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How to Remove Wallpaper

  1. Step 1 Choose the Removal Method

    Rolls of decorative wallpaper lay beside each other on display.

    Removing wallpaper can be done in a number of ways. If your wallpaper is removable, try to lift an edge and peel it, it should peel away easily.  If not, you may have strippable wallpaper, which loosens with water. If neither of those work, you’ll likely need to use either a gel-based remover or steamer to get your walls stripped. Be sure to always use protective gear when removing wallpaper with removers or chemicals.

  2. Step 2 Clear the Walls

    A person removes a picture from a wall.

    Remove all items from your walls including pictures, sconces, lighting and vent covers.

  3. Step 3 Prepare the Room

    A person applies painter’s tape to the trim on their walls.

    Prepare your room for the wallpaper removal process. Be sure to cover furniture, cover your flooring with a sheet and tape it to your baseboards with painter’s tape to avoid any chemicals or liquid spilling onto your floor. Have a trash can ready to collect debris and small pieces of paper. Cover your electrical outlets with tape as well.

  4. Step 4 Peel off Temporary Wallpaper

    A person peels off their temporary wall paper.

    If your wallpaper is temporary or removable, simply peel back an edge and continue to peel it until it is removed completely.

  5. Step 5 Score or Perforate Water-resistant Wallpaper

    A wallpaper scorer is used to perforate wallpaper before applying water to it.

    If your wallpaper is strippable, you can perforate it with a wallpaper scoring device to put tiny holes in it that will allow water to penetrate through.

  6. Step 6 Remove Wallpaper with Chemical or Liquid Remover

    Wallpaper is removed with a scraping tool.

    Once your liquid remover or chemical remover has soaked through, it will soften the adhesive backing. Once this happens, you can simply peel or scrape your wallpaper away.

  7. Step 7 Remove Wallpaper with Gel Remover

    A scraper is used to remove wallpaper.

    Gel removers work very similarly to liquid ones, but they tend to be less messy because they don’t run. Apply them the same way you’d use a liquid or chemical-based remover, by scoring the paper first and allowing it to soak in. Then peel or scrape away your wallpaper.

  8. Step 8 Remove Wallpaper with Steam

    A person uses a steamer to remove their wallpaper.

    If you’ve got particularly stubborn wallpaper, you may want to use a steamer to remove it. Simply heat up the water tank and hold the steamer on an area for about 30 seconds – the wallpaper should start to come loose. There are also a ton of attachments to get into the tougher areas.

  9. Step 9 DIY Wallpaper Remover Solution

    A person uses their own DIY solution to remove wallpaper.

    You can mix your own DIY wallpaper removal solution by combining either 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 hot water or 1/4 fabric softener to 3/4 hot water onto a sponge or into a spray bottle. Spray it on like you would with any other liquid remover.

  10. Step 10 Clean and Remove Excess Adhesive from the Walls

    A person uses a sponge to clean up their walls post-removal.

    Once your wallpaper has been removed, clean up your walls using a sponge with some hot water and a bit of trisodium phosphate. Towel dry and then use a sandable filler or spackle to fill in any gouges or nicks in your walls.

What You Need for This Project

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