Not that long ago when I was rehabbing houses, there wasn’t a single job that I dreaded more than removing wallpaper. Even if you hired someone to do it, it was time consuming and expensive. And inevitably there was damage to the walls. In our business of buying “ugly houses”, wallpaper is kind of the norm in older, outdated houses.
Many years ago, there was no such thing as “sizing” for the walls. I grew up a great big older house built in the early 1900’s that had wallpaper everywhere; even on the ceilings. It was there when we bought the house, and there was never any thought of taking it down and painting the original plaster walls; at least not in my parent’s mind.
I can remember the wallpaper guy coming in with the great big steamer when it was time to “update” the wallpaper. He was there for days and days just getting the darn stuff off. What a mess! Wallpapering every surface in a house finally went out of style for many years, and painted plaster walls was the “in thing”.
How to Estimate Rehab Costs!
Estimating rehab costs accurately can make or break your real estate business, and it takes years of experience for even the best rehabbers to master the art. However, you can expose yourself to less risk and get more accurate with your projections by learning how the pros think when estimating construction costs.
Wallpaper Makes a Comeback
Wallpaper made a big comeback again in the 1970’s and 1980’s. There were lots of big patterns, shiny wallpaper of all sorts, and who remembers that awful “flocked” wallpaper? (Probably not any of the younger investors)
Looking back, most of it was really ugly. But some folks loved it and when I walk into houses today that haven’t been updated in 30 or 40 years, I often feel like I’ve just entered a time machine. One of my first thoughts is always, “How much is it going to cost to get this stuff removed and the walls repaired”? Even though I am a wholesaler these days, I need to know that dollar amount for my end buyer who is always a rehabber or a landlord.
Also by this time, “sizing” had been developed for the walls. Sizing was designed to make the wallpaper come off more easily and it did help. The problem was that a whole lot of folks skipped this step entirely, and the ones that did use sizing often found out later that really didn’t work as well as they liked to say that it did.
But … and here’s the big thing; when the wallpaper started to come off it was always in small pieces and the drywall paper came off too. More times than not you had to end up skimming the walls to fix the damage that occurred in the process. After struggling with this process a few times, I gave up wallpaper permanently. There would be no more wallpaper in my house!
How to Remove Wallpaper with SimpleStrip
I recently heard about a product, and I had to pass along this information to all my fellow real estate investors that like me have struggled with this job. There’s a product out now that seems to work like a miracle for wallpaper removal, and it’s called SimpleStrip.
Simplestrip involves a simple 3 step process:
- Score the walls
- Hang the solution soaked “HydroSheets” for 15-20 minutes keeping them moist with the power solution
- When the paper loosens at the corner, just peel the wallpaper off. I told you it was just like magic.
How Much Does it Cost?
This product is very affordable. To give you an idea here are some prices I got off the website:
The small project kit it is $54.95, and it includes everything you need to strip the wallpaper off of two 14×14 foot rooms.
- 6 x Heavy duty HydroSheets (Reusable sheets cover 40 square feet)
- 1 x Wallpaper Scoring Tool
- 1 x 32 fl. oz Power Solution (Makes 8 Gallons) – Enough to strip 750 Square Feet (2 – 14x14ft rooms) Additional bottles are $11.99
- 1 x SimpleStrip Pressure Sprayer
You can buy a large project kit for $79.95 that has twice as many HydroSheets (12) and twice as much solution. This will remove about 1500 square feet of wallpaper or four 14×14 foot rooms.
You can also buy just the additional things that you need such as the Power Solution or HydroSheets.
I have to admit; I was at first but not anymore. Here’s a really short DIY video (less than 2 minutes) that will make a believer out of you.
If you want to give it a try yourself you can order online at simplestrip.com. The company also can be reached at (800) 742-0275. There are no affiliate links here; just information to pass along about a great product.
Has anyone already used this product? If so, tell us about your experience.
Photo: Randy Weiner