How To

How To Remove Wallpaper

Whether your wallpaper is strippable, peel-able, or old-fashioned, our guide to how to remove wallpaper will have your walls free and clear in no time.

By Yankee Magazine

Sep 02 2016

How to Remove Wallpaper

How to Remove Wallpaper

Photo Credit : Thinkstock
Is it time to redo the guest bedroom or update your kitchen décor? The process of removing wallpaper can seem daunting, but with these three simple methods, you can learn how to remove wallpaper like a pro. Your walls will be paperless in no time!
How to Remove Wallpaper
How to Remove Wallpaper
Photo Credit : Thinkstock


Strippable Wallpaper

If your wallpaper is newer it may be of the strippable variety. This should pull away from the wall with little trouble. Check by taking one of the bottom corners and lifting it away from the wall in an upward motion. If it comes away easily, continue to strip away the wallpaper in this manner until all the paper is completely removed.

Peel-able Wallpaper

If you begin to pull your wallpaper away from the wall and only a thin vinyl or plastic layer comes away, you probably have peel-able wallpaper. How to remove wallpaper that is of this kind: Peel the vinyl layer off completely as best you can. Then, continue with the following steps for the remaining layer of wallpaper, the layer underneath the vinyl or plastic.

Regular (Old-Fashioned) Wallpaper

If your wallpaper is older or the adhesive is not forgiving, then you may need to work a little harder to remove the paper. Begin by using sandpaper or a scorer to create small holes in the paper. (If the wall underneath the wallpaper is drywall, be extra careful while scraping to avoid damaging it.) In a bucket or bowl mix a solution of one part hot water and one part fabric softener. Rinse the wall with this solution focusing on one section at a time. Let the solution seep through the holes to loosen the adhesive. After 10 to 15 minutes, pull the wallpaper up, using a putty knife to help if necessary. After you have repeated this process and removed all the wall paper, mix hot water and dish detergent in a separate bowl and sponge away any remaining adhesive. Rinse the wall with clean water and pat it dry with a towel. Have wallpaper that still won’t budge, or don’t even feel like trying? Follow these tips to just paint over it: How to Paint Over Wallpaper.

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This post was first published in 2016 and has been updated.