Time-Saving Wallpaper Removal Tip

posted by Andrea | 05/12/2011


Over the past 5 years, I’ve had my fair share of experience removing wallpaper. So it’s probably safe to say I’ve tried just about every removal method out there…and am on the verge of being a “wallpaper removing expert”! In our first house, we {and when I say “we”, I really me “I”} removed wallpaper from the kitchen, dinning room, bathroom, laundry room, bedrooms, and even the garage! Thankfully in our new house, most of the rooms just had a boarder to remove… except one — which was covered with FOUR layers of wallpaper, floor to ceiling!!!! Isn’t it lovely?

The plan for this room was to put wood paneling over the top because I LOVE the look of painted wood paneling {I promise it will look really good — just trust me, I’ve done it before!}. However, when we put the wood paneling up {with glue and very few nails per the instructions} it pulled the top layer of wallpaper off and started pealing away from the wall. NOT GOOD! So we talked to some people and figured out that we would have to take the first layer of wallpaper off {this layer was already pealing away from the wall when we put the paneling up} — and then put the paneling up again. BOO!

{this is after I had about 1/2 the wall finished and realized I should probably take a picture!}

I instantly pictured myself with fabric softener and hot water in one hand and a steamer in the other hand — making a HUGE mess and slowly picking away and little chips of wallpaper. But then, my dad {seriously, of all people} came up with a genius idea that worked like a charm.

He put warm tap water in a 2 gallon pressure sprayer — you know the kind you use to kill weeds in your yard. Then he set the sprayer to spray a fine mist and soaked the wall using the sprayer. It was WAY less messy than a steamer or buckets of hot water, and there were absolutely no chemicals involved…which is always nice. Then once the water was sprayed on, I simply let it sit for about a minute, and then started scraping with my extra large putty knife.

  To my surprise, the paper and glue practically melted right off the wall!

And even though I can’t guarantee similar results for everyone — I did want to share this simple tip because I literally peeled the paper off that entire wall in less than 20 minutes! So unless you’re someone who absolutely loves taking lots of time to strip wallpaper, you might just want to try this idea next time. You could even put some Dif or fabric softener in with the warm water to see if that works better.   OK, so I shared my tip, what are your best wallpaper removing tips?


Filed under: HomeDIY ProjectsRenovations

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  1. painting contractors Denver CO


    There are really different methods that you can do in order to remove your wallpaper easily. being able to identify these things would be a great advantage especially when you will not be using strong chemicals that might be very harmful. reading different kinds of references would be better for you can be able to get lots of ideas that youmcould apply.


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  3. Lisa


    Andrea –

    This is how I always remove wallapaper. 🙂 Yes, DIF in the water works well too! And the key is the hot water. When the water starts to get warm – change it for hot again.

    Warrior MAMA Lisa


  4. klutzymama


    Have you ever had to remove wallpaper that had been painted over? That’s what I have in my bedroom and I’m trying to figure out how to get the best way to get it all off.


    Andrea Reply:

    Hmmmm… wallpaper with paint over top… that’s a tough one!

    We actually did have “painted over” wallpaper in our house, but because of what we wanted to do with the room, we ended up tearing down all the drywall, knocking down walls and then putting up new drywall. And I know our kitchen has painted over wallpaper, but I don’t plan to tackle that for a few more years!!

    I’m assuming that you’ll have to somehow scrap the top layer off with a very sharp putty knife because water will not penetrate the paint. Once you scrap/tear the top layer of paint/paper off, then you can use warm watter to scrap the glue off.

    You could also go to a paint/wallpaper store and ask them for their opinion. Whatever you do, I’m sure it will be a bit of a challenge…but SO worth it in the end!!


  5. Cathy


    I not sure what project to run from more, removing wallpaper or stripping paint. It’s always nice when you can find an “easier” non-toxic solution that works!


  6. Cassie


    I wish I would have known this when we helped my mother in-law scrape wallpaper off her wall! Lol, I’ll remember this if I ever have to do this in the future again. We got lucky, our house doesn’t have wallpaper, just paint that I don’t really care for. 😉


  7. Stacey


    We’ve always just used water in a spray bottle and scraped it off. We only had one putty knife at one point so my DH used that and i used an old scratched up CD and that worked just as well as the knife, lol.


    Andrea Reply:

    Wow an old CD — that’s a new one for me! good to know it worked though 🙂