Wet all of the paper in the room, using the brush and clean warm water.....If there are two or more layers of paper, wet the entire surface and scrape off the top layer and then proceed in the same way with each layer unless all comes off easily, at the same time. Wet thoroughly first, as time and energy will be saved and there will be less injury to the walls.2
When the paper is thoroughly wet, use the broad knife for removing the paper.....(If the paper dries too quickly, try adding 1/2 pint of glycerine to a pail of very warm water.) .... Work from shoulder level downward, and from same level scrape upward.
Remove all of the varnish from the paper by rubbing with No. 2 sandpaper. Thumb tack a good-sized piece over a block which can be easily held in the hand. Mix one pound of soda in a pail of warm water. Instead of using plain warm water, now wet the wallpaper with the soda-water mixture. Be very careful to protect all woodwork and the floor when using this soda-water mixture, or you will have a white spot every place a drop of this water touches the finished wood. In case the paper had received several coats of varnish, it may be economical to use a "paint and varnish remover" if the No. 2 sandpaper does not wear through all of the coats. If "paint and varnish remover" is used, be sure to follow the directions for the care of the wall after its use as given on the container.
1 Adapted from Home Management (mimeographed circular). New Jersey State College of Agriculture.
2 For wall finishes see chap. 11.
Now proceed to scrape off the wet paper just as if there had been no varnish on it.