How do you remove painted vinyl wallpaper?

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Many walls in this 80's home are covered with a rubbery textured and painted wallpaper. How can we remove it without damaging the wallboard?
  11 answers
  • Karla Smith Karla Smith on Apr 28, 2015
    Wipe a mixture of fabric softener and water over the entire piece of wall paper and wait. It will loosen it and most of the time you just peel it off.
    • Irish53 Irish53 on Apr 29, 2015
      @Karla Smith Yes I saw rehab addict Nicole use fabric softener on her show. Makes the house smell good too.
  • Anne Anne on Apr 29, 2015
    MIXTURE OF HOT WATER,VINGER,ADD TO A SPRAY BOTTLE,THEN SPRAY ON WALL. THEN LET SIT FOR A FEW MINUTES ,WHILE YOU TURN ON YOUR SHOWER TO CREATE MORE STEAM. THEN START A SECTION IN A CORNER , WITH YOUR SCRAPER SLOWER CHECK TO SEE IF LOOSE, OR SOFT. IF IT ISN'T THEN SPRAY AGAIN ... IF THE MIXTURE HAS GOTTEN COLD ,POUR IN A CUP HEAT IN THE MICROWAVE .
  • Carolyn Carolyn on Apr 29, 2015
    Karla has the same suggestion I have used; but, I wish you luck; not a fun project. I'd maybe rent a steamer if a larger room.
  • Nancy Stein Nancy Stein on Apr 29, 2015
    I have found that using fabric softener mixed with water in a spray bottle works best. Score the paper, spray with the mixture - let it sit for a few minutes. Then peel it off. Sometimes, just the "top " paper will come off, leaving behind the layer that is actually stuck to the wall. Simply spray again, let it sit, and it should come off easily. I have removed lots of wall paper, and this is the best, fastest way I have found. It helps if the water is hot - not boiling, just hot. Good Luck!
  • Jea1141438 Jea1141438 on Apr 29, 2015
    Sounds like a solid vinyl either paperback or cloth backed. You need to try to pull down from the top or the side at the seams, if the walls were not properly prepared you will have damaged walls . Go for it and hope for the best. After removing the wallcovering you will now need to remove the paste,this is a messy job so cover you floors and roll towels and place next to baseboards. Use a 5 gallon bucket, very hot water applied with a paint roller and frame with detention handle. Roll from top down to avoid getting to much water on the covered surface. This will soften the paste. Then use a 4-6 inch putty knife to scrap the paste off and into a receptacle that will enable you to scrape the paste into it. After this process you will need to scrub the residue with clean water. There are two types of paste that you may be dealing with. One will be grainy the other is hard... I hope it isn't the hard because it is more difficult to remove and if this is the case you will need those scrubbers with a handle and attached to it is a textured product like a heavy duty scotch pad. May the power of the force be with you. I hope you have help. The previous advice you received will not do any good if it is a solid vinyl wallcovering you are dealing with. First do as I advised to determine the type. You can remove a electrical receptacle cover and pull a piece off there fairly easy to see the type you will be dealing with. Water will not penetrate a solid vinyl!!! You must remove the top to remove the paste.
  • Deborah manning Deborah manning on Apr 29, 2015
    I use a pump garden sprayer for the hot water source. The rental wall paper steamers are great...if you can get one.
  • Phillip Williams Phillip Williams on Apr 29, 2015
    I agree with jeaniearrison38. This is apparently a vinyl product that will not respond to applied liquids because it is waterproof... Peel it of and then use the glue softeners if needed.
  • Cydra Cydra on Apr 29, 2015
    You must puncture the vinyl to reach the glue underneath. Buy paper tiger at local paint store and roll over the vinyl. It puts tiny holes in the paper. Then apply hot water or stripper to the walls. Wait for the water or stripper to soften the glue. You may be able to pull the vinyl right off leaving the paper backing. Use hot water again and the paper backing should scrape right off.
  • Melly Melly on Apr 29, 2015
    I agree with Cydra. You'll need to run a paper tiger over and over the vinyl wallpaper so that your remover liquid can penetrate.
  • Lindcurt Lindcurt on Apr 29, 2015
    We had a bedroom with several layers of wallpaper and paint. At least 4. The top 3 came off with hot water and a scraper but the 4th layer was on unprimed wall board from the 40"s. It was not going to come off without the wall board paper. So I decided that I would just "mud" over the paper. I used a little extra water in some sheetrock mud and started to trowel it on. In about 20 minutes that 4th layer of paper started to bubble. What a pleasant surprise. A quick scrape with the putty knife & wash down and we were soon ready to paint. May not work on all types of paper but if a paper backing is left after pulling off the vinyl this is certainly worth a try.
  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Jun 05, 2015
    Is it starting to peel at all? If so, take one corner and try to pull down. The glue may be dry enough to release the weight of the vinyl. then you may be left with glue, which you can soften with hot water and a scraper. Otherwise, I don't know. We had one wall in another house that had vinyl wallpaper and we painted over it. That was abut 20 years. We still own the house and we still can't tell there is paint underneath the wallpaper. Good luck.