Removing wallpaper from HIGH wall


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Old 08-20-09, 07:35 PM
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Removing wallpaper from HIGH wall

The bathroom in our home has very high walls - 16' in some places. I must get the gosh awful floral wallpaper (left by the previous owners) off the walls safely, and at minimal cost.

Is there any way to do this ourselves? We tried an extension ladder, but it was simply too dangerous for either of us middle-aged folks. All the rental lifts and scaffolding I see is either huge or heavy, and we don't have a truck.

I plan on using a long pole with a brush and then roller to paint, and will manage that, but the darn wallpaper must come down first (it's curling up in places, and there's no way it can be painted over.)

Is there some kind of scraper on a long pole? I know I can't get a "paper tiger" up there, but I can spray with hot water using a garden sprayer (wearing my rain hat!)

Any and all suggestions are desperately awaited! (Worse comes to worst I'll have to hire someone who has scaffolding and will do just the high places for us, but my budget doesn't allow much.)
 
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Old 08-21-09, 04:02 AM
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I don't know of any effective way to remove the wallpaper and prep for paint other than getting up close and personal. I can understand the reluctance to get on a tall ladder. Would you feel safer if someone held the ladder? I would use a short extension ladder, scotching the bottom if needed to keep it from slipping on the tile. Between the limitted space in most bath rms and the hassle of bringing it in and setting up - a scaffold probably wouldn't be worth the trouble. Is there a relative or younger neighbor that would be willing to help with the ladder work?

While I'm sure you could find or fashion something to allow you to scrape from the floor, I doubt you would be successfull in removing all the paper. The adhessive must also be washed off!
 
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Old 08-21-09, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post
I don't know of any effective way to remove the wallpaper and prep for paint other than getting up close and personal. I can understand the reluctance to get on a tall ladder. Would you feel safer if someone held the ladder? I would use a short extension ladder, scotching the bottom if needed to keep it from slipping on the tile. Between the limitted space in most bath rms and the hassle of bringing it in and setting up - a scaffold probably wouldn't be worth the trouble. Is there a relative or younger neighbor that would be willing to help with the ladder work?

While I'm sure you could find or fashion something to allow you to scrape from the floor, I doubt you would be successfull in removing all the paper. The adhessive must also be washed off!
Darn! We set up the 12' section of a friend's extension ladder, with the rubberized feet braced against the tub behind them, but it just looked so high and scary (the particular walls we need to reach start at least 10 feet from the floor, rising to the 16' ceiling; they're part of a beautiful, but unusual bathroom design which we loved when we saw it...now, not so much!) Their design means there's NOTHING in front of me but the ladder until I hit 10' off the ground.)

I think I'll mosey around Home Depot or Lowe's and see if there is some other sort of ladder that would get me up there pretty high, but seems more stable (Little Giant type?) I've found a scraper that can attach to a pole, at least.

Thanks for the info; why they had to wallpaper the dang bathroom to begin with is beyond me - I am SO over wallcovering now!
 
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Old 09-13-09, 07:02 PM
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Well, we managed to finish removing the wallpaper from our very high bathroom walls, and we are still in one piece, without broken necks.

We invested in a 22' Werner Multi-Ladder, and used it in its highest stepladder mode, as extension ladders freak me out. For the very highest places (about 16' above the floor) we sprayed on the mixture of warm water and fabric softener, let it soak in 10 minutes (crucial!) and then scraped. I had taken an extension pole and securely duct-taped a wide wallpaper scraper to it. To my surprise, it worked very well, though our necks and arms were really tired. We never had to get up more than two rungs from the top of the ladder, which was about as far as I could go and retain my wits.

Now for the washing, priming and then painting, which will seem like a piece of cake. This was HARD WORK. I hate wallpaper.
 
 

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