6 Proven Tips for Removing Wallpaper Like a Pro


Removing wallpaper is easier than you think!

Finally, have you decided that you want to renovate your space? This is great, but the only thing that stands between you and your dream home is that old wallpaper that you have on your walls. Hopefully, you can make all of this easier by knowing these incredible tips for removing wallpaper. 

There is no need to let yourself be intimidated by a room full of wallpaper. We know that this is not the easiest task, but removing wallpaper doesn’t have to be impossible. Using these tricks will make it more accessible, and you will be able to get the job done in less time. 

Getting rid of wallpaper is a skill, and over time, you can get good at it. Once you get used to it, it’s actually pretty easy. Read on and learn how to make removing wallpaper an easier and more enjoyable task.

removing wallpaper
Image By New Africa From Shutterstock

1. Protect your floors

You have new floors all around your house, and you are proud of this project. You want them to keep you for another 15 years, at least, but for that, you have to be careful with them. 

So, when you decide that it is officially “removing wallpaper season,” you should take a few measures to keep your floors in the best shape. When you start tearing down the wallpaper from your walls, be sure you have dropped clothes around the room. 

You don’t have to cover the entire floor, but try to do it in the areas that are closer to the walls. You can leave the middle uncovered, but for maximum safety, you can also leave the middle of the room. 

The first layer should be made from plastic drop clothes. But the secret lies in the second layer. The second layer will be fabric drop cloth, which has the role of soaking up the water. 

Using this method when removing wallpaper will make your life easier, and all the cleanup will be done in a matter of minutes instead of hours or days. 

2. Keep the job as minimal as possible

When removing wallpaper, you mostly have to soak it up in hot water and then start peeling it off with a broad knife. Sometimes this might not work, and what you can do is poke some holes in the wallpaper using a scoring tool beforehand. 

Doing this will help the water penetrate the vinyl covering and even the wallpaper that has been installed incorrectly. In case this hot water trick is not helping you when removing wallpaper, now is the time to start using some other advanced tools. 

Most of the time, the wallpaper will not be that stubborn, and you will be able to remove it only by using hot water. There is no need to make things more complicated when they can be solved the easy way. 

3. Make sure that you clean the walls and remove all the paste

The whole process of removing wallpaper can get a little bit messy, and this is why you need to be prepared to clean everything afterward. One of the most important steps of this cleaning process is to get rid of all the paste that is on the walls. And be sure that there will be a lot of paste. 

Start by taking a putty knife and slowly removing the paste as you can. It might take a while, and this is why we hope you have sufficient patience. After you are done with this, you will need to grab a sponge and a bucket of water and start washing the walls.

After this step, most people will consider the walls clean, but many times this is not the case. There can still be paste on the walls, which is now sticky, and we know that you are tired and want to call it a day, but you should take more time and clean the walls a little bit more. 

4. Protect the outlets

When you start removing wallpaper, one thing you should always do is protect the outlets and the light switches. First of all, it is dangerous to let water flow near areas that are covered in electrical wires, and second, you may damage the exterior of the outlet, and you probably don’t want that to happen. 

You can use masking tape for this task, and everything should be alright. When you need to remove the wallpaper from the covered areas, just take off the tape and be extremely careful once you start removing it. 

If you have any wall sconces, you will need to first remove them and then apply the masking tape. Also, instead of using a spray to wet the areas around the sconces, you should use a wet sponge. It is better this way when you have to deal with wall sconce wiring. 

Above all, be cautious while working with electricity. Do not spray directly on outlets. Soak up any surplus water that spills near wires. Work carefully.

5. Consider chemicals

Sometimes using only water when replacing wallpaper might not be enough, especially if the old wallpaper hasn’t been installed properly. Or even worse, if the wallpaper is covered in paint, you will have to struggle even more. 

The good news is that there are chemicals that can make your job easier and aid in cleaning hard-to-remove wallpaper. These are chemical strippers designed for textured coatings. When you decide that you want to start using chemicals for removing the wallpaper, always remember to use gloves and goggles since many of these substances can be highly irritant and toxic. 

A more accessible alternative would be to use fabric softener when trying to remove wallpaper. It can make this daunting princess feel like a breeze. Use one cap of liquid softener and dissolve it in 1 ounce of water. Then use a sponge and apply the solution to the walls. 

removing wallpaper
Image By Lolostock From Shutterstock

6. Use steam

Ok, so you’ve tried to remove it with water, then you tried the fabric softener, but it seems like nothing is really working when you are trying to remove your old wallpaper. What would be the next step? Are you going to remain with the old, dull wallpaper? 

No, this is not going to happen because there is still a last-resort solution available for steam removal. This method is incredibly powerful, and it can do wonders when you have to take down stubborn wallpaper. The only disadvantage is that it is a strenuous process, and you might want to ask a friend to help you. 

A steamer is a tool for removing wallpaper that softens the adhesive that holds the wallpaper onto the wall. If you’re using a steamer to remove vinyl-coated wallpaper, you still need to use an instrument for scoring to create holes in the paper backing so that the steam can get to the adhesive.

But a steamer can be expensive. The best part is that you don’t have to purchase a steamer because you can rent one. And after all, it is not like you tear down wallpaper too often. So, because this is probably a one-time job, just go to the nearest Home Depot or other home renovation store and see if they have a steamer for rent. 

In case you need a toll for peeling the wallpaper, this one might be a good choice: WP CHOMP! 52016 Wallpaper Scraping Tool Scraper: Sticky Paste, Multi-Purpose Removal

You should also read: Household Leaks: 8 Common Causes and How to Prevent Them

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