How To Correctly Remove Wallpaper

Most wallpapers today are made to be almost as easily to remove as they were to apply. But, older wallpapers can prove to be a real head ache to remove from your walls. Aside from the paper being on the wall for years, the older paper and glues aren’t so easily removed.

There are several methods that you can use to try to remove the wallpaper off of your walls. But, any method that will loosen the glue from the backing will work when trying to remove the old paper.

You can purchase a commercial wallpaper remover. It’s a liquid that is applied to the walls and is specifically formulated to loosen wallpaper glue and release the paper from the walls.

Many types of wallpaper can be easily removed simply by spraying the paper with water until it is wet. Once wet let it set for a around 15-30 minutes to completely loosen the glue and then scrape the paper off the walls with a trowel or putty knife.

Warm water will work better when trying to loosen the old glue, but hot water will work even faster. You can apply it with a spray bottle, saturating one area at a time and then removing the paper.

If you’re trying to remove a vinyl wallpaper, the liquid isn’t going to be able to saturate through the vinyl to reach the glue. The vinyl top layer will need to be pulled off of the wall exposing the paper layer beneath. Then you can wet the paper layer with water to release the glue.

You can also purchase a tool called a paper tiger. It’s basically two wheels with very sharp teeth that you roll across the wallpaper to cut perforations in it. Then you can spray water on the paper and it can reach the glued side through the perforations.

Your wetting solution can be just plain warm or hot water. But, you can also try mixing water and vinegar together and if you’d prefer you can use a roller or a sponge instead of a spray bottle. Many people recommend using warm water with dish washing liquid or liquid fabric softner to remove the old paper.

No matter what solution you use, let the paper set long enough to loosen the glue. Then use a tool with a wide, flat blade to scrape the paper off. You will probably have to repeat the process several times to remove all of the wall paper.

Whatever method you decide to use to remove your old wallpaper, make sure that you protect the rest of the room. The water draining down on to the carpet or floors will contain glue and be a mess to clean up.

You can use sheets of plastic to help protect your floors and spraying the water more slowly will help prevent it draining down into puddles as quickly. You can also place sheets of plastic over furniture and other items in the room to protect them.

If you’re luck there will only be one layer of wallpaper on the wall. But, often there may be several layers that will all have to be removed one layer at a time.

Trying to remove several layers at once increases the risk of damaging the walls. Once all of the wallpaper has been removed, you’ll need to thoroughly clean the walls and remove any remaining glue or paper.

One other method to try is steaming the wall. You can usually rent a steaming machine at a local hardware store and the steam and heat will release the paper.