(Closed) Wallpaper removal tips?

posted 7 years ago in Home
Post # 3
5778 posts
Bee Keeper

Hnestly? After doing it myself for many years and ruining some walls, I’d hire a pro to do it. Steamers are way better than any solution you can use along with scrapers, but it depends on what kind of paper it is and how many layers there are. If a wallpaper primer was used, it comes off pretty easily. Vinyl paper also is OK sometimes, but paper wallpaper is a bear to remove.

Post # 4
7431 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

I’ve never had to do it myself, but I’ve heard that scoring the wallpaper and steaming it is the best way to go

Post # 5
1090 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

DIF! It is amazing! Good Luck!

Post # 6
1686 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Oh god. Removing wallpaper sucks so bad.

Forget steamers and chemicals and all the stuff that claims to make it easy. We’ve tried that stuff. Our friends have tried that stuff. The only easy way that does not entirely suck is to hire someone else to do it.

If you still want to do it yourself…

Cover your floor with that heavy brown paper you can buy on a roll, like painters use. You need to do this, or after you finish scraping the walls, you’ll have to scrape all the dried on wallpaper off your floors.

Get a garden sprayer, like so:

You’ll also some utility knives. Trust me, you’re going to lose at least half of them in piles of wallpaper. Just get the cheap ones. I think we bought a bok of a dozen.


(You can get a nice one too, with a metal handle. Something a little heavier comes in handy for scraping.)

Get some putty knives. I used mostly a 2″ and a 4″. Don’t get nice ones, you’re just going to ruin them.

After your floor is covered, everything’s moved away, fill your sprayer with hot water. Tap hot is fine. I tried boiling, I tried adding vinegar, all the stuff I read about. It really doesn’t make a difference.

Pick your starting spot. Use a box cutter to score about a square yard of wallpaper in a diamond pattern. (You do this to cut through any water resistant coating. They sell little nail spiky things that you can roll on the paper to perforate it, but you don’t need one.)

Spray your spot with hot water!

Wait for a couple minutes so the water can soak in and the glue can loosen. This is a perfect time to set up your ipod with some speakers nearby.

Spray your spot again. You want to keep the area damp while you’re working. Once you get into the swing of it, you’ll want to start presoaking the next area while you’re still scraping a different section.

Start scraping at the corners of your diamonds with your utility knife. Wallpaper has a grain, so experiment to see which way it will peel up easier. Once you figure that out, you can score future sections in a way to make scraping easier.

Use your putty knives to lift larger sections of paper.

If you’re not getting the glue loosened all the way through (like it’s just around the edges) score smaller sections.

You will probably gouge the shit out of your wallboard/plaster with your scrapers. You’re going to have to mud afterward, so if you have little bits of backing stuck to the walls, you can sand them off then. I actually found the easiest way to do it was mud the gouges and, after it was dry, then take the belt sander to the wall. It made a godawful mess, but it was so much faster to just not worry about putting the mud on smoothly or having to hand-sand.

Post # 7
93 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Ugh I just removed the wallpaper from our kitchen and it was a huge pain.  They used 3 different types (one pattern for the walls, one for the soffit, and a border around the top.  The wall stuff came off easily in big sheets but the stuff on the soffit (of course, the part we had to be on ladders for!) only came off in little 2-inch strips.  Our kitchen is small-medium sized and it took 2 of us the better part of 2 days to get all the paper down, and just about all of that time was spent working on the soffit.  

What we did was to score it with our putty knives, then soak it with one of those wallpaper remover chemicals, let it sit, soak it again, let it sit, and then try to scrape it off.  If necessary, more soaking and sitting.  It was a major pain and made a ridiculously huge mess (I am still finding green gingham bits all over the house!), but at least I got some good bonding time with FMIL!  Fortunately we work well together or it would have been a nightmare!

And I will be forever grateful that the kitchen was the only room in the house with wallpaper!

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