Asked on Jan 6, 2012

How can we get very old, stubborn wallpaper off our walls without ruining the wallboard?

Patricia DrebitSharonBootzB


9 answers
  • Cher D
    on Jan 6, 2012

    Try downy fabric softener and water 50/50.. do not use that item..that everybody says to use.. sorry do not know the name .. it is round and perforates the will make it a lot more difficult .. it will tear up the wallpaper... 1.Put your solution a spray bottle 2.. let .it soak for about 10 minutes 3. take a large putty knife and start to scrape.. (make sure you put down to protect your floors) 4. may have to repeat this a few times I am been taking off wallpaper since I was first big..job my mom gave me. Hope this helps

  • 3po3
    on Jan 7, 2012

    I have heard from previous, similar posts that vinegar water works, too, but I am glad to say i have never tackled that project.

  • Harold M
    on Jan 7, 2012

    I like a product called "Chomp" Works very well and doesn't destroy the drywall. Waterbased product

  • P.j. C
    on Jan 7, 2012

    Having tried several of the above methods to strip layers of wallpaper in our 5400 sf/160 yr-old house, I highly recommend using a Wagner 705 power steamer. You should be able to find a good used model on eBay for under $50 including s/h, & can always sell it when you're finished. The 'paper tiger' is the tool referred to above, but you won't need one with the steamer--unless the paper has been painted & won't allow the steam to penetrate.

  • Josephine Howland
    on Feb 8, 2015

    My last home was 130 years old and had layer upon layer of wallpaper. I found the best thing to use first was a product called tiger that scratches the surface then follow @P.j. C and use a steamer, I got a home version from Home Depot. It's amazing how well it works.

  • Fpe1376417
    on Mar 4, 2015

    Hi Camille. I have used, and loved, the 50/50 fabric softener with water trick. Score the wallpaper with a 'scratcher' first (bought at home hardware stores). Lay old towels along the bottom of the wall to catch the dripping water. (Unless you want to wash the floor after working on the wallpaper...) Spray portion of wall till wet. Wet enough to drip a bit, but not so wet that all the water flows down. Leave for about 10 minutes, go back if necessary and wet again. Use an old stainless steel spatchula and slide underneath the wet paper. Put on some music. Enjoy the process. Then wipe down the wall with warm water and a bit of dish soap to clean off excess glue left behind.

  • BootzB
    on May 12, 2015

    I also used the cheap fabric softener... worked like a charm. My wallpaper was vinyl so I had to rough it up a little... however not too much or you will be pulling tiny pieces off. I'd do the fabric softener first before investing in the steamer. I have both and the fabric softener was faster.

  • Sharon
    on May 26, 2015

    The "only thing to work for me on 30yr old wallpaper was to rent a steamer from Home Depot!! I tried everything--but this was the answer for me!

  • Patricia Drebit
    on May 26, 2015

    Watered down Fabric softener works great, just make sure you rinse and rinse, because it could leave a residue.

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