How To Remove Old Wallpaper

At some point in our lives, most of us have had to remove old wallpaper. To attain this, like with all good things, it takes time and patience. The first step is to find out what’s beneath the surface. The wallpaper can be easy to remove or tough to penetrate, depending on what it covers.


There are three types of wallpaper: porous, non-porous, and dry-strippable. Water quickly soaks through porous wallpaper and loosens it, making it easier to remove. To determine if it’s porous, apply some water to an area of it with a sponge.

removing old wall paper step by step

On some wallpapers, a decorative nonporous layer can be seen. The wallpaper is nonporous if the water from the sponge flows off it. If you have this type, you must score it first to allow the water to penetrate.

Dry strippable wallpaper is easy to remove. Most of the time, you won’t need to utilize moisture to get rid of it. Peel back a corner of the wallpaper to determine if it’s dry strippable; if it comes off easily, it is.


If you live in an older home, you’re probably dealing with plaster walls with at least one layer of peeling wallpaper. A putty knife, a wallpaper scraper, a wallpaper removal solvent, a spray bottle, a bucket, and sponge (with water), and a wallpaper perforating tool or sandpaper are all essential tools.

  • Prepare the ingredients first. Lay down a tarp or newspaper on your floor to protect it from wallpaper bits and leaks. Get a ladder or a chair if your walls are out of reach, and make sure you have a trash bucket on ready to collect the wallpaper strips. If you’re allergic to dust, wear old clothes and a mask because the dust from the old wallpaper and plaster will stick to you.
  • Mix your wallpaper remover solution with water in a bucket, using 1-gallon water to 5 ounces wallpaper stripper ratio.
  • Unless the wallpaper is dry-stripping (in which case it does not need to be wet), water the walls for about 8 minutes to loosen them. The plaster gets destroyed when water sits in the walls for too long. Soak all of the walls at the same time. If at all possible, work on a 3′ by 9′ area at a time.
  • With the putty knife and wallpaper scraper, begin removing the wallpaper. To keep the plaster from falling off with the wallpaper, pull it back at a sharp angle. Continue working until the moist area’s wallpaper has been removed. While you’re scrubbing the first area, soak another area to speed up the process.
  • Once the wallpaper has been removed, clean the walls with hot, freshwater.


If your walls are made of drywall, you must avoid getting them too wet. It is easier to remove recent wallpaper. It’s possible that you’ll be able to get rid of it without using any chemicals or special tools. All types of wallpaper, on the other hand, will necessitate removing at least a section by hand.

You’ll also need painter’s tape, plastic covers or tarps, a scoring tool, wallpaper removing fabric sheets, a bucket, and sponge, a compression sprayer or spray bottle, a chemical wallpaper stripper (in most cases), hot water, and a scraper. It’s possible that you’ll need a ladder or a chair as well.

Follow these steps:

  • Start by cleaning the walls and rooms and covering everything with plastic to safeguard your home. Newer wallpapers are strippable, meaning they can be removed with simply a scraper and no chemicals or water.
  • Remove as many loose pieces of wallpaper as you can, then strip and dry scrape the rest to remove as much as possible. Loosen the corners with a scraper or putty knife, then peel the wallpaper off at a 15-degree slant.
  • Make small holes in the remaining wallpaper using the wallpaper scoring tool. Don’t press too hard to prevent breaking the drywall underneath.
  • Try using wallpaper removal sheets if you have stubborn wallpaper that won’t come off. To soak them, place them in a pail of boiling water. It will be much easier to loosen the glue beneath the wallpaper if you do this.
  • Remove the wallpaper removal sheets from the bucket, wring them out carefully, and begin setting them up in a corner. The edges should be near yet not overlap one other.
  • Apply an even application of chemical stripper to the sheets once you’re done. You can use a compression sprayer to apply the mixture more quickly or soak the sheets with a spray bottle for both unmixed and ready-made solutions.
  • Allow the sheets to soak on the walls for about half an hour. Peeling off the wallpaper should be a snap after that. Remove what’s left with a scraper.


The simplest method for removing old wallpaper that has been painted over is to score it, soak it, and then scrape it off. If the wallpaper has been painted over multiple times, the drywall beneath it may need to be replaced.

The following tools are required: a wallpaper scoring tool, stripping spray, a sponge, a tarp, a spray bottle, and a scraping tool. A scoring tool is a small handheld device with a few small teeth on revolving wheels. The wallpaper is removed without causing any damage to the surface beneath it. In place of the spray, a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water can be used.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Cover the furniture with the tarp and move smaller items to the middle or out of the room. It’s crucial to figure out what type of paint was used. To find out, dab some nail polish remover onto the paint with a towel. If it comes off on the towel, it’ll be latex. If not, it will be oil-based. It is easier to remove latex because it is water-soluble.
  • Using the scoring tool, penetrate the wallpaper a few times on the walls. A Brillo pad will suffice if you don’t have this tool.
  • Begin by creating a four-by-four-foot area. Infuse water or steam into the walls. To remove the wallpapered area, use the steamer or the removal solution. Check to see if the area has been completely saturated. If steaming, move the steamer’s hot plate slowly over the scored areas, checking to see if the steam is soaking in. Spray the wallpaper with the spray bottle and sponge it in, then let it sit for a few minutes. Pull one of the paper’s corners away from you. Strips of moist paper should be able to be peeled off. If that doesn’t work, steam or soak it again.
  • Use a plastic putty knife to completely remove the paper after it starts to peel away.
  • Continue scoring and applying the solution to other parts of the wall until the majority of the wallpaper has peeled away and the most stubborn bits have been scraped off by hand. It’s conceivable they’ll come off in small strips.
  • Finally, but certainly not least, wash the walls. If any sections of the wall have come loose, sand them down and fill in the crevices with spackle or wood filler to bring the wall back to life.


To remove wallpaper adhesive, you’ll need a tarp, painter’s tape, baking soda, liquid dish soap, a bucket and access to water, sponges, rubber gloves, a putty knife, rags, trash bags, and possibly vinegar or commercial wallpaper stripper. Because abrasive cleansers can scratch the wallpaper’s layer, they should never be used.

Steps to follow:

  • Begin by cleaning up the area. If you can’t get it out, try to cram as much furniture into the center of the room as possible. Cover the floor, as well as electrical outlets, vents, and light switches, with painter’s tape. We also urge that you switch off the electricity in the room for your own safety.
  • To produce your cleaning solution, combine hot water, liquid dish soap, and a spoonful of baking soda.
  • Add vinegar to the mix if the adhesive doesn’t come off easily when you apply the solution to the walls. The proper ratio is one cup of (ideally white) vinegar to one gallon of water. A commercial wallpaper stripper may be required if the glue is really hard, but first, try vinegar. Gloves are strongly advised.
  • Tear the wallpaper slightly and spray the vinegar and water mixture over the wallpaper with a spray bottle.
  • Pull the paper away from the wall slowly after 30 minutes.
  • Apply the solution to an area of the wall with a damp sponge. Work in small areas – about 4′ × 4′ – to remove the glue while it’s still malleable. Allow the cleaning solution to soak in for a few minutes before wiping the glue away with a rag or scraping it off with the putty knife. Rep the procedure until all of the adhesives has been removed from the room.
  • Wipe the cleaning solution from the walls with a damp, clean cloth before drying them with a clean towel.
  • Open all windows and doors to let fresh air into the space. Before painting the walls, give them at least 24 hours to dry completely. They must be silky smooth. If you aren’t intending on painting, remove the tarp and painter’s tape and reposition the furniture.


Rub the wall with an art gum eraser. It absorbs the filth and grease left behind by fingerprints. You can remove vinyl wallpaper with soap and water if you have it. To remove the prints, mix dish soap and water in a bowl and soak a cloth in it. You can also use bread to remove fingerprints. Take a piece of bread from the wall and place it on top of the prints. The gluten will erase the spots on the wallpaper.

Summary: How To Remove Old Wallpaper

At some point in our lives, most of us have had to remove old wallpaper. To attain this, like with all good things, it takes time and patience. The first step is to find out what’s beneath the surface. The wallpaper can be easy to remove or tough to penetrate, depending on what it covers.

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