My New Favorite Tool

By
Home Stager with House Dressing

wagner wall paper steamerMy daughter recently bought a 90 year old twin in the Roxborough neighborhood of Philadelphia and every flat surface was wallpapered!  The Wagner Xtra Power Steamer has been the best tool for removing all types of wallpaper and multiple layers of wallpaper. 

I first looked in to renting a commercial steamer for the job but this handy tool is only $55 from Home Depot, lightweight and very maneuverable.  I bought the Xtra model because it comes with the smaller steamer plate shown in black in the photo--it is very easy to use between windows and other small, hard to reach areas.

The tank holds about a gallon of water and heats up in 20 minutes or so--faster if you fill it with hot water.  The steam lasts 60-90 minutes.  The hose between the tank and steamer plate is long enough that you can sit the tank in one place and work around most rooms without repositioning the tank.  In the online reviews users complained that the unit does not have an on/off switch--I plugged it into a power strip and solved that problem.

We were not worried about mess on the floors because they are being replaced but if you have good floors you will need to cover with plastic because it does drip and sputter.  You will also want to have a bucket handy to hold the steam plate when you put it down. 

We were able to remove the wallpaper in all three bedrooms, the LR, DR and bathroom in a matter of days to reveal beautiful plaster walls beneath.  I'm sure it will make short work of pesky outdated borders!

Posted by

Deb Brodhecker

House Dressing Real Estate Staging & Interior Redesign, Sussex County, NJ

dressedhouse@gmail.com

www.dressedhouse.com

Comments (18)

Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA
ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA

Nice share-thanks!

Nov 04, 2009 02:36 AM
Abby Rusinovich
Refined Design Home Staging - Long Beach, WA

Wallpaper can be a nightmare!  Thank you  for sharing your great find with us.  I have a  tennant who has been great.  She wants to put up some boarders in the second bedroom that she is turning into the nursery.  I have been hesitant.  But, if this would take it off it would be worth letting her have some creative freedom so as not to lose her as a tennant.  Thanks again!

Nov 04, 2009 02:52 AM
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes

Does this work on linens ;-)  I have a nice little steamer for my bedding and I do not (thankfully) take wall paper down. Thanks for sharing Debra!

Nov 04, 2009 06:30 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

One of the worst jobs...removing paper!  My son used one of these wonderful machines to remove his wallpaper when he bought his house and it was amazing how much time they saved.

Nov 04, 2009 06:52 AM
Laurie Calhoun
Gloria Home Staging, Inc. - Winter Springs, FL
Seminole County FL Home Stager

How do you think it would work on wallpaper that's been painted over? I have lots and lots of that in my home. Grrr!

Nov 04, 2009 08:53 AM
Laurie Logan
Keller Williams Realty, Inc., Broker Associate - Madison, WI
South Central WI Real Estate

Wallpaper is such a nuisance!   I suspect wallpaper becomes obsolete as quickly as computers!

I'll check out that machine net time I am at Home Depot - sounds lke a huge value.

Thanks!

Nov 04, 2009 09:19 AM
Debra Brodhecker
House Dressing - Branchville, NJ
House Dressing, New Jersey

Cathy, thanks for stopping by

Abby, This worked so well and so easily that I wouldn't hesitate to let a tenant put up borders--we have rental property too.

Karen, haven't tried it on linens--it might be too drippy but it worked great steam cleaning the tile floor in the bathroom.

Sharon, we were actually wishing we had bought two because it made the job so much easier

Laurie C, we removed paper that was painted over and it was fine.  In one room there was paint under the wallpaper that got gooey if the steamer was held in one place too long.  It took a little finesse but we got the timing down and the wallpaper came off and the paint stayed on.

Laurie L-S, I think you are right about wallpaper ;)   I couldn't find the steamer at my local Home Depot--had to go online but the shipping was free.

Nov 04, 2009 09:50 PM
Kim Dillon
Creative Eye Home Staging - West Chester, PA

I love the idea that it does double duty for steam cleaning tile floors!  Thanks for the info.

Nov 04, 2009 11:39 PM
melody salazar
Salazar Staging & Custom Interiors - New Braunfels, TX

Debra,

Although I personally don't attack these types of projects, I have client after client in need of removing wallpaper.  This will be a great tool to refer them to if they are DIY's.

Thanks for the neat tip,

Mel

Nov 05, 2009 12:55 AM
Cindy Griffith
First Fruit Holdings - Lawrenceville, GA

Deb,

I agree!  This is a great tool for removing wallpaper.  I bought one recently after giving up with the chemicals in my bathroom.  The wallpaper was applied directly to the unpainted sheetrock.  When I used the paper tiger and the chemicals (and I tried most of the different removers out there), it was tearing up the sheetrock.  I gave up after a while.  Then after months of trying to come up with a solution, I ran across a steamer for $10 on Craigslist 5 minutes from my house (this was the $50 model in Home Depot).  It worked great!  It was the best $10 I ever spent!  The bathroom was completed and it came out beautiful!

I highly recommend this steamer for DIY'ers!

Nov 06, 2009 11:12 AM
Debra Brodhecker
House Dressing - Branchville, NJ
House Dressing, New Jersey

Cindy,  glad to know it works over unpainted sheetrock--that is the worst situation when it comes to removing wallpaper. Tthe steamer makes the best of a tough job.

Mel, glad I could help--tell your clients to check craigslist--maybe get a bargain too.

Kim. I think there are other applications that I haven't discovered yet.

Nov 06, 2009 10:09 PM
Brenda Harmon
Century 21 Beal, Inc College Station, Texas - College Station, TX

Debra,

I used 1/2 bottle of liquid Downy mixed with 1/2 bottle of tap water.  My wallpaper peeled off  without chemicals or steaming.  Just my experience, hope it works for you.

Nov 07, 2009 12:25 PM
Linda D. Pufford
Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging - Novato, CA
ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager

Great information, thanks for the post!

Nov 07, 2009 03:58 PM
Kate Talarico
Kates Home Staging and Interior Design - Goshen, NY
RESA, Top Orange County Home Decorator & Stager

Great information, this would be a great client recommendation.

Nov 11, 2009 10:26 AM
Welcome Home Staging & Furniture Rental
Valesca Bogard - Roseville, CA

Thanks for the tip, I'm getting ready to tackle this project in my own home !

Nov 17, 2009 10:44 AM
Debra Brodhecker
House Dressing - Branchville, NJ
House Dressing, New Jersey

Valesca,  Good Luck!  This really does make the best of a tough job.

Kate and Linda, Thanks for stopping by--I think even non DIY clients will find this easy to do.

Brenda, I have used the fabric softener and hot water solution also we just had so much wallpaper to take  take down and many layers that I felt we needed something more aggressive.

Nov 18, 2009 01:00 AM
Patty Hill, Broker Associate
Local Homes and Land, Inc - Summerville, SC
Local Homes and Land, Inc

Debra, thanks for sharing this tip!  I could have used this machine a couple of years back when I removed over 800sqft of wallpaper from a Master Bedroom.  I will keep this in mind for the next wallpaper project.

Jan 09, 2010 12:51 AM
Patty Hill, Broker Associate
Local Homes and Land, Inc - Summerville, SC
Local Homes and Land, Inc

Debra, thanks for sharing this tip!  I could have used this machine a couple of years back when I removed over 800sqft of wallpaper from a Master Bedroom.  I will keep this in mind for the next wallpaper project.

Jan 09, 2010 12:51 AM