How do you remove old wallpaper?

What is the easiest way to get layers and layers of old wall paper off walls of a inside a old house that I want to paint the walls to look nice? Thanks!
  14 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 04, 2017

  • Marsha Stauss Marsha Stauss on Jan 05, 2017
    Warm water and fabric softener works well. 1 Tbles. liquid fabric softener and 1 cup hot water. Place mixture in spray bottle. Spray wall paper, let set 3-5 minutes and using a putty knife pull paper off in large pieces.
    Did this in an old house that a friend was redoing and it worked great.

  • Teresa Spengler Teresa Spengler on Jan 08, 2017
    Thank you I will have to try that.

  • Elizabeth Allen Laney Elizabeth Allen Laney on Jan 12, 2017
    Rent a wall paper steamer. Fastest and easiest. I've tried lots of other methods and always end up getting frustrated and renting the steamer.

  • Lindcurt Lindcurt on Jan 21, 2017
    The wallpaper steamer works best for layers and layers of paper. Scraping is involved but the glue is loosened so much more efficiently with a steamer.
    When you get to the last layer of paper and it is stuck tight to sheet rock, it has most likely not been sealed before applying the wallpaper. A trick I learned - by acciddent - is to apply a fairly loose mix of sheet rock mud and wait about 15 minutes. The paper bubbles up and can be scraped off with much more ease. Getting this last layer of paper too wet usually results in the sheet rock paper being torn up too.

  • Ella Frierson Bond Ella Frierson Bond on Jan 22, 2017
    I use warm water. Put scratch trough top layer or two. Wet . I have never torn the sheet rock.

  • HausDoctor HausDoctor on Jan 23, 2017
    just rent a steamer, works great and without frustration!

  • Trish Trish on Jan 23, 2017
    I have moved into a older home with wall paper over paneling. Would these ideas work as well?

  • Patti Patti on Jan 24, 2017
    All the above ideas are good. The most important point in removing old wallpaper is removing the vinyl layer if you have one and SOAKING the front and backing with warm water in a spray bottle or steamer(find an edge and rip to get to the backing). Both work great. Let the SOAKED wallpaper sit for 15 minutes or so then scrape. It should come off easily. Keep spraying as you scrape. I have never hurt a wall yet - panelling or drywall.

  • Louise James Louise James on Jan 26, 2017
    If you have lots of layers to remove, you may want to get a scratching tool to rough up the surface and allow your liquid mixture to penetrate -any hardware store will have one :)

  • Joan Joan on Feb 04, 2017
    Hot water in a spray bottle! Spray about 3 panels of the paper, wait 30 minutes, come back and do it two more times (30 minutes twice), and spray one more time and start to peel the paper FROM THE BOTTOM UP using short jerks. The paper should come right off. If it starts to tear, spray the torn edges with more hot water, use your fingernail to pick up the edge, and peel UP.

    The glue will still be there. Take a broom, dip it in a hot bucket of water and wet the walls which will break up the glue. Then wash the walls down with Dawn or Mr. Clean until the glue comes off, and rinse with a final wash of clean warm water.

    I did 3 rooms this way. This will take time as any wallpaper removal takes but it costs you NOTHING and IT WORKS! Don't scrape, use that scratching tool, or rent anything!

  • Mary Gendron Mary Gendron on Feb 12, 2017
    You say it's an old house. How Old? The last house we removed wall paper from, was an older house. The walls underneath were plaster on wood lathes. Meaning if you want to paint the wall, you may run into the problem of some of the wall no longer being attached to the lathes. How they did it is, small boards were attached horizontally to the 2x4s. with spaces between.. Then they plastered it, forcing the plaster between the lathes. Thus attaching the plaster to the wall. Then letting it dry. In an old house, sometimes the plaster between the lathes break off and you end up with sections of the wall "floating". If it's a small area it's not too bad, but if it's a large area, the wall may come tumbling down. Then your stuk with a major clean up and repair. Quite possibly the whole wall. Be careful what you wish for......

  • Lovesunique Lovesunique on Feb 19, 2017
    I used a steamer to get the glue off. I had wallpaper that was like canvass and it just peeled right off. The glue was a real problem for me. I went over the walls twice with the steamer sluicing off horrible amounts of glue (first attempt the glue was thick like cookie dough). Horrible experience. Be sure all glue is removed before painting and prime over patches. Using paint with primer added does not work.