How To Take Wallpaper Off Easy

How To Take Wallpaper Off Easy

How To Take Wallpaper Off Easy

Introduction to Wallpaper Removal

Welcoming you to a comprehensive guide on how to effectively and efficiently remove wallpaper! In this part, we delve into the basics of wallpaper removal- both the concepts behind it, and the art of executing it perfectly.

Understanding the Need for Wallpaper Removal

Before we dive into the how, let's understand the why. Wallpaper is sought-after for its aesthetic appeal and the layered texture that it brings to your walls. But over time, its appeal can fade away. It may start to peel off, get stained, or look outdated. That's when you may need to remove it.

The Art and Science of Wallpaper Removal

Wallpaper removal isn't as simple as it may seem, it is essentially a blend of both art and science. It's not just about peeling off the paper from the wall. You need to consider the type of wallpaper, the kind of adhesive used, the wall's condition, and so on. Without this understanding, the chances of damaging your walls are high. And that's exactly what this guide helps you avoid!

Tools Required for Wallpaper Removal

Even the best of skills mean nothing without the right set of tools. We will also explore some of the essential tools one needs to get the job done without hassle, which can range from a simple putty knife to a more hi-tech wallpaper steamer.

Do-it-Yourself Vs Professional Help

Can you remove the wallpaper by yourself or should you hire a professional? This topic is more complex than it appears. Your decision will depend on variables like your budget, time, and complexity of the task. We help you make that decision by providing a realistic picture of what each option entails.

Different Methods for Different Wallpapers

Like we emphasized earlier, not all wallpapers are the same. They come in different types, materials, and use different adhesives. Naturally, the method to remove each type varies. We will look at the various types of wallpapers and their respective removal methods.

Things to Do Post-Wallpaper Removal

Once you have successfully removed the wallpaper, there's still work to do. You need to clean up, assess your wall for any damages, and prepare it for its next adventure - be it a fresh coat of paint or a new wallpaper. We provide you with a checklist of things to do once the paper is off.

Ensuring Safety During Wallpaper Removal

Throughout the process, one has to remain cautious and ensure safety. From safety gear to minimizing mess, we will give you tips on how to make wallpaper removal a safe and manageable task.

Understanding Different Types of Wallpaper

Given the variety of wallpapers available in the market, understanding their specific characteristics is fundamental in the process of wallpaper removal. Here we delve into the world of wallpapers to better understand their types.

Traditional Wallpaper

Traditional wallpaper, also known as classic wallpaper, is made from paper pulp printed with a design. It's often inexpensive and comes in a vast array of designs. However, it's less durable than some other types and can be difficult to remove without causing damage to the wall beneath.

Vinyl Wallpaper

Vinyl wallpaper is characterized by a paper base covered with a layer of vinyl. It's very popular due to its durability and ease of cleaning. The vinyl layer can make removal more challenging since the paper can get soaked and torn easily, but the vinyl layer usually remains intact.

Foil Wallpaper

Foil wallpaper offers a shiny metallic finish. While it can add a dramatic effect to a room, its removal process is usually complex as the foil tears easily, rendering it a fragile and difficult type to work with.

Flock Wallpaper

Flock wallpaper can be identified by its velvety, raised patterns. It's a luxurious choice that creates a rich texture on the wall. Still, it poses an additional challenge during removal due to the fibres used to produce the flock.

Embossed Wallpaper

Embossed wallpaper has a pressed pattern that creates a raised design on the surface. While it adds depth to the wall, it is easier to remove because the embossed pattern enables better penetration of moisture, assisting in the stripping process.

Fabric Wallpaper

Fabric wallpaper, as the name implies, is made from cloth such as cotton, linen, or other natural, or synthetic fibres. It gives a warm and elegant finish. However, it's one of the most challenging wallpapers to remove due to the strong adhesive required to keep the fabric on the wall.

Non-Woven Wallpaper

Last but not least, the non-woven wallpaper is a mixture of natural and synthetic fibres. It's a durable, breathable, and most importantly, an eco-friendly choice. It's relatively easier to remove, provided one uses an appropriate stripping solution.

Each wallpaper type has its uniqueness, beauty, and challenges. Having this information in mind, you can now better strategize the wallpaper removal process and be one step closer to fresh, clean walls.

Gathering the Necessary Tools for Wallpaper Removal

Before beginning the process of wallpaper removal, it's crucial to have all the necessary tools and equipment at your disposal. The right tools will not only make the job easier, but they will also help to minimize the risk of damage to your walls.

Basic Tools

There are several basic tools that you'll need for wallpaper removal. These include:

  • Scoring Tool: This is a small handheld device with wheels that poke holes in wallpaper. It helps the removal solution to penetrate the adhesive for easy removal.
  • Wallpaper Removal Solution: You can find this in most hardware stores. If not, an equal-part mixture of vinegar and hot water also works well.
  • Sponge or Spray Bottle: To apply the wallpaper removal solution to the walls.

Additional Tools

Besides basic tools, you might find the following items useful:

  • Putty Knife: This thin, flat tool is perfect for loosening the edges of wallpaper. Make sure it's a plastic knife to avoid damaging the wall beneath.
  • Steamer: It is an effective way to loosen old, stubborn wallpapers that don't respond well to traditional methods. Use caution when operating a steamer, as the steam can cause burns.

Other Supplies

There are also some other supplies to consider:

  • Pail or Bucket: Useful when you're mixing the removal solution or for warm water to help keep the wallpaper wet during the removal process.
  • Dust Sheets: To protect your floors and furniture from drips and spills while you're working.
  • Gloves and Goggles: Since you'll be working with potentially irritant solutions, it's a good idea to protect your hands and eyes with gloves and goggles.

Preparing Your Workspace

Before beginning the procedure, make sure to prepare your workspace. Clear the room of furniture or cover larger items that you can't move with dust sheets. Also, remember to turn off any electrical outlets to avoid any potential accidents.

Safety First

Always prioritize your safety when taking on any DIY task. As mentioned earlier, gloves and goggles are essential, especially while mixing and applying the solution. In case of using a steamer, always proceed with caution, the heat from the steamer can cause burns if mishandled.

Making the Wallpaper Removal Process Easy

With the right preparation, appropriate tools and materials, removing wallpaper can become a straightforward task. Before you start, remember this golden rule: patient and diligent preparation always leads to easy and successful wallpaper removal.

Preparing the Room to Avoid a Mess

Removing wallpaper is almost guaranteed to be a messy process. It involves applying moist solutions to the walls and scrapping old paper that can crumble into tiny bits. To prevent this from becoming too chaotic, it's vital to take some steps to prepare the area first. These steps should both protect your room's other features like flooring or furniture and also make the clean-up process afterwards much easier.

Clear the Room

The first step in preparing the room for wallpaper removal is to take out as much furniture as possible. Any remaining furniture should be moved to the center of the room and covered with tarps or plastic sheeting. This helps to avoid any water or solution splashes as well as trapping any fallen wallpaper scraps.

Protect the Floor

Next, you need to protect the floor. You can do this by laying down a drop cloth or plastic sheeting. Make sure to tape the edges down to avoid any slips or accidental removal during the process. This covering will not only protect your flooring from water and solution stains but also make the clean-up process a lot easier.

Shield Windows, Doors, and Electrical Outlets

Cover windows and doors with plastic sheeting and seal them using painter's tape to prevent the wallpaper removal solution from seeping into undesired areas. Any electrical outlets should be turned off at the breaker and then covered with plastic and tape to prevent any moisture from coming into contact with them.

Prepare Your Tools and Solutions

Before you begin, gather all your tools and prepare any solutions you will be using. Have your perforation tool, scraper, sprayer, and the like lined up neatly, along with buckets of water or wallpaper stripper solution so you can work more efficiently.

Create a Disposal Plan

Have a plan for disposing of the old wallpaper. Consider placing a large trash bag or bin nearby where you can immediately discard the scraped off wallpaper. This will prevent the scraps from spreading all over your room and make the final cleaning process a breeze.

Check Area Ventilation

Lastly, ensure the area is well-ventilated if you're using a commercial wallpaper stripper. Open windows, turn on fans, or otherwise circulate the air to help fumes dissipate. Adequate ventilation will ensure a safer working environment during your wallpaper removal process.

Techniques for Loosening and Peeling Wallpaper

Removing wallpaper can be a daunting task, but with the correct tools and techniques, the process can be made a lot simpler and more efficient. The aim here is to detail various effective methods for loosening and peeling wallpaper.

Understanding The Type of Wallpaper

Before starting, it's important to understand the type of wallpaper you're dealing with. Some wallpapers are easier to remove than others. Strippable wallpapers can typically be peeled off without the need for water or chemicals, whereas traditional wallpapers may require more effort.


Begin with prepping the area by laying down drop cloths or plastic sheeting to catch all the wet scraps and protect your floor. For safety measures, switch off electricity for the room where you are removing the wallpaper.

Tool Selection

The type of tools you choose also plays an important role. It is recommended to use a wallpaper scorer for perforating the wallpaper, followed by a spray of wallpaper-removing solution or mixture of fabric softener and hot water.

Dry Stripping Technique

Sometimes, if the wallpaper is modern and strippable, you can start at the corners and peel it off dry. Make sure to remove both the outside layer and the backing, which is often left behind. An utility knife may come in handy for this.

Applying A Wallpaper-Removing Solution

If dry stripping is not effective, you can spray a wallpaper-removing solution or a mixture of hot water and fabric softener onto the wallpaper. After soaking, let it sit for a few minutes to allow time for the solution to saturate the paste.

Scraping Off The Wallpaper

Using a broad knife or scraper, carefully start to scrape off the wallpaper, working from top to bottom. Make sure not to dig too deep, as you can damage the wall underneath. Be patient as some areas may require several applications of solution and scraping.

Final Touches

After removing all the wallpaper, you might see some glue residue. This can be removed with warm, soapy water and a sponge. Rinse the wall thoroughly and let it dry before proceeding with priming or re-wallpapering.

With these techniques and a little patience, unappealing or outdated wallpaper can be a thing of the past, making room for new, fresh designs.

Using Chemicals and Steamers for Stubborn Wallpaper

When dealing with stubborn wallpaper, normal methods might not cut it and you could require the use of more specialized tools and methods. This part of the article will detail the use of chemicals and steamers to remove wallpaper that insists on staying put.

Chemical Wallpaper Removers

Chemical wallpaper removers, also known as wallpaper stripper solutions, are formulated to dissolve adhesive substances between the wallpaper and the wall, thus making the wallpaper easier to remove. This method is effective yet requires careful preparation and application due to the potential hazards of the chemicals.

To use a chemical wallpaper remover, you start by scoring the wallpaper with a perforation tool. This is to allow the chemical to penetrate through the wallpaper to the adhesive behind it. After scoring the wallpaper, apply the stripper solution using a sponge or a spray bottle and allow it to soak for the period specified by the manufacturer (usually about 15-20 minutes). After soaking, use a scraper tool to peel off the wallpaper.

Remember to wear safety goggles and rubber gloves to protect yourself from potential chemical splashes. Also, ensure the room is well-ventilated while using chemical removers.

Steam Wallpaper Removal

Another method of removing stubborn wallpaper is the use of a wallpaper steamer. The steam loosens the adhesive that binds the wallpaper to the wall. This method eliminates the need for chemicals, making it an environmentally friendly option.

To use this method, fill the steam machine with water and allow it to heat up. Once the machine is producing steam, place the steam plate on the wall and hold it there for about 30 seconds. This should soften the wallpaper and adhesive enough for you to easily scrape off the wallpaper with a scraping tool.

It is important to note that steam can cause burns, be sure to protect yourself by wearing long sleeves, gloves, and safety glasses. Always follow the guidelines provided in the user manual of the steamer.


While the methods described are effective, it is important to remember that walls can be damaged if these methods are not applied correctly. If you're unsure or uncomfortable about using chemicals or steamers on your walls, it might be best to hire a professional for the task.

Cleaning and Preparing the Wall for Redecoration

After you have successfully stripped off the wallpaper, your next step is to clean, repair, and prepare the wall for redecoration. This is an important step to ensure a smooth finish for your newly decorated wall.

Cleaning the Wall

Once the wallpaper has been completely removed, the wall might be left with adhesive residue. You need to clean these off completely before any further steps. To do so, take warm water mixed with a small amount of dish soap, and gently scrub the wall with a sponge. Rinse the wall thoroughly with clean water afterwards, and let it dry completely.

Repairing Damages

Holes, cracks, or other damages might surface after the wallpaper removal. Smoothen out these imperfections by applying a thin layer of patching compound or joint compound with a putty knife. If there are any dents or holes, fill them with the compound, wipe off the excess, and let it dry for the recommended amount of time before sanding it smooth.

Sealing the Wall

A vital step prior to any wall redecoration is sealing the wall. This is done to prevent moisture seepage into the wallpaper or paint, which can cause peeling. Apply a thin layer of wall-sized primer, which is a sealant designed specifically for naked plasterboard walls and let it dry.

Preparing for Redecoration

Before you begin the process of redecoration, sand the wall once more for a smoother surface. Wipe off the dust with a lightly damp cloth. Now, your wall is ready for a new wallpaper or a fresh coat of paint. Always remember to follow the instructions given on your new wallpaper or paint for a perfect finish.

Take Your Time

Remember that properly preparing a wall for new wallpaper or paint takes time and patience. Make sure you allow enough time for each of the steps to ensure a high-quality finish. Rushing through the process may lead to unsatisfactory results, and it would only cost you more time and money to fix.

Tips and Tricks for Easy Wallpaper Removal

Familiarize yourself with these practical tips and tricks to facilitate your wallpaper removal process.

1. Prepare Your Space

Start by moving all furniture out of the area. If you can't move it entirely, drape old sheets or drop cloths over it to protect from any mess. Remember to do the same for your floors.

2. Utilize a Wallpaper Scorer

Using a wallpaper scorer can make a significant difference. It creates small holes in the wallpaper, which allows for the penetration of wallpaper removal solutions for better results.

3. Homemade Wallpaper Removal Solutions Work Too

You don't necessarily have to spend a fortune on commercial solutions. A mixture of hot water and dish soap or a mixture of hot water and vinegar can be just as effective.

4. Employ the Right Tools

Using a scraper or putty knife can be useful in taking off the paper. Remember always to start at the bottom and work your way up to prevent any wallpaper from tearing.

5. Patience is Key

Just like any DIY project, removing wallpaper requires patience. It's not a process to be rushed. If a piece of wallpaper doesn’t peel off easily, reapply your wallpaper removal solution and give it some time before trying again.

6. Know Your Wallpaper

Knowing the type of wallpaper you're working with can also make a difference. Some may be strippable, meaning you can peel them off without using any water or chemicals. Be sure to test this in an inconspicuous place before making a full attempt.

7. Dealing with Residue

Once the paper is off, you may notice some residual glue left on your wall. This can be tackled by a diluted vinegar solution or commercial adhesive remover. Make sure you thoroughly clean and dry your wall before moving forward with re-painting or adding new wallpaper.

8. Don’t Be Afraid to Call a Professional

If you find yourself facing obstacles that you're unable to overcome, don't be afraid to call in a professional. Certain situations, such as dealing with several layers of wallpaper, can be best tackled by an expert.

With these tips and tricks in mind, you can be confident in tackling your DIY wallpaper removal project. Best of luck to you on this home improvement journey!