If you have decided to remove the outdated wallpaper from your kitchen cabinets and paint the underlying wood, then it is vital you use the proper technique to strip the wallpaper without damaging the wood surface underneath. While you can patch some minor damage, the less you cause will make for a much better final result. To minimize any wood damage and more easily remove the old wallpaper, follow each of these important tips for your next kitchen cabinet paint job:
Tip: Avoid the Urge to Start Ripping Off the Wallpaper
If you think you can pull off the wallpaper without proper preparation, simply put: you can't! That wallpaper has been attached to those cabinets for many years, perhaps decades, and randomly pulling at it is just going to make a mess.
Tip: Apply a Stripping Solution Formulated for Use on Wood
Before you attempt to remove the wallpaper, first apply a thin layer of wallpaper glue stripping solution. When you visit the hardware store to purchase the stripping solution, look for one that is safe to use on wood; this is very important because you do not want to over-saturate the wood with too much water and cause it to swell up.
Tip: Scrape Off the Soggy Wallpaper Using a Stiff Putty Knife
Once the wallpaper glue has been softened by the stripping solution, you need to scrap it off of the wood. The best way to scrape off the glue is to use a very stiff putty knife. The stiff blade will give you maximum control and keep you from digging into the wood. Go slowly as you remove the wallpaper, and take care not to make any quick scrapes or gouges in the wood.
Tip: Scrub the Cabinets with a Stiff Plastic Brush
Once you have completely scraped down the cabinets, you need to scrub off any remaining glue and stripping solution. The best thing to use for this task is either a stiff plastic brush or a plastic scrubbing sponge. As long as you scrub gently, neither item will damage the wood. However, you must avoid getting too much water on the bare wood as you work. Scrub with a sponge or brush that has very little water on it and then wipe everything down with a clean, damp cloth.
Tip: Allow Your Cabinets to Completely Dry Before Painting
Finally, it is vital that you let your cabinets dry out completely before you attempt to paint them with primer. If you paint the cabinets before they are completely dry, the paint will bubble and peel.