Asked on Mar 30, 2017

How to cover up a wall that has wallpaper that won't come off?

by Treasa
Tried to remove the wall paper from my bedroom wall, but it all won't come off and it's damaging the drywall. Any ideas of how to cover this up without removing the remaining wallpaper?
  9 answers
  • William William on Mar 30, 2017

    Obviously the wall wasn't prepped correctly. Probably the wallpaper was hung without sizing or primer. Patch the damaged areas with drywall patching compound. Sand any rough areas to smooth and feather out the spots. Prime with a stain blocking primer like Zinsser 123 then paint with your color.

  • BabyBoomerSC BabyBoomerSC on Mar 30, 2017

    I'd try painting with Kilz primer first and see if that gives your walls a good coat to start with. You can then paint your walls and I'd choose a paint with a primer and paint in one product.

  • Phil Day Phil Day on Mar 31, 2017

    did you try a wagner steamer? they are about 50bucks at home depot. I struggled to get the wallpaper off and steaming it off was the only way., s you can get the top layer peeled first. Once I steamed it literally dripped off.

  • Cat Shopwell Cat Shopwell on Apr 22, 2017

    Try using a garden sprayer filled with HOT 50/50 water and vinegar. Let it sit for about 3 minutes and it should come off much more easily without damaging your walls.

  • Cha9441623 Cha9441623 on Apr 23, 2017

    I was a professional paperhanger for 30 years and never heard of a wallpaper that "won't come off." I think your patience is short when trying to do the removal. First thing to do is to figure out what kind of paper it is. If its been up for say more than 50 years, it is probably real paper and should come down when applying plain hot water with a spray bottle or garden sprayer (be sure to clean it out completely first) or roll the water on as if you were painting. (this is a sloppy method but works). No matter what way you choose, be sure to protect your floors with tarps and plastic that is taped to the baseboard. In all cases, apply several coats of the water to really saturate the paper. The next method is for a "paper backed" vinyl wallcovering: First, try to find a spot where you can peel the face of the paper off the backing paper. This part if easy if you find the edge. After peeling the face of the paper, then saturate the paper backing that is left and scrape off with your spackle blade. If your patience runs out, you can ask your local paint store for the name of a professional who will remove it for you. They will give you an estimate of cost first. Good luck!

    • See 1 previous
    • Regina Anne Regina Anne on Aug 01, 2019

      Going through the same thing, I have tried every know suggestion and I am just peeling off or damaging the drywall. Handyman didn't believe me and he tried to remove it. Same thing. Second a painter, he couldnt get it off. So I am skim coating damaged areas and sanding. No one primed these walls.

  • Susan Hislop Susan Hislop on Apr 24, 2017

    i have had clients who would rather paint over wallpaper ( Zinzer 123) than try to remove it. You can then faux over that-I did a tissue paper finish and then glazed over it. All seems we're hidden.

  • Knt9100371 Knt9100371 on Apr 26, 2017

    i agree with tissue paper---it is pretty & will cover the bad spots

  • Laura Pidduck-Zappetti Laura Pidduck-Zappetti on Apr 26, 2017

    I have the same problem with a fabric type wallpaper that won't come off our rec room wall!! and my husband who is in home renovations said he'd have to replace the drywall because it probably wasn't installed correctly and has been there forever!! it just won't come off!! and because it's textured painting it seems pointless. you have rented a steamer from home depot and that helped with other wall paper in the house but not the rec room

    I like the painting over it idea!

  • Roanne Roanne on Apr 26, 2017

    Cover it with paneling.