be painted over, you can check out a bog post we did about this some time ago:

Can I remove commercial wallpaper myself?

I will not say that you should not remove the wallpaper yourself, you certainly can try to do it. I would recommend that you call a contractor that has experience in removing commercial wallpaper for several reasons:

  • Commercial wallcovering is heavy.
  • The wallpaper itself is 54 inches wide- awkward to work with.
  • Fire alarms, light fixtures, etc. have been installed over the wallpaper itself, so they need to be removed first.
  • Due to the size and weight, you will need a dumpster to dispose of it.
  • Adhesive removal can be tedious but it is also MESSY!

If you want to tackle this job yourself, you will need some tools.

  • Pump sprayer
  • Garbage cans
  • Screwdrivers
  • Gloves
  • Drywall knives (used to apply drywall compound) a 4′” or 6″ blade is perfect
  • Drop cloths
  • Buckets
  • Sponges
  • Access to hot water
  • A vacuum
  • Razor blades and a blade holder or utility knife

Let’s remove some wallpaper!

Make sure you remove all outlet covers, lights, pictures, etc. from the walls, and put them in a safe place.

Lay out your drop cloths on the floor. There will be dust from the dried glue coming off the wall. Have a plan where you will dispose of the old wallpaper.

Are there baseboards that will be coming off too? If so, just peel them from the wall. If not, then you will have to use a razor blade or sharp razor knife to cut along the edge of the baseboards before you remove wallpaper.

Start from the bottom of the wall, use the drywall knife and start to peel the paper from the wall. Because how heavy and durable this wallpaper is, it should come off in full-size sheets (54 inches wide by the height of your walls) you may need 2 people.

IF YOU SEE MOLD BEHIND THE WALLPAPER…STOP! Call a professional to come out. 

Hopefully, the walls were prepared from the previous install and when you remove the paper, the wall is not damaged (we are assuming that for this blog). The glue that remains is very hard. To remove it, get your pump sprayer filled with hot water. Now just spray the walls with hot water. LET THE WATER SIT! It needs time to reactivate the glue. Once the glue is soft, scrape the glue from the walls and throw it in trash bags-NOT down the toilet.  Once you have scraped away as much glue as possible, use a sponge with hot water and wash the walls clean.

After the walls are dry they are ready to paint or install new wallpaper.

If I don’t want to do this myself…

The next most popular question is, “How much will it cost to remove commercial wallpaper?” Our cost to remove is about $0.98 cents per SF. If you read the above, there is a lot of work for commercial wallpaper removal. Our cost includes:

  • Setup and cleanup of walls.
  • Actual removal of wallpaper from walls.
  • Removing all glue from walls.
  • Washing wallpaper paste residue from walls.
  • Minor wall repairs. If the walls have been severely damaged, we will have to evaluate the damage to give you a cost to repair.
  • Disposal of the old wallpaper.

There are always other issues that can affect the cost, such as 2-story walls or mold or water issues. Have questions? As always, you can call us at any time at (847) 349-4112 to get a free estimate for these services.

With wallpaper services for your home and office, we are here to help you love the space you’re in.