How To Remove Wallpaper


Have you ever tried removing old wallpaper? This must be the most frustrating, simple remodeling task ever. Unless, of course, you don’t know the best methods. That’s what this post is about.

Buyer Beware For Wallpaper Removing Products

It can be overwhelming to view all the products available for removing wallpaper at your local home center. There are products and tools that claim to make the job simple and painless. Some of them work… the majority don’t!

Wallpaper Characteristics

Before you begin, you need to understand a few things about wallpaper:

Newer Vinyl Wallpaper

A newer wallpaper is designed to be removable thanks to its vinyl outer layer. The product is marketed as “strippable”. Easy to say, harder to do!

Old Style Wallpaper

Older wallpaper has a paper outer layer and adheres to the wall like paint. Naturally, you would prefer to paint over it immediately without removing it, but please do not do that! The result will be disastrous.

Hard To Identify Which Type Of Wallpaper

When it comes to removing wallpaper, most of the products I have tried have failed. They will only work on older wallpapers with paper outer layers. There’s just one problem… sometimes it’s really hard to tell what it is.

Be Cautious Liquid Solutions

Since these products are liquid solutions, they must penetrate the surface in order to loosen the glue underneath. A vinyl layer of wallpaper will not allow the solution to penetrate enough to actually loosen the glue.

The scoring and perforating tool is needed if you have vinyl wallpaper (paper too). Wallpaper scoring tools are small, fit in your hands, and deliver a bit of exercise while you use them. Having said that, if you have a large job you might be better off using the larger perforating tool.

The Best Process For Removing Wallpaper

The Option For Small Jobs

The first step is to score the wallpaper. A wallpaper scoring tool makes tons of tiny holes in wallpaper by puncturing it with four wheels like teeth that rotate as you swivel them. It is about $10.

The tool fits comfortably in your hand, but since you must cover the entire wall with holes, you could end up with some sore arms.

The Option For Larger Jobs

With the larger wallpaper perforator, you will be able to cover more area in less time. It’s much faster than the scoring tool, but it still does the same thing. The cost is about $20.

Scraper Or Steamer?

You’re ready to move on to the next step once your wallpaper has holes. With a paint scraper and spray solution, you can try to scrape off the wallpaper… or you can rent (or purchase) a wallpaper steamer.

The choice is really easy… The best way to remove wallpaper is with a steamer remover! Purchasing liquid solutions and spray bottles will cost you at least $20, so save yourself a heap of heartache and just go straight for something like a Wagner wallpaper steamer remover for a few dollars more. How valuable is your time after all? Purchasing a steamer over a liquid wallpaper remover will save you time and money when you are removing wallpaper from anything more than a small section.

It’s practically a breeze once you get the steamer to work. Even if there are a few stubborn sections that require a scraper, you’ll cut your time dramatically, allowing you to spend more time on things that you love. And it’s a bit hard to love the process of removing old wallpaper – although it is very satisfying once it’s completed.

Hope this helps you get the job done.

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