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Tips to Get Through Painting Prep Faster

As cooler weather drives us indoors, projects left undone throughout the summer start to nag a little louder.

Redecorating a home can be an exciting process for homeowners. However, many dread the process of getting started, especially when it requires prep work.

Fortunately there are some simple solutions to blow through the prep and on to the fun stuff. If you've been putting off a room because of wallpaper that has to be removed, don't let the task overwhelm you.

Wallpaper steamers can be as easy to use as an iron or garment steamer, and they allow smart do-it-yourselfers to quickly remove old wallpaper and begin decorating the room of their dreams. Simply fill the wallpaper steamer with tap water, plug in and steam away. No buckets, brushes, rollers, or mixing needed! Compared to chemical wallpaper removal products, wallpaper steamers are faster, safe and more effective on all types of wallpaper, including vinyl, painted wallpaper and multiple layers.

Wallpaper steamers require about 20 minutes to warm-up each time the tank is refilled (generally, two tankfuls will do a 10-foot by 12-foot room). During warm-up time, the user can prepare the walls by using the edge of a scraper or running a special wallpaper "scoring tool," over the wall to create perforations in the paper. This will allow the steam to penetrate the vinyl or multiple layer wallpaper. Scoring tools and scrapers are sold at home improvement, hardware and paint stores.

Once the steamer is warmed up, the steamplate is held over a section of wallpaper for about 15 seconds. When the wallpaper is damp, the user scrapes off the paper with one hand, while the other hand works ahead with the lightweight steamplate to soak the next section of paper -- a continual process.

Since there is no need to coat the wall with chemical solutions, which can be runny or drippy, the workspace is left clean. Even projects you thought were for the pros may be simpler than you think if you have the right tools.

For example, heat tools are a multi-purpose tool that many homeowners use for prep. They can be used for removing adhesive backed floor covering, stripping paint, loosening rusted nuts and bolts, drying paint or plaster, shrinking electrical tube, defrosting freezers or sealing the ends of a nylon rope. If you live in a cooler climate, they can also be used to shrink plastic around windows or around boats, thaw frozen locks and water pipes or wax skis/snowboards.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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