TODAY   |  October 25, 2013

Tips to remove wallpaper, fix nail holes

“This Old House” host Kevin O’Connor shows how to easily remove wallpaper by using a steamer and a scoring tool, and fix holes in the wall from nails with a spackle product that has primer mixed in.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> if you're like us you probably have a lot of little things to fix around the house like nail holes or painting walls but you keep putting it off because you don't know where to start.

>> here to get you started is contributor to this old house magazine. your first advice is start small.

>> if you have a small problem. not to say that bieber is small. okay. you're man crush is over with him. we're going to do spackeling. all right. what's new about this is just ss spackle and sandpaper in one. you can paint right over it because it's already in there. this is thumb tack holes and nail holers. that's easy.

>> all right. bigger holes, big problems.

>> all right. let's just say here -- al, give me a hole. willie, you want to give a hole too.

>> now, that's a hole.

>> all right. so the door swings open. the door handle goes through the drywall, everybody is going to try to cut the patch to match the hole.

>> cut the hole to the patch.

>> cut it so it's the perfect size of the patch. so now you're trying to do a patch like this. it's just an extra piece of drywall but there's nothing behind the hole. take some strapping, maybe, get it in behind there and then secure the strapping with two drywall screws and now you have yourself a place.

>> and then that falls behind the wall .

>> and then you guys jump in, right?

>> you come in with the hammer.

>> then we're talking tape and compou compound. sand it down and paint it over.

>> we have a question on this one from facebook. we bought our first house last december. the previous owners had begun to remove the wallpaper . we picked up where they left off.

>> they couldn't finish the job. no one likes the stuff. here's the trick. a lot of solution that would go on wallpaper might not penetrate. so we're going to score it. run it around. that's going to break the surface.

>> look at that.

>> okay. okay.

>> you just got excited.

>> breaks the surface of the wallpaper . now we're putting the solution on. this is going to eat away at the glue underneath.

>> how long does it have to stay on?

>> 15 to 20 minutes before.

>> just go crazy with the solution. so once that solution gets through we're getting behind the wallpaper .

>> shouldn't take the wall off.

>> there you go. that's pretty good. there might be glue from the wallpaper left on there. hit it again.

>> it will fall away . let's go to a twitter question, can i paint over wallpaper instead of ripping it off? that sounds like a no.

>> no. unless you're moving out and you hate the people that are moving in. take the wallpaper off before you paint over it. not just the wallpaper , take the glue off the wall as well. because that will dry out and cause the paint to crinkle and crack.

>> so then you have to prime it and do all of that.

>> nice clean wall, primer, two topcoats.

>> i took off four coats with paint on top. how i got my job. long story.

>> one more question for you, any tips on repainting from eggplant to light beige?

>> whether it's eggplant which is a dark color or red which is a terrible color, al, you up for another one?

>> sure.

>> key this is the primer. we tinted it with the grey. it's a neutral color and it will cover up the bright colors, the reds and such. once that primer is on, now you're going over with one or two topcoats. being able to do it is to neutralize what's underneath.

>> if you want to go grey, could you just do this.

>> i'd love to see your house.

>> i don't get to make any of the decisions.

>> no, al has a phone number he calls.

>> always good to see you.

>> thank you guys.