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Removing Wallpaper Glue from Walls

Category Walls
When preparing a wall for painting or new wall paper, it's important to have it clean and smooth. This guide is about removing wallpaper glue from walls.


Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

February 26, 20102 found this helpful

To get the rest of the glue off the walls after removing wall paper try saturating wall with cheap liquid fabric softener; the cheaper the better. Let it soak in for at least 1/2 hour than scrape off with plastic spatula. It does the trick very well.

By Sandy from Nova Scotia

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

April 23, 20106 found this helpful

After spending three days using fabric softener, scrapers, vinegar and water to get wallpaper paste off of the dry wall, a lightbulb went off in my head. I got my bottle of Krudkutter and sprayed it on the glue full strength. Lo and behold, it washed right off with a wet washrag. I could have saved myself two whole days.


You can buy it at Lowe's for $12.99 a gallon. I also clean carpets with it, pre-soak my white lace valances in it (takes all of the gold out from the gas furnace), and just finished cleaning the grout in my tile floor with it. Hope I'm smart enough to think of it first the next time I go to do something

By Sally from Zanesville, Ohio

Answer Was this helpful? 6
September 3, 20100 found this helpful

How about vinegar and water? Like half and half. Spray it on and let it set a few minutes. Use an old credit card to scrap away any residue left. Cover up wooden base boards, and floors so they don't get soaked. Good luck.

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July 28, 20160 found this helpful

I'm going to try this but it's not at Lowe's. I could only find it at Home Depot. They told me it could remove paint also; I'm hoping I don't encounter that situation.

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January 28, 20170 found this helpful

I went to Lowe's and got the krud kutter and you're right it does work great. I had a scrubber with a handle on it on the back not one of the long handles. Put the rag over that. You use a little elbow grease and it works great. Thanks for the information.

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0 found this helpful
August 20, 2015

What is the quickest way to remove wallpaper adhesive from plastered walls?

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August 21, 20150 found this helpful

I used a commercial product to remove the wallpaper, and then sprayed the adhesive with water and scraped with a spatula that is used to apply plaster. Then I had to wash the remainder off the wall. It was a bit of a pain, but not difficult. I do not know if there is a better way, or if a steamer to remove the paper would take off more of the glue.

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0 found this helpful
April 21, 2011

I would like to know what to use to get old wallpaper paste off a wall so I can paint and put up new wallpaper border. Thanks.

By Susan from Fort Scott, KS

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April 22, 20110 found this helpful


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April 22, 20110 found this helpful

Do you get sugar soap in the US?

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April 23, 20110 found this helpful

I have had no problem with this if I use a scratchy pad. You can get them at the dollar store for approximately 5 in a pack. Use warm water with a lot of fabric softener in it. Then rinse with vinegar water.

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July 4, 20130 found this helpful

How do I prepare walls prior to painting, after removing wallpaper?

By Kitty

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September 8, 20150 found this helpful

Use sugar soap to clean your walls

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0 found this helpful
January 12, 2011

My son has drywall with wall paper on it and whoever put it up got glue on it and it has dried and won't come off. How do we get the glue off the wallpaper? Thanks.

By opalI from Gallipolis, OH

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January 13, 20110 found this helpful

Are you trying to remove wallpaper glue from the front of the wallpaper? Or are you trying to remove the wallpaper from the drywall? Or is this some other kind of glue on the wallpaper? Please clarify, and then you will likely get some advice.

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0 found this helpful
March 1, 2010

I removed wallpaper from a raw plaster wall. I want to wash the old glue out of the pores of the plaster before I seal, prime, and paint. What solution is best to wash down the walls to ensure the glue is all gone?

By Mary from Norfolk, VA

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March 3, 20100 found this helpful

Not sure why you are worried about getting the glue out of the pores of the plaster your sealer should take care of it. if the glue is rough and you want a smooth finish then it is a problem. Depending on the finish you are looking for, whether smooth or textured would determine your next step. If you are wanting a smooth finish you are going to need to either sand down what you have or apply a thin layer of mud to make a smooth or textured finish. Then seal, prime and paint.

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July 6, 20130 found this helpful

I scored the wall paper as usual. Sprayed two sheets with vinegar and warm water. Starting from the top I quickly realized that about an inch from the ceiling there had been a heavy type glue brushed thinly on the wall. The vinyl came off in strips, but the paper backing isn't going to budge. I don't want to spray strong chemicals onto the wall for fear of turning the drywall into a soft mess. Any ideas? I can use help right now. I'm on a time frame of one week. Thanks.

By Norma

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May 19, 20130 found this helpful

How can I get glue off the front of wallpaper after I take shower out of mobile home?

By Lynn

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April 21, 20110 found this helpful

I removed wallpaper from my wall, but I am unable to remove the glue on the wall. I have tried vinegar, softener, dish washing solution, and other solutions, but I have failed. Please guide me on how to remove the glue more easily.



Removing Wallpaper Glue

I have used the softener method many times. You have to let it sit for a while and repeat the process often for each small section. Then scrape with a rubber spatula. I've never used a wallpaper steamer to remove anything, but they say it works well. But, like the other way, you have to hold it on the area for a while. Just be sure to wash the walls well when you are finished, no matter what method you use. (11/18/2010)


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November 15, 20100 found this helpful

There's a solution that I've seen sprayed on the glue after the wallpaper has been ripped off, but I can't remember what it was. It was not something bought, but simple liquids found in most homes.

By Retta from Miami, FL


Removing Wallpaper Glue

I have the same project partially done in a room with plaster walls. The paper is off completely, but I need to clean the walls before I prime and paint again. After reading all the posts below, it seems to me that the objective should be to rehydrate the remaining glue, whether the paper is on the wall still or not. Dawn is notorious for cutting through things that contain oils or greases (which adhesives tend to). Vinegar is a good second option, may also try just a touch of ammonia in water as a test.

Am also wondering if maybe making a thin paste of whatever takes the glue off so that it doesn't run down the wall and stays where you put it. I have a ceiling border to deal with in another room; cornstarch, maybe? I am hesitant to try the fabric softener, as it tends to coat fabrics, so why wouldn't it coat the wall, which in turn might interfere with getting paint to adhere later? I don't know, just thinking out loud. (09/03/2010)

By ladybanksia99

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August 31, 20100 found this helpful

How do you remove glue from the walls after removing wallpaper?

By Magaha


Removing Wallpaper Glue

Usually you keep using whatever wallpaper stripper you used to remove the wallpaper to also remove the paste. I always use Dif concentrate from Zinsser. You mix it with warm or hot water and it works pretty well. (01/29/2010)

By Hawker19

Removing Wallpaper Glue

We just had a weekend project removing wallpaper border from sheet-rock and it left a very thin layer of residue that was sticky to the touch. We tried almost everything in this forum to remove it: soap and hot water, sponges, scrubbing, fabric softener, GooGone, masking tape, Dif, vinegar, Dobies, Green name it, we tried it.

In the end what we wound up doing was going to Home Depot and buying 100 grit sandpaper and a gallon (way too much, by the way, for our little room and problem area where the wallpaper border was) of "Gardz Problem Surface Sealer" by Zinsser. We then sanded down as much as we could to make the walls smooth (but not digging into the sheet-rock) and then applied the Gardz. It is very runny/milky and doesn't seem at first glance like it would do anything, but after applying that to the residue and waiting 3 hours (per can directions), we were then able to paint over the residue with no problem at all! (03/29/2010)

By dodger9876543

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January 27, 20100 found this helpful

Does anyone know how to get old wallpaper glue off of walls? Most of it came off with wallpaper stripper, but there are still little bits left here and there.

By Shirlgirl from Phoenix, AZ


Removing Wall Paper Glue

Use one of those sponges with the scrubby thing on one side with some Lestoil in water. After scrubbing, go over the wall with a wash cloth type rag. If it seems that you are not getting it all off, wait until the wall is dry and you will see that you probably did. (07/17/2009)

By Beth

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July 14, 20090 found this helpful

I have removed the wall paper border, but the adhesive remained. Any idea's of how to remove, or can you just paint over it? Thank You

Dorothy from Madison, WI


Removing Wall Paper Glue

Try vinegar like 1/2 a cup in some hot water. Use an old cloth and wipe it on, let it set. Don't let it drip down the walls. This should remove the glue. Also a plastic scraper once the glue has been softened might help. When you paint over a "messy" area it will show beneath your nice new paint job. Also, the walls should be washed well with a solution of TSP, found in hardware stores. Wash from the bottom up. Rinsing your cloth in a bucket of clean water between washings helps to keep the walls streak free. Painting is the easy part, the prep is the work. (06/17/2008)

By Amanda

Removing Wall Paper Glue

There is a product by Zisser called DIF. I'd be cautious about using vinegar on sheet rock because it is what is added to tape/bedding "mud" to soften it so it will dry slower. The vinegar might affect dry sheet rock through tiny holes or cracks? God bless and help you.

By Lynda

Removing Wall Paper Glue

We had 4 layers of wallpaper over plaster walls dating back at least 60 years. We used DIF to remove the paper, but were left with a lot of sticky glue. I sprayed the wall with Green Works Natual All-Purpose cleaner. I let it sit for about 2 minutes and then using a Dobie Pad and very hot water wiped the glue off with little effort. I was left with very smooth walls. (07/26/2008)

By Sandy65

Removing Wall Paper Glue

I had the most success with the heavy duty Dawn and vinegar. (08/03/2008)

By njn343

Removing Wall Paper Glue

A mixture of hot water and laundry softener and some detergent, and a wet sanding sponge. Wet, sand it off (keep rinsing the sponge), then wipe of with a hot, wet rag. Works like a charm. You can also use Dawn soap, the sanding sponge is the key to getting the left over glue off. (10/03/2008)

By Crystal

Removing Wall Paper Glue

I read the comments and tried the Dawn solution, very hot water, and a Chore Boy pad/sponge. After working the wall and rinsing frequently, I followed with a wipe down of very hot clear water and 1 cup vinegar as a final step to clean and neutralize. If none of this works for you as was the case with a friend and you are ready to throw in the towel, because the wall is damaged and requires too much repair, do what my friend did. She had a light knockdown texture applied to her walls and then painted them. Actually, they look awesome. (10/21/2008)

By Julie

Removing Wall Paper Glue

(submitted via email)
I had the same problem. I used the product Wallwik. Go to It really works.

Tina (12/29/2008)

By jess

Removing Wall Paper Glue

I have a Conair Stand Up Stream Pressing Wand which works wonders. Then wipe with vinegar and hot water not letting it run down your wall. Good luck. (02/23/2009)

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June 17, 20080 found this helpful

I have removed the vinyl layer of the wall paper which apparently has been on for 20 years but the paper part and glue is only coming off in tiny pieces.

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