I have wallpaper in a bedroom that is very hard to remove. I have tried scraping, wetting it with water but only manage to remove 1 inch at a time. This will take forever. Any advice?
Hi, You can buy wallpaper remover at your local home improvement store, or you can buy some cheap fabric softener, pour a couple capfuls into HOT HOT water, (wear rubber gloves). Using a sponge or a cloth, wet it and with it sopping wet, place it on the wallpaper to remove. Let it sit for a minute, then use a scraper to scrape it off. It works best if you score the wallpaper first. I tried that once and it worked like a charm! Good Luck! Kari (11/22/2004)
If you score the wall paper first (I used a utility knife and gently cut all over the surface- you don't want to cut the wall, just the paper) and then wet it really well (I used warm water and vinegar- about 1/2 and 1/2) and let it sit for a bit it will come off. I used a scored the wall, and then used a spray bottle and wet a small area working from the top of the wall down. I let it sit for about 10 minutes and then sprayed again and let it sit for another couple of minutes and then scraped and pulled. It is a lot of work no matter what. This is the cheapest way to do it, and I have used the commercial wallpaper removers with no more success than water and vinegar. (11/23/2004)
Try ultra fabric softner mixed with water in a spray bottle, it works. (11/23/2004)
You can also purchase (or borrow?) a wallpaper steamer. It looks a bit like a small canister vacuum cleaner, except instead of sucking in, it spews out steam. At the end of the hose is a large flat square/rectangular head that you hold against the wall to steam and soften the wallpaper, and it really does just peel off if you let the steam work for a few minutes. As Kelly said, removing wallpaper is a lot of work no matter what method you use. But steaming is certainly much faster than the "inch at a time" results you've been getting up 'till now! :-) (11/23/2004)
Try a "paper tiger" scoring tool specifically for wallpaper. You can find them inexpensively in the paint/wall border area in places like Wal-mart. After you have scored the wallpaper and have tiny holes in the paper, then spray a mix of 1/2 fabric softener and 1/2 water on the walls. Let this mix penetrate, and the wallpaper should be easier to remove, since the mix has now gone through to the adhesive side of the paper. Good luck! (11/23/2004)
Home Depot has a roller tool (wheel) that makes small cuts in the wallpaper. Use Fleecy Fabric Softener mixed with water to soak wallpaper. Makes it much easier to remove.
By Pat Timkew
You can rent the steam cleaner for wall paper removal from rental stores. It is very messy so you place towels at base of wall to absorb water, but it works much better than scoring and scraping. We removed 5 layers of wallpaper from a HUD house we bought for our daughter. When I have used the scorers, I have damaged the wallboard.Have several helpers, so when one gets tired arms a new person can steam; to get maximum time use of the rental unit. (11/28/2004)
You can remove wallpaper by using a mixture of vinegar and very warm water. Mix 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 water. I also agree on scoring it with a tool from the store to speed the process. Let it take time to soak and only do an area of about 3x3 feet. It is time consuming but worth it. Have fun! (01/14/2005)
Ok guys, this is a must try, DIF SPRAY GEL..zinsser.I only used it for border, but I never had to score. Just sprayed it let for 20 minutes. Came off like a dream (the border was really on there too). Hope this helps. (08/06/2005)
The last time we tried to remove wallpaper from our home we ended up having to re-drywall the room. Evidently the walls were not primed before the paper was placed. For a quick fix do you know if I paint the walls now if this will make the wallpaper removal more difficult when we attempt in another room? (07/22/2006)
I'm in the process of removing 4 layers of stubborn wallpaper in our kitchen (plaster walls). I tried Dif, I used the scoring tool, I used home recipes, all of which caused me to seek psychiatric help.
I finally decided to buy a steamer - Wagner - Amazon.com (home depot has the same one) for about $60. BEST MONEY I EVER SPENT... fired that bad boy up and it took off layer and layer very quickly. Not magically quick, but close. My recommendation - don't mess around with other stuff - break down, get the steamer, just be careful on drywall, it emits a lot of steam when turns to water as it cools. Good luck! (11/07/2006)
I hate wallpaper! (02/06/2007)
I've heard fabric softener makes the best wallpaper remover. I've seen someone use it on TV. The wallpaper came down in big sheets. You have to score the paper first so the solution can soak into the paper backing. They sell a spikey wallpaper brush to do this. I forget what it's called.
I've personally used a strong vinegar and water solution from a spray bottle in like manner. It works pretty well, but the paper came down in small, annoying pieces. (02/06/2007)
Fabric softener (Lenor but next time the cheapest bargain stuff I can find) in warm water, wiped on. Score using sharp knife (kitchen drawer), wipe again. hey presto (04/01/2007)
I've used hot water, warm water with fabric softener, and the DIF products (paper tiger, scraper, and solutions). None of them have worked on the paper I have - a foil-topped paper...About an inch at at time is all I can remove - at this rate I'll have it down by the time we want to sell our house in 10 years!
Will try the steamer - Here's hoping!!! (05/30/2007)
I used DIF and two different scorers and no luck yet! Help?! I'll try the fabric softener and steamer! Any other advice? (08/07/2007)
Thanks to the advice on this site I have saved what little sanity I have left after trying to use DIF to remove my VERY stubborn wallpaper border. I scored the paper with the Paper Tiger as mentioned above, then I used hot water and fabric softener (i just soaked about 6 sheets of Bounce in hot water in a pail) and soaked the wallpaper very well (keep it wet while removing) and it came off fine. To do the entire border will probably take a weekend, but it's much better than using any commercial wallpaper remover! THANK YOU FOR THE ADVICE! (08/19/2007)
I used a paste made of artichokes with a little olive oil, butter and garlic on toasted ciabatta bread.....but that isn't to remove wallpaper. It is to sit in the next room and watch the football game. The best device EVER invented to remove stubborn wallpaper is a resourceful wife, who knows where HER bread is buttered. JUST KIDDING. The vinegar thing works great. (09/13/2007)
By tuff stuff
After trying fabric softeners, TSP solutions, paper tigers and scoring on a small section of wall with wallpaper with a water resistant top layer (some kind of metal foil) with no success, I finally removed it by using a small hand wood planer (about $20). I set the blade to a very shallow setting (simple turn of screw) as you would if you were wanting to shave wood very thinly. The paper came off in nice long strips leaving only a few strips of the thin lower layer (looked like a brown paper bag roughened up). This layer was very water soluble and came off by simply wetting it and then peeling it off. Previously it was taking me about 1/2 hour of exhausting scraping to strip off 6 square inches, but with the wood plane method I finished the whole wall in a few hours. You may make a couple of gouges in the plaster below if you slip, but these can be easily patched with some ready mixed plaster or stucco. Hope this works for you, I was dancing with joy when I figured it out. (03/12/2008)
I've tried a lot of different things to remove wallpaper. If it was prepasted when it went up, the thing that works best is a spray bottle with warm soapy water. Soak the are a you want to remove, leave for a couple of minutes then use a paint scraper to remove. Works well! (03/12/2008)
Roger, you are a genius! Your wallpaper planing method has spared my husband and I hours of grueling work! We tried everything as well and nothing would work on our border paper with a plastic layer on top. We are dancing for joy as we have finished an entire room in about 2 hours. Unfortunately, the paper was stuck so badly to the wall that we have to retexture. But, it's a small price to pay to get rid of hideous ball sports paper! (06/14/2008)
We moved into a house that every room, bathroom, kitchen and even garage had wallpaper in. It took us about a month just to remove half the wallpaper, our room and bathroom we are having problems with, its like a thin plastic, we used the GIF and the roller with pins to make little holes but you have to put the gif on at least 3 times before even a tiny piece comes off.. i also rented a machine for wallpaper removal but after spending about 2 hours and not even getting a quarter meter off i gave up... HELP (08/15/2008)
This is all fine for most situations, but we have removed the "finish" layer and now what remains is a hard, gritty surface that is IMPERVIOUS to all of the above, except maybe sandpaper. Someone please tell me there's another way! (09/16/2008)
After removing wallpaper (with a steamer) that was pasted directed to the gray side of drywall without any sizing or prep. coat., I am left with 5000 small "hanging chads" of gray paper that makes up the dry wall for 2/3 of room. On the other 1/3 I have yellow glue deposits. What is the next step. Some one told me to shave the hanging chads (about 40 hours work) and then apply plaster, wipe immediately with a sponge to level and then repeat as necessary. Is there another way to remove the chad quickly? (blow torch?) Help! (10/02/2008)
Have you tried hair conditioner in hot water, spraying a tiny section at a time. It works great also use a chisel. It's great. (11/06/2008)
By scott banks.
40 year old wallpaper covered by 10 year old wallpaper was quite a project. First I peeled off the top layer of wallpaper. Then I used wallpaper remover called WP Chomp. It did ok but I found that once I got to the tougher stuff underneath, I had to use 1 part cheap hair conditioner to 2 or 3 parts very warm water. This seemed to work better than my previous idea of fabric softener and warm water. I had to reapply the concoction when it started to dry. The key is to soak the wallpaper AND adhesive backing down to the dry wall so it comes loose easily. I still had to use a scraper (actually an 8 inch drywall scraper) to take every bit of it off. Warm water is important, think how hard it is to rinse off in the shower with cold water vs warm water. Hope my 2 cents help you all out! (12/19/2008)
My bathroom has, I don't know how many, layers of wallpaper and several layers of cigarette smoke. I was thinking of using the fabric softener method but I don't think it will penetrate. Should I maybe try the vinegar method...
I really don't have the time to make this an expensive and time consuming project but it needs to be done. I have a tool for scoring and scraping. HELP!
I tore a corner of the wallpaper up and there is yellow, fuzzy backing behind it. I was told that the wall was prepped prior to putting the paper on in the first place. Where do I start...?? (01/03/2009)
Wallpaper removal is generally tough, unless the wall was prepped perfectly before the paper was put up.
I have found that using the hottest water possible along with a stripping solution works best. If you can, borrow or rent a wallpaper steamer that also works well.
Roger, You may be a genius or at least a sanity saver. We tried the wood planer after exhausting all other methods. We have removed a lot of wallpaper, and never had so much trouble. The first layer of wallpaper evidently had been painted over and we could not get the solution to penetrate even after using the tiger. The plane method worked great. Now wallpaper doesn't scare us anymore, although I hope I don't have to do it again! (02/09/2009)
I tried ALL of these methods and still have stubborn wallpaper on the walls! (02/12/2009)
I hate border! The best method is to NEVER have it in the the first place. We have Winnie the Pooh border (from previous owner) in one of our rooms and I have been scraping Pooh off the walls for hours. I have tried every method here and purchased 4 different products from a home improvement store and nothing is working. I am seriously considering knocking down the walls and starting over. I have taken wallpaper down before, I think this stuff was put on with Super glue. Good Luck! (02/14/2009)
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