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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
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.
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
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
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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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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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?
How much water to how much softener do I use for wall paper removal?
By Sheila from Virginia Beach, VA
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.
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
Try fabric softener thinned with a little warm water in a spray bottle or in a bucket and use a car washing sponge. Saturate the paper let it set 30 minutes? Scrape off with a putty knife. You may have to do it more than once.
How do you remove wallpaper border?
By Corky Wolf
It depends on the type of wallpaper, the kind of wallpaper with the glue already on it can be removed easily by wetting it down well. It will slide right off.
If it is the kind that has paste applied, then you might need to use a steamer. You can buy a small gadget that you roll over the paper and it puts small slits in it, then all you have to do is steam it and it will come off easily with a dull scraper.
After removing the paper, be sure to wash the wall well with hot soapy water, rinse, and dry before you paint or put up different paper.
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
I had good luck, using a hairdryer. Wet the border with hot water, using a spray bottle. Let the wet border set for a while, then take the hairdryer and direct it on the border. Scrape and pull on the border. It should start to come off in strips!
How do I strip plastic wallpaper?
By Vincent from Dublin, Ireland
If you click on some of the links on this page, you will find some great tips on removing wallpaper. But I want to add that with plastic (or vinyl) wallpaper, sometimes the wallpaper comes off but a coating of glue or plastic remains. If that happens, you will have to remove that layer also, so it could be twice the work.
How do I remove 5 layers of old wall paper from walls, without using a steamer?
Try fabric softener thinned with a little water and a spray bottle or mix in a bucket and use car washing sponge to saturate the paper. let it set until it begins to scrape off with a putty knife. I would suggest a little half and half to start. Patience and diligence!
I have striped the wall paper off 3 of 4 walls, but one entire wall has proven to be stubborn. I can't seem to remove any of the wallpaper (at all) from this one wall. I have tried D.I.F, vinegar, and dish soap, but nothing I try seems to work. Can anyone help?
Oh wow, if Diff hasn't worked, about the only thing left to try is steaming. There are machines especially for steaming off wallpaper, you can rent or buy one and try it-make sure the material your wall is made of can handle steam. If your walls are a thin membrane of sheet rock, 1/4", for example, they might melt.
I think if I were doing this job I'd have quit after the Diff didn't work.
You can 'feather and fill' the patches of wallpaper that won't strip, and simply paint over the top of it. I've done that a couple of times and have been pleased with the results.
How much Dawn do you put in the spray bottle?
By M. Gross
You really don't need to use Dawn or any other cleaner. My husband used to do painting/papering & all they used was hot water in a spray bottle. Let it soak a bit & peel. Then we just took a sponge with clean water & washed it down.
I tried to use a steamer, it just makes a sticky mess and I have to wait a very long time for it to soften the wallpaper. Is there a quicker way of getting this done? I have only done this once before, in the living room and it was much easier! I am really tired of looking at my horrible bathroom walls, help! Thank you.
The border is vinyl and it sticks to your fingers in small pieces and you cannot get off your fingers.
By R Pearsall
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
How much Downy to how much water do I use for wallpaper removal?
By Julie from Griswold, IA
I've always used DIF and one thing to note is that you need to spray it on for 10 to 15 minutes, but don't leave it on too long or it dries out and you've just wasted the product.
Try half water and half Downy. You have to leave it set for a bit before you start scraping though. (02/26/2010)
How do I easily remove wallpaper border?
By Janet from Valdosta, GA
I fill a spray bottle half full of warm water and fill the rest of the way with a cheap brand of fabric softener. Spray on paper in sheets, leave on 15-20 minutes, it will pull off the entire sheet of paper. If you have vinyl coated paper you will need to slice through at intervals and then spray so the liquid can seep to the back. Good luck. (06/09/2010)
I have used warm water and white vinegar, measured half and half in a spray bottle. I put down a drop cloth and simply sprayed the wall, let it set about 5 minutes. I'd get a corner at the top and it pulled off in one piece. I kept the paper and when it was dry again, I recycled it.
My kitchen cabinets had an insert in the door instead of a full panel. I took the insert out wet the wall paper and put it on it with a wet rag. I then put the insert back, tacked it back up with small tacks. I had "new" refaced cabinets! My friends all loved the idea! (06/09/2010)
I just removed a border that has been up for 9 years. I used a spray bottle of 50/50 vinegar and warm water with a little bit of Dawn dish soap and it worked great! (11/04/2010)
You have requests on how to remove painted wallpaper. We have found that steaming the walls, once you have a start at removal with a tool, does a good job. It is possible to rent a portable steamer. We have tried chemicals, but steam seems to do the job faster, and with less negative results.
By rosebudml from Sarasota, FL
Before you apply steam. There is a tool you can buy or possibly rent that looks like a miniature pizza slicer with a jagged blade that you roll all over the wallpaper 1st to "score" it. This does not harm the wall, but it punctures tiny holes in the paper that allows the water or products to saturate the paper more efficiently. Steaming is the best method I have found. I have done this several times. I rented the steamer (looks like a huge old metal iron) and tool at Ace Hardware Rentals. It was so worth it in the end. Some paper comes off with out to much trouble, but it sounds like you might need to use this method for sure. (02/11/2010)
How do you remove wallpaper?
Gary from NJ
Test a small area first. We bought a house that the former owners put paper right over dry wall that was not primed or sized, we ended up replacing the drywall. Fabric softener does a great job, remember to rinse or wipe walls, before painting. (04/19/2008)
By Patti r
I have used a steaming tool that I bought at Home Depot. It has a large plastic "lid" that you place on the wall and the steam saturates the paper quickly. Then it is easily scraped away.
I recently removed some very, very old wallpaper that way and it went pretty fast. (04/23/2008)
Here's a link I saw with a good tip. The big thing is that you need patience and the ability to laugh at why they put up the wallpaper in the first place!
We're trying to remove 15 year-old wallpaper with water and a scraper. Very difficult to do. Any suggestions on how to make this job easier?
Jack from Auburn, IN
Have you tried fabric softener? I have mixed part water and part fabric softener in a spray bottle. Spray the wallpaper, wait a bit and then scrape. We did have some very tough wallpaper in the kitchen so I used softener only and really saturated it. If this fails I think you may have to rent a steamer. (09/24/2008)
If your wall is in fairly good shape why don't you just paint over it? There is a type of paint called "high hiding" that will cover over wallpaper, dark colors, and imperfections. Check it out. (09/24/2008)
Warm/hot water and vinegar in a spray bottle or sponge it on. Let sit a minute or two and scrape away. (09/26/2008)
I've use the (cheap) fabric softener/water solution along with scoring the wallpaper first. Plus it smells better than the name brand wallpaper solution and is a lot less expensive. I use the softener solution to wash the remainder of glue off the walls, too. Best of luck. (09/26/2008)
You can rent wall paper remover "steamers" and then the elbow work is much easier :-) (09/26/2008)
I just use warm water in a spray bottle. Just soak a couple of areas. Go back to the first area after about 3-4 minutes and you should be able to pull the top layer of the paper easily, spray it again for the glue layer. Keep working back and forth that way you won't have to sit and wait for each area to soak in. (09/26/2008)
If it's that hard you would be better off painting over it as the work involved in repairing the walls can get extensive. I was a painting contractor for 10 years and you would need to level out you surface using Spackle, sand lightly, and use a good primer like Kilz latex in Walmart for about 20.00. Then proceed to paint. (09/26/2008)
By Denise w
I have just used my steam iron on med high with a damp wash cloth between the iron and the wall to remove the paper.
The glue comes off quickly with ammonia. It stinks and you need a window open, but if it's diluted you can get the job done pretty fast, and it's cheap. (09/27/2008)
We used apple cider vinegar and warm water as long as we could. Have one of those little scorer things that puts holes in the wallpaper so the solution can get down behind the wallpaper. When we hit the 7th layer! We rented a steamer and I was done in one 24 hour period. (09/28/2008)
I could use some advice for removing wallpaper.