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Removing Wallpaper

Old wallpaper can be a stubborn material to remove. This guide is about removing wallpaper.

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Man Removing Wallpaper
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September 12, 2016 Flag
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I have just purchased a manufactured home that has pre-printed drywall that was wallpapered over and is all wrinkled. I need to paint and remove wallpaper without destroying the drywall. The paper is glued on. Can someone please help! Thank you.

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June 10, 2008 Flag

I decided to finally re-do the kid's bathroom after finding a great bargain at a yard sale for a bathroom set. The bathroom had really ugly wallpaper and border on the wall. It was stuck on there good and tight - 2 layers in fact!

I filled a spray bottle (new one from Dollar Tree) with an equal mix of water and white vinegar. I sprayed the wall paper and used a pan scraper and started peeling. It took the paper off quickly and without much work. I thought I would share this as a safe, environmentally friendly and, best of all, super cheap - less then $1 for a large bottle of vinegar. I was able to do the entire bathroom for less then $1!

By Betsy from Hernando, MS

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April 25, 2016 Flag
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This is a guide about repairing drywall after wallpaper removal. After removing wallpaper, the walls will need cleaning and perhaps some repair, prior to painting or whatever your next wall treatment will be.

Removing wallpaper with a scraper.

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October 6, 2010 Flag
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What is the best way to take off very old wallpaper? It is the paper thin kind used back over 30-40 yrs ago. My house is over 165 yrs old and every room has that crappy wallpaper. I am taking it down. In some places there is like 3 layers of it.

By Tara73 from East Brunswick, NJ

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October 8, 20100 found this helpful

You should be very cautious about removing paper in a home of that age. Walls were made differently and you may be getting into a very expensive project such as hanging wall board over lath wood and uneven plaster. Good luck.

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October 9, 20100 found this helpful

You can use a sprayer and add fabric softener to it, spray every inch and wait for it to loosen.

We went faster, took a new garden weed sprayer, filled it up with about 1 gallon mixture of FS, warm water and did it.

Remember, most of the houses back then have slate plastered walls. We were fortunate enough to have solid plaster over them. I re-papered with oil cloth quality paper cause that was what was going to hold the house together once the old stuff was not there when peeled off. I did not have to take it off my large rooms (dining/living) but did the heavy treatment back. Has saved us having to do things when the house has shifted. My house is 100 years old. We lived in another house where the renters had removed most of the layers, thank heavens. That was many weeks of work.

Make sure you wear masks and gloves. The 'stuff' riding on this paper is for sure mold spored from all the years, much less many other things.

All the time I had worked on this old house, we had pneumonia, etc all the time. Yep, too late with the advice of the masks. For a few cents, it is your health.

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December 6, 2010 Flag
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I tried everything to remove my hard to get off wallpaper, before I discovered this trick - heated vinegar. The wall paper will still have to be pulled off, but the sticky glue paper comes off easily, as the vinegar will loosen the glue. Spray and scrap off with a metal paint scraper.

By Ruthie from RedCreek, NY

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May 8, 2009 Flag
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When removing wallpaper use Downy fabric softener and hot water put in spray bottle. Spray walls and watch for it to bubble; then it comes right off. It is the best thing to use!

By Mel from KY

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November 17, 2011 Flag
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I just finished taking off wallpaper border in my kitchen and it started out to be quite a job until my son lent me his clothes steamer. I finished with that and it made quick work of it.

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April 4, 2013 Flag
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We have lived here ten years and the blue cow wallpaper was here when we bought the house. It was past time to say goodbye to the cows. I started peeling the wallpaper off my kitchen and it peeled off easily in large pieces. Once all the cows were gone most areas are still covered with a very thin yellowish paper (as thin as tissue paper) all over the walls. I can peel small pieces off in some areas, but most areas seem to be stuck on good. What is the next way to remove this? I appreciate any and all info that can help me in this project.

By Shell S

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April 6, 20130 found this helpful

The paper under the paper is wallpaper liner. It's meant to give a smooth surface to apply the decorator paper onto. There are several ways to get this liner off, including:

Use a commercial stripping solution product like Dif. Dif sometimes comes with a scoring device that sort of looks like a computer mouse, it has a roller in the underside that pokes small holes in the paper and permits better penetration of the stripping solution. Pricey but works rather well. You can purchase the scoring tool separately and it would be a good assist if you decide to use the homemade methods. Amazing product, the paper melts off the walls.

I've heard of the Downy and water mix but have never tried it. People who use it say it works great but I never use fabric softeners, lol, so I've never had it on hand to try.

But I (and most people) always have a huge jug of white vinegar! Mix vinegar and hot water half and half in a spray bottle and spray onto the paper in small patches. Wait a few minutes for the vinegar to eat into the adhesive then wipe. This method works well but takes a lot of time and elbow grease.

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April 6, 20130 found this helpful

Rubbing alcohol dissolves adhesive really, really well. As others have said, if you score the paper it's easier for the liquid to get in and work.

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January 24, 2014 Flag
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I need to give my kitchen a new look, but my kitchen has about 2-3 different wallpapers on it. My friend came to help me remove it and when I came back from getting some lunch my friend had a layer of mud on 90% of the kitchen. What do I do?

By Matt

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January 25, 20140 found this helpful

You didn't say what the "mud" was. If she/he was just removing it, there wouldn't have been any of the wallpaper glue that some call "mud". So I am confused. Can you clarify?

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January 25, 20140 found this helpful

What do you mean, "a layer of mud"? Did your friend not remove the wallpaper but decide to cover it with plaster? I am not sure if that is a good idea, but you could do some research online and contact people who renovate older homes to see if it is acceptable. If the wallpaper is firmly attached to the wall, it might work to give you a nice paintable surface.

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February 28, 2011 Flag
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How much water to how much softener do I use for wall paper removal?

By Sheila from Virginia Beach, VA

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March 3, 20110 found this helpful

A good tool to use is one which scores the wallpaper before spraying your solution. This can be found in most wallpaper depts. Sorry I can't recall the name. It fit easily in your hand as it was round. You used it in a circular motion. If you have a lot of paper to remove put a sheet of plastic, or old sheet on the floor. This will contain all the mess. Keep a big garbage can in reach for the big pieces. Good luck.

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March 6, 20110 found this helpful

I did this back in the 80s. About 1 oz to one gallon I used a new weed sprayer. Fast! Make the water as warm as you can. I just used a spackling knife to scrape. Our 100 yr old house had many layers. Getting it wet made it easier to contain the old stuff that gets behind wall paper. Make sure to wear a mask. Has many respiratory issues when stripping wall paper. Mites love it!

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April 22, 2012 Flag
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How do I remove 15 year old wallpaper border? I tried the commercial presoak gel, but it is brutally slow to peel off. I tried scoring the paper with a sharp knife as recommended, but it doesn't help much.

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March 14, 2011 Flag
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How do you remove wallpaper border?

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