How can I deal with this 20 + year old wall paper?


The previous owner of this house REALLY believed in big bold patterns AND wall paper. The wall paper is 20+ years old and is in the master bath (pink) and the kitchen and dining room (green ans yes, an additional border on that). It is not my 'taste' but I have lived with it this long because it was in good shape and money is, well, tight. But now, I want it GONE!! Suddenly, it is driving me crazy!

It looks to me... a total amateur, like removing it and painting will be a horrific job. Asking for opinion/solutions. (Hoping someone is going to say, "Oh, no problem!" lol

q how can i deal with this 20 year old wall paper
q how can i deal with this 20 year old wall paper
q how can i deal with this 20 year old wall paper

additional border paper on the wall paper :(

  10 answers
  • on Mar 21, 2019

    You’re on the right track! Peel off that shiny top layer. There will be a

    paper layer left on the wall. Soak that layer with lots of water and let it sit a few minutes. While it’s still wet scrape it off with a plastic scraper. Be careful not to scratch the wall underneath. And done! :)

  • 2dogal 2dogal on Mar 21, 2019

    The job is not horrific if you take it one step at a time, one room at a time. Looking at the whole picture sure can seem overwhelming. Remove the wallpaper, clean and smooth the wall, then paint.

  • Amber Amber on Mar 21, 2019

    If your wallpaper is stuck to the original drywall you will spend Hours and Days trying to remove it! I Hell Hate wall paper for this reason and some others. My solution was to pull off any that was loose, sagging, torn etc. and even the seems, then apply some putty or dry wall over those areas and sand it so it blends with the wallpaper finish. Paint one or two coats of Kiltz depending how much color and pattern you need to cover up. Then paint your desired color 😉. I changed the entire look of my kitchen walls in two different houses and you could not tell it was wallpaper under the paint. I even added a chair rail. Wish I still had the pics so you can see what I did. Try one wall and see if this may work for you. I hope this helps you.

  • Grace Gleason Grace Gleason on Mar 21, 2019

    If it is paper wallpaper, get some wallpaper remover and follow the directions. It was great looking once, but not now!

  • Dee Dee on Mar 21, 2019

    Rent a steamer that is specifically made for removing wallpaper (at any place that rents tools) . Last time I rented one it was about $20 a day . I've tried it all and this was the simplest.

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Mar 21, 2019

    If it has a vinyl surface, peel off whatever is loose. Get a wallpaper scoring tool at Home Depot and run it all over the paper a zillion times to make holes through it. Use DIF concentrate wallpaper remover. Get a garden pump sprayer (HD about $10) and mix DIF with HOT water, only as much as you will use at one time. Spray liberally after covering your flooring well.

    Let sit recommended time and test if the paper is coming off in big strips. If not, let sit a bit longer (may need a bit more DIF too). Use a wide scraper and scrape off paper and put into garbage can lined with plastic garbage bag.

    Wash walls after a light spray of more DIF and rinse sponge regularly until no more glue is on the walls. Make any needed repairs, sand repairs, prime repairs, and finally new paint!

    Easy but obnoxious job.

  • Cindy Rubin Cindy Rubin on Mar 22, 2019

    Thanks everyone! When I finish redoing my Dad's house (no wall paper, Thank God); I will start on my intimidating walls.

  • Joan Joan on Mar 25, 2019

    I used fabric softener and water mixture to remove wallpaper before. Mix 2parts softener to 1 part water put in spray bottle and soak the wallpaper good. Let it set an hour or do then start periling off. Sometimes it starts coming off on its own after it has sit awhile.

  • Krafty Mrs.K Krafty Mrs.K on Mar 26, 2019

    Oh It is a big problem but SOOOO worth it.

    I scraped off 2-3 layers in 3 rooms in our house. tried all sorts of special sprays , vinegar and water ETC but found the key was letting it really soak in before scraping. That gel stuff work better by keeping it wet longer but warm water works too if you are patient. That bit of paper that won't budge will bubble up as soon as you try to paint over it. Roll on texture with a texture roller and lightly knock it down with a trowel or scraper. That joint or texture compound will drink paint some plan for 2 coats.

    Go for it and good Luck.

  • Shanna Shanna on Mar 27, 2019

    I worked in a wallpaper store for years, so I will tell you what we told our customers.1.wallpaper remover!! 2. Score the paper before applying remover/or steaming. 3. Make sure walls are decent before you give it a go. If it doesn't, try steaming, although it can more disastrous on walls, so be extra careful. If all else fails, prime it to death and paint over it. I hear paneling is making a comeback  .