How To Get Rid Of Wallpaper

How To Get Rid Of Wallpaper

How To Get Rid Of Wallpaper

Understanding the Essentials: Tools and Safety Precautions for Wallpaper Removal

Being well-prepared before beginning the process of wallpaper removal can make the process much smoother. Familiarity with the necessary tools and taking precautions for safety can significantly reduce the risks of damage or harm.

Essential Tools for Wallpaper Removal

The essential tools needed for wallpaper removal include a wallpaper scoring tool, a wallpaper steamer or stripping solution, and a scraping tool. Each of these tools plays a pivotal role in efficient wallpaper removal.

Wallpaper Scoring Tool

A wallpaper scoring tool helps you create small holes in the wallpaper. This aids in allowing the wallpaper stripping solution or steam to penetrate the wallpaper and soften the glue.

Wallpaper Steamer or Stripping Solution

A wallpaper steamer uses heat to soften the glue that bonds the wallpaper to the wall. If you prefer a chemical method, a wallpaper stripping solution can be used instead. Both these methods aid in ease of removal.

Scraping Tool

A scraping tool is used to scrape the wallpaper away from the wall. Choosing one with a wide, flat edge can potentially make this task more efficient.

Safety Precautions for Wallpaper Removal

Taking safety precautions before you begin removing wallpaper is a crucial step. Here are some safety tips to consider:

Ensure proper ventilation

When using a wallpaper stripping solution or a steamer, ensure to keep the room well-ventilated. This helps to dispel any harmful fumes and provides a healthier work environment.

Use Protective Wear

Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from any debris. Waterproof gloves can protect your hands from heat or chemicals. Wearing long-sleeved clothes can similarly ward off potential harm.

Stay Hydrated

Wallpaper removal can be physically exhausting. Keep hydrated, especially when using a wallpaper steamer, as the room can get quite hot.

With these tools and safety precautions in mind, you can embark on your wallpaper removal project with confidence and care.

Different Types of Wallpapers and Their Removal Techniques

Wallpapers are an excellent way to introduce character and flair to any room. However, there comes a time when you need a change. The removal process can be straightforward or a bit complex depending on the type of wallpaper installed. It's crucial to know the sort of wallpaper you have and employ the appropriate removal technique.

Vinyl Wallpapers

Vinyl wallpapers are popular due to their durability, but they can be somewhat difficult to remove. The primary concern here is to peel off the vinyl layer first, which usually comes off easily. The underlying paper layer can then be soaked in warm water or a wallpaper removal solution and scraped off gently.

Foil Wallpapers

These wallpapers are characterised by a metallic sheen. Removal can be quite challenging as the paper tends to break into small pieces. This is where a scoring tool can be useful, creating tiny holes in the wallpaper. A removal solution or warm water can then be applied generously to seep through the holes, which helps to dissolve the adhesive for easy scraping.

Flock Wallpapers

Flock wallpapers are renowned for their raised, velvety patterns. Given their fabric top layer, removing these wallpapers can be quite tricky. Similar to foil wallpapers, a scoring tool and generous application of a removal solution or warm water should do the trick. The difference is the need for a cautious approach while scraping so as not to damage the wall underneath.

Washable Wallpapers

Removal of washable wallpapers is a bit different from the others. First, you must peel off the top washable layer. The remaining paper layer can be treated like vinyl wallpapers, soaked in a removal fluid, then scraped off.

Textured Wallpapers

Famous for their unique feel to the touch, textured wallpapers can be a challenge to remove due to their composition. After scoring the wallpaper, it's advisable to use a steamer which loosens the adhesive, making scraping easier.

Paintable Wallpapers

Like textured wallpapers, removing paintable wallpapers can be done effectively with a steamer after scoring the wallpaper. A stippling approach with a brush soaked in wallpaper remover can also work.

The Right Tools for the Job

No matter the type of wallpaper, having the right tools is crucial. A scoring tool, scraper, and wallpaper steamer or removal solution are generally the essential items needed.

In the world of wallpaper removal, patience and persistence are truly a virtue. By knowing your wallpaper type and using the appropriate removal techniques and tools, the task will be much simpler.

Steps to Prepare Your Room Before Beginning the Wallpaper Removal Process

The preparation stage is a crucial step in the wallpaper removal process. Proper preparation will ensure a smoother removal process and help protect your items and surfaces from potential damage. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to prepare your room.

Clear the Room

First, make sure to move all furniture and items away from the walls. If possible, take everything out of the room. Otherwise, place items in the center of the room and cover them with a drop cloth to protect them from any water or debris.

Protect Flooring

Wallpaper removal can get messy. Protect your flooring by covering it with a drop cloth or plastic sheeting. Secure the protective material in place with painter's tape to prevent it from sliding around.

Turn off Electricity

Safety is paramount when working around wall outlets. Turn off the circuit breaker or remove the fuse for the room where you're working. Test the outlets to make sure the power is off before you proceed.

Remove Wall Fixtures

Remove any wall fixtures, such as switch plates and outlet covers, as well as any art or decorations hanging on the walls. Remember to keep screws and other small parts in a safe place so you can easily find them when you’re ready to put everything back together.

Preparation of the Walls

If your wallpaper is peeling or bubbling, you might need to score it before applying the removal solution. This process involves making small cuts in the wallpaper with a scoring tool to allow the solution to penetrate the adhesive backing more effectively.

Prepare Wallpaper Remover Solution

You can purchase a commercial wallpaper remover or make your own by mixing equal parts vinegar and warm water. Fill a spray bottle or a garden sprayer with your chosen solution, and you’re ready to start applying it to the walls.

Ready Your Tools

Last but not least, gather all the tools you'll need to remove the wallpaper. These might include a scoring tool, scraper, wallpaper stripper, bucket, sponge, and safety goggles. Having everything close at hand will make the process smoother and quicker.

Taking the time to prepare your room and set up correctly will ease the wallpaper removal process and protect your belongings and surfaces from unnecessary harm. Once your preparation is complete, you're ready to begin removing your old wallpaper.

Effectively Loosening Wallpaper With a Professional Steamer

One of the most efficient methods of removing wallpaper is using a professional steamer. A wallpaper steamer is a device that uses boiling water to produce steam, which is then applied to the wallpaper, penetrating through the paper and softening the adhesive behind it. This makes the wallpaper easier to strip off, saving you a lot of time and effort.

Choosing a Wallpaper Steamer

When it comes to purchasing a steamer for getting rid of wallpaper, it's best to opt for a device designed expressly for this purpose. Generic steamers may not be up to the task. The size of the plate (the pad attached directly to the wallpaper) and the capacity of the tank (how much water the steamer holds) are also important considerations.

Preparing Your Workspace

Before you begin, protect your floors and any exposed furniture with drop cloths. Wallpaper steamers work with boiling water, and accidents can happen. Safety goggles and gloves are also a good idea as they provide protection from potential mishaps involving hot water or steam.

Applying Steam to the Wallpaper

To use your wallpaper steamer, first, fill the tank with water and wait for it to heat up. Once ready, press the plate of the steamer onto the section of the wallpaper you are removing. Hold it there for about 20-30 seconds - or as per the instructions on your specific model. Starting from the top of your wall and working your way down is generally the best strategy, as gravity will help the steam penetrate the wallpaper.

Stripping the Wallpaper

Once the steam has loosened the wallpaper, it can be slowly peeled away from the wall. Start from a corner or edge, slowly pulling the wallpaper away from the wall. Remember to score the wallpaper before using the steamer as it will significantly improve the penetration of the steam.

Cleaning the Wall

After removing the wallpaper, the wall will likely be covered in glue residue. You can use a mixture of hot water and dishwashing liquid to scrub off any excess glue.

Repeat Until All Wallpaper is Removed

Repeat the process for each section of the wall until all of the wallpaper is removed. Patience is key here, as rushing the job can lead to damaged walls.

With the correct tools and techniques, removing wallpaper can be a stress-free job.

The Process of Scraping and Peeling Off the Wallpaper

Nailing the correct method for removing wallpaper is absolutely essential in order to ensure the maintenance of the quality of your walls. The approach varies depending on the type of wallpaper and how it was initially installed, but the general method involves scraping and peeling off.


Before leaping into the physical removal, make sure you have your protective wear ready – coveralls, protective glasses, and gloves. Also, consider protecting your floor with a drop cloth to make cleaning easier after you’re done.

Gather Your Tools

Get hold of a wallpaper scoring tool, a spray bottle filled with water or a professional wallpaper remover solution, and a plastic scraper. These will be your key arsenal in the wallpaper battle.

Step 1: Score the Wallpaper

Start by lightly running the wallpaper scoring tool over the surface of the wallpaper. Don’t press too hard as you don’t want to damage your walls. The idea is to create little punctures on the wallpaper surface to allow your removal solution deeper penetration.

Step 2: Apply the Solution

Once your wallpaper has been scored, spray your wallpaper remover solution (or plain water if the wallpaper is strippable). Make sure to thoroughly soak the wallpaper, but be careful about soaking too much as it can damage your walls. Let it sit for a while to allow the solution to break down the adhesive.

Step 3: Start Scraping

With your plastic scraper, start at the corners and edges then slowly work your way into the center of the wallpaper. Take note that you need to be gentle to avoid damaging your wall. If you encounter a hard-to-remove area, apply more solution and let it sit longer.

Removing Residual Adhesive

If any adhesive remains after the wallpaper has been removed, apply some more solution, let it sit, then scrape.

Step 4: Clean the Wall

After you succeed in removing all the wallpaper and adhesive, clean your wall with a damp sponge to remove any potential residue. Allow the wall to dry completely before doing any further work, such as painting or applying new wallpaper.

Remember, patience is key when it comes to removing wallpaper. Take your time - rushing may damage your wall. If a wallpaper portion is particularly resilient, apply the solution multiple times and let it soak for a while before returning to it.

Troubleshooting Difficulties: Handling Stubborn or Difficult-to-Remove Wallpapers

Many a time, you can face some unexpected challenges while trying to remove old wallpaper. This could be due to stronger adhesives originally used, wallpaper age, wall conditions, or the quality of the wallpaper itself. Regardless of the reasons, here are some tips and tricks to manage such difficult situations.

Understanding the Type of Wallpaper

Before you start, you need to understand the different types of wallpaper; this is crucial because the removal process can differ significantly. Usually, vinyl or foiled wallpapers are more difficult to remove due to their resistive surfaces against moisture. In such cases, scoring the wallpaper first using a scoring tool can be helpful. This will allow the removal solution to absorb through and weaken the adhesive.

Perseverance with Wetting and Scraping

Sometimes, more stubborn wallpapers simply require more time, patience, and repeated wettings. Be persistent with wetting the wallpaper with the removal solution, as it can take several applications and soaking time to loosen up the stubborn adhesive. Keep applying the solution and use the scraping tool regularly to test areas for readiness.

Pro Tip:

Be careful not to damage the wall surface with too much scraping force. It is important to strike a balance between force and patience.

Consider Professional Grade Wallpaper Strippers

If common household methods aren't enough, consider opting for professional grade wallpaper strippers available in the market. They contain stronger chemicals which can effectively loosen and dissolve stubborn adhesives, making the removal process much easier.


These products may contain stronger chemicals, so make sure proper protective measures such as gloves and eye protection are used during their application.

Leveraging Steam

Another effective strategy for removing stubborn wallpaper is using wallpaper steamers. The heat and moisture from the steam can help quickly loosen the wallpaper adhesive, making it easier to scrape off. This can be particularly effective on thicker or older wallpapers that can resist moisture penetration.

Repairing Wall Damage

Sometimes, the wallpaper removal process might result in some wall damage, especially for older walls. Scratched or gouged drywall, leftover adhesive, or wall stains are common issues. Sanding the wall, applying a primer-sealer, and using a joint compound for repairing can give your wall a fresh start for new wallpaper or paint.

Cleaning and Prepping the Wall After Wallpaper Removal

Once the wallpaper is successfully removed, your attention now turns to preparing the wall surface for its new role, whether that is as a painted surface, a new wallpaper application, or other treatments. This step is important for ensuring that the subsequent treatment adheres well to the wall, lasts longer, and appears uniform without any streaks or bumps.

Commence Cleaning

Start by removing any residual adhesive left on the wall. A gel adhesive remover can be quite effective if you are dealing with stubborn residues. Apply the remover in sections and scrape gently with a putty knife. Be sure to keep the area wet so as to soften the adhesive and make the scraping process easier. You should wear gloves to protect your hands during this process.

Smooth Out the Surface

After the adhesive has been cleaned off, the next step is to smooth out the wall’s surface. You can sand the wall using sandpaper or a sanding block, ensuring that you remove any texture or unevenness. Depending on the condition of the wall, you might need to plaster some areas to achieve a completely smooth surface. Keep in mind to wear a mask during sanding to avoid inhaling dust particles.

Apply Primer

It's now time to apply primer to the wall. A primer seals the wall surface and provides an ideal canvas for paint or wallpaper. Choose a primer that is suitable for your wall type and the subsequent treatment it is going to receive. Use a roller or brush to uniformly apply the primer and let it dry thoroughly before proceeding to the next step.

Fix Any Additional Damage

During your wall prep, you might come across some deeper damage, like holes or cracks in the wall. These should be filled using a suitable wall filler. Once the filler has dried, sand over it to make sure the repaired area is level with the rest of the wall.

Final Cleanup

Before proceeding to the next step of your wall treatment, ensure that the workspace is clean. Vacuum the area to remove dust. Also, wipe the wall with a slightly damp cloth to make sure it is completely dust-free. This cleanup helps prevent dust from sticking to your new paint or wallpaper application.

By meticulously following these steps, your wall will be prepped and ready for whatever comes next, be it a fresh coat of paint or a new wallpaper, ensuring a flawless and long-lasting finish.

Applying New Wallpaper or Paint: Tips and Guidelines

After successfully removing old wallpaper, it’s time to start anew with either fresh wallpaper or a new coat of paint. This transformative process can be exciting, but also a bit daunting without correct guideline. This section will provide various tips and guidelines to make your redecoration endeavor a success.

Choosing between Wallpaper and Paint

The choice between wallpaper and paint often depends on your lifestyle, budget, and personal preference. Paint can be a more affordable and quick option, but might not have the same impact as a decoratively patterned or textured wallpaper. Conversely, wallpaper can lend an opulence to the room but may require more commitment in both time and money.

Preparation is Key

Before applying new wallpaper or paint, the wall surface should be smooth and clean. Any holes or cracks should be filled and sanded evenly. Remember to switch off electricity and protect wall sockets and switches. It's also advisable to cover the floor and any furniture to prevent any paint splatters or wallpaper paste incidents.

Applying New Wallpaper

When applying new wallpaper, start from a corner and move towards the window to avoid casting shadows on the seams. Use a plumb line or a level to ensure your wallpaper is straight. Apply paste evenly, ensuring that the edges are well-covered. Book the wallpaper by folding pasted sides together and then allow the wallpaper to rest before hanging. Smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles gently with a wallpaper smoother or clean, damp sponge.

Applying Paint

For painting walls, start by applying a primer to create optimal paint adherence. Once the primer is dry, start with the ceiling before moving to the walls. Utilize a roller for large areas and a brush for more precise, smaller areas. Always paint in the same direction, and try to keep a wet edge to avoid lap marks. Two coats of paint are usually required for a smooth, even finish.


Once the wallpaper or paint is applied, it's essential to give it enough time to dry properly. For wallpaper, be gentle to avoid any seams from peeling off. With paint, avoid touching or cleaning it for at least two weeks.

By following these tips and guidelines, you can give your space a fresh new look. Redecorating can be a great way to inject a bit of personality and style into your home, so don't be afraid to explore different patterns, colours and textures until you find the one that tells your unique story.