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Wallpaper Removal Bid

UniqueSheds's picture

How long does it take to remove wallpaper?


In the past I've done wallpaper removal but it's always been on my own property, helping a friend, etc., where I did not need to estimate my time prior to doing the work.


Now, I have a small paint job, 3 rooms, and all have wallpaper.  The walls are 40+- old, hard plaster, and in great shape.  I looks like there is paint under the paper.  The existing paper does not have any gloss on it so I think water will penetrate easily.


On a 12 x 12 room, how long would an average job take to remove the paper and wash the glue off the walls?







(post #63973, reply #1 of 10)

You can strip a 12x12 room in an hour. Or it can take two days. Depends on the paper, the glue, the wall.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #63973, reply #2 of 10)

You should discuss with the customer doing the stripping on an hourly basis. The advantage for the customer is that if you bid it, you have to assume it is closer to the worst case than the best case.

Alternatively, you can sample the job. Strip a one foor square spot in several locations to give you an idea of what's ahead. Not foolproof, but better than guessing blind.

As you bid the paint job, you shouldn't assume the walls are going to be in good shape after the paper is gone. You never know..... At least be sure to include room for unexpected work.

Rich Beckman

Another day, another tool.

(post #63973, reply #3 of 10)

You should figure at best 2 days per room, by the time you get done washing the walls and cleaning everything up.

Try giving a range price, or saying I think it might cost as much as x, but if I can complete it in less time I'll cut you a break.

Use a scorer and the chemical. have fun.


I Love A Hand That Meets My Own,

With A Hold That Causes Some Sensation.



"When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking." — Sherlock Holmes, 1896

(post #63973, reply #4 of 10)

reminds me of a job I subbed on last year ...

one of the GC's carp helpers got permission to remove the HO's wallpaper in their entry ...

said he'd do a test patch and then price it ...

told them I full day at something like $150 ...

did the test patch in one corner ... came off great ... so easy he'd be stealing that $150 ....

3 weekends later ... working both Sat and Sun's ... he was done!

That one and only spot he picked to test it came right off ...

the rest ... not so easy ....


6 days ... divide into $150 ..... $25 a day ... easy money!

luckily for him ... the entry paper didn't hold anything up ... and .... they owners felt bad and doubled his "pay" ....




  Buck Construction 

   Artistry in Carpentry

        Pgh, PA

    Buck Construction

 Artistry In Carpentry

     Pittsburgh Pa

(post #63973, reply #5 of 10)

i'm going with everyone else on this, if there any job to bid by the hour this is it. i've stripped a lot of paper and it will almost always fool ya,for better or worse. what are you going to do when you strip the first layer only to find 3 coats of paint with 2 more layers of paper? if charging by the hour the ho can decide to stop or keep paying.i have got to where if it's been painted over and is sticking to the wall,sand with a radom orbital sander, 2 coats of oil base sealer,lightly sand and paint. it usally comes out looking pretty good. larry

hand me the chainsaw, i need to trim the casing just a hair.

the older i get ,

the more people tick me off

(post #63973, reply #6 of 10)

Most of these guys are steering you right...
Here's and inside tip, if your paper looks as you say I would usually think that the top of that paper will peel right off(ask if you can do a test)the client shouldn't mind if they are set upon this improvement...then the yellow underside will usually wet and strip right off with a constant sponging and putty knife.No "paper-tiger" it leaves terrible tracks,and a lot of "mud-work" to do...Look me up if you need tips on texturing a small job...Dave...


Scribe once, cut once!

Scribe once, cut once!

(post #63973, reply #7 of 10)

There are numerous variables when removing paper.  One common denominator though is to let the hot water & DIF work their magic.  I've seen a lot of guys struggling, when if they had given the chemical its time to its job, their job would have been a whole lot easier.

Good Luck!






"Preach the Gospel at all times; if necessary, use words."  - St. Francis of Assisi

No, I didn't vote for him; but he IS my president.  I pray for the his safety, and the safety of his family every day.  And I pray that he makes wise decisions.

(post #63973, reply #8 of 10)

Thanks to all who have replied.

My plan is to bid the job on the painting and to do the wallpaper removal on a per hour basis.

I'll try and find this post again once I get the paper off and update you all.

Again, thanks for all the replies and suggestions.




(post #63973, reply #9 of 10)

Sounds like a good plan!






"Preach the Gospel at all times; if necessary, use words."  - St. Francis of Assisi

No, I didn't vote for him; but he IS my president.  I pray for the his safety, and the safety of his family every day.  And I pray that he makes wise decisions.

(post #63973, reply #10 of 10)

Here are final results:


Room #1


11 x 11 1/2


6 3/4 hours


Room #2


13 x 11 1/2


8 hours


Room #3


13 x 25


8 hours


Total = 22 3/4 hours


The first room the paper came off in small pieces.  The second room, the lower 1/2 came off in full sheets and the final room came off in mostly large sections. 


I used one of those score tools, Tiger brand, I think and bought a one-gallon chemical sprayer to apply the wallpaper remover and water. 


Overall I think wallpaper removing is up there with sheetrocking on my top things to avoid list.


Thanks for all your help.