A Guide to Removing Wallpaper

Welcome to Yeah, We Do That’s tip of the week.  This week I am going to talk about how to remove wallWeekly Tips paper.  Many have been the time I have received a call from a customer wanting to get rid of some old outdated wallpaper and them have the walls painted.

There are several factors that will make a difference on how easy wallpaper will come off.  Some of them include if the wall was sized or not, sizing is a coating painted onto the walls prior to hanging the wallpaper that forms a barrier and protects the walls, how many layers of paper are on the wall and the condition of the wall under the paper.


You will need a few tools to help you.  The first tool is called a Paper Tiger, this is a scoring tool that you roll over the wall in a circular motion making perforations in the wallpaper so that your stripper can soak in and reach the paste.  You will need a couple of scrapers, I do not like to use the razor scrapers as these tend to gouge the walls and make for a lot more patching afterwards, I like to use a 1.5 and 3 inch metal putty knives for scraping.  You will also need a bucket, sponge (I like to use grouting sponges), rubber gloves and plastic or tarps.


There are several commercial strippers available and can be found at your local big box home improvement store.  I have tried all of them and some work better than others.  What I have found that works better than the commercial strippers and smells better too is a mixture of 2 parts hot water to 1 part fabric softener.  If your wallpaper still is not coming off you may want to rent a steamer.  You can get these at most tool rental stores.  If you use a steamer make sure you familiarize yourself with its operation prior to using it and be very mind full of where the nozzle is pointing as it is very easy to give yourself a bad burn if you are not careful.


First before you do anything try peeling up a corner of the paper and pulling it off, it might just pull off with a little effort if it was sized and installed properly, this rarely happens though. Take your Paper Tiger and using a circular motion start scoring the wallpaper.  After you have a section scored mix up your stripper solution and sponge it on, you want to get the paper good and wet.  Let this soak in for a few minutes, you can start scoring the next section while you are waiting.  After the stripper has had a chance to soak in apply another coat, now try again to peel back the wallpaper as it may come off.  Just the top layer may come off and that is fine, pull it off and wet the layer underneath, you should now be able to take your putty knife and scrape away the remainder.  If you find that these methods are not working or you are doing damage to the walls you may need to use a steamer.

I hope that you have found this article helpful and feel free to share it with your friends by clicking one or more of the social media buttons below.  You may also ask a question or leave a comment by clicking the comment button.

If you would like to see a How-To guide on a particular topic you can request it by e-mailing me and I will see what I can do.




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