How to remove wallpaper border that has been painted over

Gary Leeman
by Gary Leeman
We bought an older house that the previous owners had painted over an embossed wallpaper border. Can I get this border off now. The pattern shows up completely through the paint

  9 answers
  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Oct 05, 2017

    Start in a corner or a seam of the wallpaper border. See if you can warm it up enough with a hair dryer to get some of the seam will loosen enough to get it started. Once you get it off, sand the edge of the paint to smooth it to eliminate the edge left. You should be able to get it smooth enough to paint without the wallpaper area showing. If you think it will show anyway, put a coat of paint on the area before you paint the whole wall.

  • NickiB NickiB on Oct 05, 2017

    Water water water!😊 no wacky mixtures needed😄 Sand over the paint to rough it up, then spray with water to get the wall paper moist and keep misting it until you can pull it loose. Anywhere it catches spray more water on it give it a minute to soak in and then GENTLY scrape it off with a metal scraper. I say gently because you don't want to leave gouges the wall that will need fixed. My husband is a professional painter and this is his advice. Best of luck!!!

  • Pamela Lovins Pamela Lovins on Oct 10, 2017

    Use 1 part water and 1 part fabric softer, spray on area, wait a few minutes, paper will begin pulling loose, you will not need any power tools, I once used this to paint a 11 room farm house that had been wall papered through out.

  • Karen Krysowaty Karen Krysowaty on Oct 10, 2017

    use the wallpaper tool which you use to scribe holes in the paper, then spray with a mixture of water and clothes fabric softener and let it sit and then start scraping

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 24, 2023

    You could Try Steaming it off or Scraping at it or scoreing it and use Soapy water to try to soften it up.

  • Deb K Deb K on Jun 10, 2023

    Hi Gary, you should be able to remove this border. apply high heat from a wallpaper steamer or heat gun (a hairdryer may work in a pinch). Once the border's been heated enough to melt the glue, use your scraper to peel it back.

  • I would rent a steamer.

  • Mogie Mogie on Feb 06, 2024

    Another option is to use a stripping solution, like warm water, liquid fabric softener and water, apple cider vinegar and water, or a commercial wallpaper stripper. This method requires scoring the wallpaper border and soaking it with the stripping solution, then using a paint scraper to peel it off the wall.