How do you remove wallpaper?

by Debbera
Wallpaper has been on the wall for 17 years, it's time to refresh with paint. How do you take the paper down?
This is were the most wear and tear is. I really like the paper but it has to go.
  18 answers
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Apr 11, 2016
    Forget the variety of wallpaper remover products. Buy or borrow a wallpaper steamer. Best thing I ever bought. Make cross-hatch cuts on the paper. Then sponge on hot water to saturate. Keep area wet. Apply the steamer on a section Lift off the paper with a drywall scraper. Finish by wiping down with warm water and vinegar to remove residual traces of glue.
  • Sul2896164 Sul2896164 on Apr 11, 2016
    I bought a small clothes steamer...worked awesome!!!! Cheap and easy to handle!
  • Mpritchard Mpritchard on Apr 11, 2016
    spray bottle mixture of fabric softener and water I... 1/4 softener to water. If your paper is vinyl strip this off first. Bonus your room will smell nice.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Apr 11, 2016
    White vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle should do the trick.
  • Dianna Dianna on Apr 11, 2016
    If it's been up for a long time it will probably come down easy. The easiest cheapest way for us has been rubbing alcohol. Soak the wall paper with it and the good thing is it dries fast and sanitizes the walls at the same time
  • Susieq.ksm Susieq.ksm on Apr 11, 2016
    Cheapest way I know is with a spray bottle of hot water. First get ahold of the outer layer of the paper pull it off usually it comes off eassley then spray the paper backing take a wide spatula after a few minutes and it will scrape away eassly. It is slow going wash down the clean wall with vinaiger water to remove all the glue left on the wall then soap and water. Let it dry and your ready to paint. I have removed a whole house of wall paper this way.
  • Sbsb1005 Sbsb1005 on Apr 11, 2016
    Depends how it was hung. There is an inexpensive tool in the paint department that you rub over the paper - it makes pin holes in the paper without damaging the walls. This allows whatever solution you use to get the paper off to soak through. If the paper has a vinyl coating you definitely need to do this. If it is a more paper consistency it may come off with warm water. Get it wet a section at a time and then use a scraper. If the backing stays on thats ok, just wet it and it will come off easily. After you remove all the paper repeat this over and over - Never again - never again! ; )
  • Jan Loehr Jan Loehr on Apr 11, 2016
    In my experience, the easiest way is to hire a professional to remove this is a backbreaking, messy, exhausting job....and then the wall will probably have to be "re-mudded" to fill in the gouges and uneven scrapes you will undoubtedly leave from trying to remove old paper....I would get some quotes to start....I had my dining room paper removed (which I put up myself) and it was so worth the little bit of money to have a pro take it down, then the room was ready for me to paint.
  • Mer2955898 Mer2955898 on Apr 11, 2016
    I have removed plenty of wallpaper in my many years , I dilute any type of fabric softener with warm water that boarders on hot. About half a cup of softener to two or three cups of water. Mix in pail or spray bottle wet an area of paper let sit a few minutes, scrape off with scraper. Works like a charm. Good luck.
  • Tanner Clark Tanner Clark on Apr 11, 2016
    I swear by using GAIN laundry detergent mixed with water. Turn your heat up and soak the walls I have gotten luky last few jobs and not even had to do more than a minimul scorring with a wallpaper scorer
  • Mary Mary on Apr 11, 2016
    Spray the wall with warm water (add soap, vinegar, whatever works for you), and get out your hair dryer! Works great on the nastiest oldest wallpaper.
  • Cheryl Gyles Cheryl Gyles on Apr 11, 2016
    You can also use a hand steamer, the kind used for getting out wrinkles in clothing. Score the paper with a scoring tool found in any big box hardware store, steam the wallpaper, small sections at a time, then scrape off with a scraper or putty knife.
  • Jackie Bethea Jackie Bethea on Apr 11, 2016
    we just finished taking down the paper in the living room. it is hard work, but we were quoted a price of $800 so we did it ourselves. if there is any sort of vinyl as a component of the paper, it really helps to perforate this to allow the remover to get under. we went to home depot and bought a perforator, a scraper with extra blades and a large economy size bottle of wall paper remover (we already had a spray bottle to apply). they were helpful at the store and i think you will get good advice at any hardware store. just as when you clean, give the remover time to work and your job will be much easier. i did run into trouble removing the vinyl in a bathroom where it had been applied directly to the walls without a coat of paint or primer first. this was a bit more of a problem and i hope this will not be your experience.
  • Ron Ron on Apr 11, 2016
    Rip the outer layer off then use a spray bottle filled with water and spray and scrap the rest off
    • CK CK on Apr 14, 2016
      @Ron I did the same thing to several rooms with old wallpaper (from the 1970's). It worked very well. I simply used hot water mixed with some dish detergent in a spray bottle. Worked like a charm :-) better than wallpaper remover.
  • make sure you score the paper first so the liquid can get behind it and soften the glue. The wallpaper scorer is at the big box stores. They sort of look like a pastry roller thing you make ravioli with.
  • Dixie Mains-Zobal Dixie Mains-Zobal on Apr 12, 2016
    I used a spray bottle with hot water mixed with Downey or fabric softener of your choice. (I just happened to have Downey on hand) I sprayed two sections at a time, then waited about ten minutes. Using a putty knife or scraper, I started at the bottom and it lifted right up.
  • Throwdowne Throwdowne on Apr 13, 2016
    Buy a steamer at Lowes for $50. It worth it. I just took down wallpaper that's been up for 42 years.
  • Pat Croley Pat Croley on Apr 17, 2016
    Not much hope now that you have started removing the paper but if you hadn't you could have just painted over it. Our interior designer did just that in our bathroom and no one is able to tell that we painted over paper. Perfect. There was even a spot that had been messed up and he fixed it with spackle and painted. We love it.