Do you have old or outdated wallpaper that you want removed? No worries, because there are various methods to make removing wallpaper easy. A multitude of houses have wallpaper; many have it not just in one room, but in all of them. There are also countless cases in which multiple layers have been applied over the years.
You do not have to live with those unwanted walls forever, you can remove the old wallpaper and make your walls new and to your preference. This article addresses that challenging task by examining seven of the best methods and products available.
1. Are There Different Types Of Wallpaper?
Yes, absolutely. Older wallpaper was typically madeout of actual paper and left uncoated. Most newer wallpapers are vinyl, which makes them easier to wipe down and keep clean.
2. Does The Type Of Wallpaper Affect Removal?
Yes. Removing uncoated wallpaper is a task you can attack with a spray-on solution. Vinyl wallpaper needs to be scored first to allow the solution to penetrate. The type of adhesive will also affect how difficult your project will be and how best to go about it.
3. Can I Do It Myself?
Yes. Among the methods listed here, you can find one that works for your particular wallpaper and be able to do it yourself with a fair amount of ease.
4. Where Can I Buy The Materials For Wallpaper Removal?
You can buy the materials we list in this article online from Amazon. You can also find what you need for this project at your local home improvement store.
5. What Will I Need To Do After Removing Wallpaper?
After your wallpaper is removed, you most likely will want to paint the wall. Any gouges or holes can be filled with spackle before you paint the wall your preferred color.
What We Considered
The following methods were reviewed based on recommendations from professionals and homeowners who have removed wallpaper themselves. We researched the best and most effective methods for removing wallpaper to make it easy for you to choose what works best for your project.
Overall Price Range
Depending on how much wallpaper you have and how it was affixed, removing wallpaper should not be costly. However, for bigger projects it can take more materials and tools. When choosing materials, it may be tempting to go on the cheaper and quicker side. However, this will end up costing more time and money in the long run, since those products may not work effectively nor last. As always, make sure to go with quality materials to ensure you get the job done right.
- Apply DIF Quick Wallpaper Stripper Spray
- Score with a Zinsser PaperTiger Tool
- Be Sure to Soften the Paste
- Try Vinegar and Hot Water
- Use a Steamer
- Arm Yourself with a Quality Scraper
- Consider Sanding & Skimming Instead of Removal
Apply DIF Quick Wallpaper Stripper Spray
About This Method
- This item is a Rust-Oleum 249055 32-Ounce Dif Quick Wallpaper Stripper Trigger Spray
- Purpose of use for Painting Supplies, paint-strippers
- This product is manufactured in United States
Typically, wallpaper does not peel off without assistance, and it may need a little help from some chemicals. Using a stripper spray makes removing wallpaper easy because it initiates a chemical reaction with the glue, loosening the adhesive and allowing easy removal.
With this method, use protective gear (gloves, glasses, and face mask) since you will be working with chemicals. First, you will want to spray the wallpaper to saturation, and then either peel it off or use a scraper if needed. For tougher adhesives, you will want to let the spray sit on the wallpaper long enough to soak in but not long enough to dry.
Depending on how easily the wallpaper comes off, this can either be an easy cleanup or a sticky mess. That is the same for most removal techniques.
To reduce cleanup time, before removing wallpaper, place a drop cloth on the ground beneath your work area. If the wallpaper peels off easily, then all you need to do is throw it away. However, if you have to scrape it and it comes off in little chunks, it's a harder cleanup. When the wallpaper comes off, there will be sticky residue from the wallpaper glue.
When removing wallpaper, you can either throw away pieces while scraping or place a tarp on the ground below where you are scraping to catch all the loose pieces and clean up afterward. The walls will also need to be wiped down afterward to get rid of any chemicals from the spray, residue from the glue, and any leftover paper pieces.
Score With A Zinsser Paper Tiger Tool
About This Method
Using a scoring tool assists in removing wallpaper by causing perforations so that the wallpaper stripper can penetrate and loosen the adhesive easier. The Zinsser PaperTiger Tool works better than a razor blade or knife because you can use it quickly without damage to the walls. You can use this tool on vinyl wallpaper or any other wallpaper that the spray cannot easily penetrate.
First, run the tool over the entire area you are removing, following the directions provided. Next spray the wallpaper stripper on the area you are removing and let it sit a few minutes. After the spray has had time to penetrate, you can scrape it away.
This requires the same cleanup intensity as with the stripper, and some removers use both. Don't forget to wipe down the walls afterward to clear away any residue.
Be Sure To Soften The Paste
About This Method
For older wallpaper or new wallpaper that was put up with standard wallpaper paste, you can use this method. Soften the paste by first making a mixture of warm water and liquid detergent. You can also use cellulose paste to help the solution stick to the wallpaper. Apply the mixture to the wall and let it sit for a few minutes. Then scrape the paper off the wall. For coated wallpaper, you should use a scoring tool first so the solution better penetrates the paper.
This approach has much the same cleanup requirements as using stripper, but the solution is safer and easier to tolerate while working.
Try Vinegar And Hot Water
About This Method
Instead of having to deal with the chemicals in stripper, you can use vinegar and hot water as a breakdown agent for the adhesive. Combine vinegar and hot water in a spray bottle. Spray it on the wallpaper the same as with the stripper and let it sit. The water will soften the paper while the natural chemicals in vinegar break down the glue.
This method requires the same cleanup method as the stripper method.
Use A Steamer
About This Method
No products found.
For hard-to-remove wallpaper or multiple layers, a steamer is a great machine to have. When it is water-filled and ready, place it over a section of wallpaper and hold it for several seconds. Afterword, use a scraper to remove the wallpaper. You do not need to use much pressure, if any, as the wallpaper typically comes right off.
Even though this is easy, it does take a good amount of time; The area it covers is small, and it has to be pressed against each area for several seconds to penetrate the wallpaper. However, if you have a lot of difficult wallpaper, this is a good investment. Using a lot of some spray-on removers can be costly, and the vapors are not pleasant or good for your health.
Cleanup is similar to what's required with the other methods listed, but a key difference is that it's not as sticky a process. Use a drop cloth to catch any debris and throw it away when done.
Arm Yourself With A Quality Scraper
About This Method
- Two-handed scraper
- With 4-Inch offset blade for removing paint and wallpaper
- Rust-resistant bright plated carbon steel blade is reversible and replaceable (No.33255, No.33170)
For most wallpaper removal projects, you will need to use a good scraper. You want to get a quality scraper that does not gouge the wall easily and will not break on you. You also want one that has a good grip to reduce fatigue and wrist pain. The scraper model we link to below is a good choice,
The cleanup for using a scraper is the same as the above methods.
Consider Sanding & Skimming Instead Of Removal
About This Method
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If the wallpaper is old and difficult to remove, you can consider sanding and skimming instead. This is a last-resort method in some cases, but if it's difficult removing wallpaper from a certain room or house, or if the walls are too damaged behind the wallpaper, it can be a great choice.
Skimming and sanding is a lot of work, but the end product is a beautiful new wall. First, scrape any loose wallpaper from the wall. Make sure to check the surface thoroughly; if any loose spots are left, the new drywall will not stick and it can start to fall apart down the line. After making sure there's no loose wallpaper, check for any other rough areas that must be sanded. Make sure the wall is smooth and clear of debris before you begin.
Next, prime the whole wall with an oil-based primer. Make sure it's oil-based as water-based primer will reactivate the glue. Wait until it dries completely, since rushing any steps in this process could ruin the whole project. After it's dry, skim the whole area with drywall mud. Let it dry again and
then sand it down smooth. Drywall sand is fine and can be readily found.
Finally, remove what furnishings you can from the room and cover the rest with tarps. When you are done sanding, prime the wall this seals the drywall. It's finally time to paint!
The messiest part of the job is drywall sanding; however, every step can make a mess. Be sure to put down tarps and drop cloths. Removing the wallpaper will leave chunks, and you also want to protect from accidental drips of drywall mud, paint, and primer. After sanding the drywall, carefully remove the tarp from the room, fold it up, and try not to spill dust anywhere in the house. Since it's so fine, sweeping and dusting can be challenging.
By using one or a few of these methods, you will be successful removing wallpaper and making your new, beautiful wall the way you want it. Each project will have different variables. Some wallpaper will come off easily with a homemade solution but other walls may be more difficult to clear.
No matter what type of wallpaper you have one of the above methods will get the job done. If one way does not work, try another!