It's All About Stripping Wallpaper, Priming Glossy Paint, And Patching Drywall, To Prepare Your Walls For Your New Wall Tile Installation!


Stripping wallpaper off the walls, priming a glossy paint finish and scraping off peeling and chipping paint and afterward patching drywall or plaster, to some may seem a bit tedious, but if you don't perform these well-needed chores before installing your new wall tile installation, It won't last for very long!

Of course, you can't do the job of patching drywall or plaster If you have a wall covering over it. So if you have wallpaper on your walls, you'll need to remove it.

Chances are if your wallpaper is relatively new it's probably made of vinyl. If you were to install your new wall tiles over it Not only would the tile adhesive not adhere correctly, But it would also cause the Vinyl Wallpaper to separate itself from its backing.

And You'd be left with a wall tile installation where some of the tiles are secured to the vinyl part of the wallpaper while it's peeling off the wall!

Stripping wallpaper that's vinyl is relatively easy to do. It almost peels off the wall as easily as removing the skin from a banana. 

If your wallpaper is paper and especially old paper, you may be in for a little more of a challenge. 

Sometimes wallpaper's so adhered to the drywall or plaster; until you may feel tempted to install new drywall just to avoid removing it.

To get a professional looking wall tile installation that will last, You'll need to remove all wallpaper or any other wall covering you may have on your walls before tiling.

And once removed, check for any structural or surface defects, such as loose drywall or damaged plaster and repair it by patching drywall or plaster.

Stripping Wallpaper For Your New Wall Tile Installation

1- Pierce The Paper

Protect your floor with a drop cloth. Then use a wallpaper perforating tool to perforate the paper. Make it a point to Pierce the old wallpaper every inch or two across the entire surface of the wall.

2- Apply The Remover

Be sure to use your safety gear of goggles, a mask or respirator, and heavy duty rubber gloves. 

Spray a generous amount of wallpaper remover onto the wallpaper and let it soak for about 20 minutes or so. It will work through the holes in the paper and break down the adhesive.

Another way to break down the glue is to use an enzyme based gel. It makes less of a mess, and you can apply it with a paint roller.

3-Scrape off The Wallpaper

Once the chemical solution has had time to work, use a 4-inch taping knife, a paint scraper and scrape the paper off the wall.

Preparing Painted Walls For Your New Wall Tile Installation

It's fine to install a new wall tile installation over a painted wall, as long as the paints in good condition and not dirty, oily or glossy. If your walls are covered with a glossy paint, do not use a chemical stripper to remove it, as stripping paint is not necessary. 

It's best to apply a de-glossing agent that's compatible with the tile adhesive you'll be using. Because The chemicals found in paint strippers could leave a residue that will interfere with the tile adhesive.

You can also either wash the wall with a painters detergent or cover it with a coat of primer. 

If the paint is chipping, flaking or peeling use a sharp paint scraper and remove all the loose paint material. 

Keep in mind that if your home was built before 1978, The old paint more likely than not contains lead. And lead is toxic especially when it comes to children! But if done correctly, removing the loose paint, patching drywall and tiling over the wall will make it safer.

For more on lead poisoning, see the Environmental Protection Agency Brochure on Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home. You can find it at

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