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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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June 22, 2016 Flag
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The previous owners wallpapered over the vinyl walls and then ripped some off, down to the gypsum board underneath the vinyl without removal products. Should I use wallpaper removal products? How do I make the ripped area even? Right now it's only in a smaller bathroom, but they wallpapered the kitchen too. It is peeling, but I have been reluctant to begin removal without asking questions. I have successfully painted over vinyl walls that had not been papered and am satisfied with results.

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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 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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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

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

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

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 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.

By Pat M

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April 24, 20120 found this helpful

Try steam. I have a steam shark and it takes away grime that has been around stove areas for a long time; maybe it will take away the glue on the wallpaper. Hope it helps ya!

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

By Corky Wolf

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March 20, 20110 found this helpful

I swear by DIF. It's available at Lowe's for about $5 a bottle and it makes life so much easier. I spray it on and use my fingers to rub it onto the entire surface. Within, 15 minutes the paper comes off in one piece. Sometimes a little glue will remain and I use a plastic putty knife but another dose of DIF will take it right off. I don't score the paper either. Some people swear by fabric softener and hot water but that has not worked for me. Good luck!

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November 21, 2010 Flag
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I attempted to remove a wallpaper border that was applied to drywall that only had a thin coat of paint on it. The drywall was peeling off with the border in small pieces so I ended up bordering over that border and now 5 years later I really want it off.

I now have to remove two borders and I am not looking forward to it! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I tried all of the home remedies, steamer, and store bought products when trying to remove the first border, so maybe I should just leave it and cover it with some sort of wood trim that I can paint. Cost is a major issue so crown molding is not an option as it's a very large kitchen. Any suggestions? Thanks.

By Chris from Ontario

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November 23, 20100 found this helpful

On one of the home re modeling shows I watch they used a solution of warm water and fabric softener.

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October 18, 2010 Flag
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How do I strip plastic wallpaper?

By Vincent from Dublin, Ireland

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October 20, 20100 found this helpful

The trickiest part if getting that thin paper stuff off the back, but keep working on it. I've used DIF and it works fine as long as you let it sit on the paper for 15 minutes or so, but not too long or it dries.

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