Asked on Jan 12, 2012

How do I remove old wallpaper from drywall easily?

JohnchipSherry AllisonMimi Haywood


15 answers
  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jan 12, 2012

    renting a steamer tops most peoples lists.

  • Ron G
    on Jan 12, 2012

    wallpaper and easily don't go together(just saying) be sure not to steam to much or you could be replacing drywall

  • Personally I like using the paper tiger, then super hot water with chemical added and keep spraying until the paper begins to fall off on its own. The biggest trick is not to rush this. When it starts coming off, remove only one length at a time. Then using a PLASTIC scraper/putty knife not metal remove the excess adhesive left on the wall. Then using more chemical wash that area with a clean sponge. Then move onto the next section. Doing it in this fashion might seem like its taking a long time, but the elbow grease used is much less then if you steam and remove strips of paper with the glue becoming hard very fast once the paper is off. This results in more sanding and patching.

  • Miriam I
    on Jan 15, 2012

    Here is a link to a similar discussion in case you need some more ideas:

  • Brenda D
    on Jan 15, 2012

    spray bottle with warm DAWN detergent. spray soak scrape

  • Tracy
    on Feb 4, 2015

    I rented a steamer for one of my rooms and it worked great. For my guest room, I just scored the wall paper, then sprayed it with hot water that I put in a spray bottle. It worked great also. For both the steamer and the spray bottle, I put a towel down on the floor to soak up any drips.

  • Mimi Haywood
    on Mar 30, 2015

    Spray bottle, fill with hot water and vinegar.

  • Deb Gallagher
    on May 5, 2015

    On HGTV I have seen them use a hot water and fabric softener mixture in a spray bottle. However they've also rented the steamer. When I had to do that job in my parent's new home (43 yrs. ago), I used the stem iron!!

  • Tracy B
    on Jul 5, 2015

    The best thing I've found is cheapo fabric softener & water - more fabric softener than water. If you're looking for how much of each, you'll need to experiment. Score the wallpaper (a Paper Tiger is a great tool). Wipe on your softener & water mixture. Have a cup of coffee. Return to the wallpaper and it should just peel off in one sheet.

  • BootzB
    on Jul 7, 2015

    I used fabric softener... the cheapest I could find!... and water. Just mix water and fabric softener @ a 1:1 ratio in a spray bottle, It's magic! Begin at a seam or corner... Just spray it on, leave for 10 minutes, then scrape, comes right off w/o much work! (Don't really need one of those wallpaper gadgets that gouges up the wall... except on really stubborn spots)

  • Linda
    on Jul 7, 2015

    DIF wallpaper stripper. wallpaper puncture tool and a single sided razor blade. work in 2 ft. x 2 ft. sections.

  • Sharon
    on Jul 8, 2015

    I tried all of the self help ideas--finally had to rent a steamer at Home Depot It was so worth the rental fee!! One person to hold the steamer & one to do the scraping!!

  • Mimi Haywood
    on Jul 8, 2015

    I owned a wallpaper service when I was younger and learned that wallpaper was very much like people, everyone had a different personality all it's own and had to be responded to in a different way, but most I could use hot water in a sprayer, saturate and pull off in strips, some required the use of a flat knife or spatula and some were a nightmare to remove and you do not know what you are dealing with until you start. Good Luck.

  • Sherry Allison
    on Jul 8, 2015

    Use DIF, all u do is lightly score paper spray on DIF gel wallpaper stripper by ZINSSER. IT IS AWESOME. Doesn't fall off but comes off easily.

  • Johnchip
    on Nov 18, 2015

    The concept is you need to 'loosen the glue' by melting it back to liquid form then it will separate the two surfaces, you have two papers glued together wallpaper/and wallboard paper coating. All will depend on the product and the adhesives and how well it was installed. If it was DIY, you are in trouble, most homeowners it was their first shot and did it wrong with not prepping wallboard well enough first. If that is the case, you will loose paper off the surface of the drywall, for sure. I would for sure if it is a large area avoid the chemical solutions, it will become very expensive. Steamer/hot water will be your best bet. Very messy, but will eventually work well.

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