So, you recently moved into a fixer-upper or purchased a new home that almost checks every line on your wish list. It’s in a great location, has enough closet space, and the wood floors look brand new. In your home buying bliss, it’s easy to overlook the minor shortcomings. We can always change that later, you think. But while unpacking boxes, it’s suddenly obvious that later needs to come soon.

The peeling, floral wallpaper in the master bathroom has to go as soon as possible. You suddenly desperately want to repaint every square inch of your new house despite claiming to like the color pallette just a few weeks ago. Perhaps, you wrecked the sheetrock in the living room while moving furniture. If one or more of these common, wall woes sounds familiar, try one of these DIY tips to care for and upgrade your walls.



homeowner removing old and peeling wallpaper with wall scraper putty knife tool

Remove Unsightly Peeling Wallpaper with Ease

When touring a home, many potential buyers rush for the exits when they spot unattractive or peeling wallpaper on the walls. They falsely assume removing wallpaper is a more distressing experience than undergoing a root canal. Thankfully, this misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. Before removing wallpaper, you’ll need to prep your room first. To accomplish this task:

  • Cover the flooring in the room with a water resistant cloth or plastic sheeting
  • Remove all face plates, telephone jacks, and picture hangers
  • Place tape over electrical outlets and switches


Once the room is ready, try peeling the wallpaper manually. Start at a corner or seam. If the paper releases its hold without tearing underlying drywall paper or leaving strips of backing behind, you may not be required to utilize a solvent or steamer. For stubborn wallpaper, use a wallpaper perforating tool. It will punch tiny holes into your wallpaper. When using a solvent, always wear safety goggles and rubber gloves. Apply the solvent to your wallpaper with a paintbrush or sponge. Give it time to soak in and loosen the wallpaper. It’s working when your wallpaper starts to sag and pull away from your wall. When using a commercial steamer, hold it against your walls long enough to cause the steam to penetrate the wallpaper and soften the glue. Regardless of whether you use a solvent or a steamer, you’ll need to scrape away the wallpaper with a wallpaper scraping tool, a drywall knife, or a plastic, putty knife.

Repaint Your Walls the Right Way

After you rescue your walls from dated wallpaper, the next step is to repaint them. But, before buying multiple gallons of paint in this season’s trendiest color, purchase a quart first to get a better idea about how the color will look on the walls. Then you can paint a strip of foam board and move it around the room to see how the light alters the shade at different times during the day. It’s also beneficial to clean your walls with soap and water before painting them. Allow them to dry overnight. Next, cover the floors with a drop cloth or old sheets.

To ensure the color is consistent throughout the room, mix all of your paint cans together before picking up a paint brush. If you’re pressed for time, skip the painter’s tape and instead use a quality edger. Just be sure that you don’t start and stop painting in random spots. Begin at the ceiling and work downward to the floor. Nylon-bristle brushes should be used for water-based paints and natural-bristle brushes should be utilized for oil-based paints.

Successfully Fix Medium to Large Cracks in Your Sheetrock

homeowner covering blue hole in drywall with plaster
Man repairing large vertical crack in sheetrock with drywall spatula

Life’s little mishaps can wreak havoc on your sheetrock. Before cutting into your drywall to repair medium to large cracks, ensure no electrical or plumbing is present behind it. Utilizing an electronic stud finder, mark the studs behind the damaged drywall. With a reciprocating saw, cut away the impaired sheetrock. Take out as much drywall as necessary until you reach studs past both sides of the damaged part.

Next, remove all visible nails and screws. Install wood cleats against the studs on each side of the opening. They will support the vertical edges of the new sheetrock. Measure, cut, and install new drywall. With drywall screws, attach the new drywall to the wooden cleats and to the studs between them. Tape over the joints and apply joint compound. Now the only thing left to do is paint!

Though this project is slightly more involved, it’s a great skill for any homeowner to have. We recommend starting off with a more simple project by repairing small drywall holes first.

Remove Scuff Marks from Your Walls without Breaking a Sweat

You accidentally drag your holiday decorations against the wall in your hallway while removing them from the attic. Your toddler decides to use the wall in his or her bedroom as a track for his or her model cars. Regardless of the activity, the result is typically the same. Your walls contain ugly scuff marks. Fortunately, removing these hideous smudges isn’t rocket science. Simply dip a sponge in water and wipe down your walls. If this simple step doesn’t work, consider squeezing some plain, non-gel toothpaste on an old, clean toothbrush. Scrub your walls with the toothbrush before rinsing and drying them. Baking soda mixed with water can also be used. For particularly stubborn scuff marks, you might want to try:

  • Dry-cleaning solvent
  • Lighter fluid
  • Nail polish remover
  • Paint thinner

Your home’s interior walls are one of the first things guests notice when visiting your abode. As the saying goes, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. If the walls in your home have seen better days, try one of these DIY tips. You might be amazed at the results.

And if you have any questions along the way, use the Chrysmo app. One of our experts will walk you through the steps, offer advice, and answer questions.

What other methods or products would you recommend for updating the walls?

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