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Removing Painted Wallpaper

I find this newsletter and its readers' tips and replies so helpful. I was wondering if anyone can tell me how to remove wallpaper from a bathroom which has been painted over? The few pieces I tried to remove damaged the wall board.


I want to strip the walls, prime and repaint. Do I need to remove the paint first? It appears someone tried to Spackle over the wallpaper prior to painting, but did a poor job. It looks all lumpy. I'll try anything, but can't afford to have it done professionally.

Thank you in advance for your tips.


Removing Old, Painted Wallpaper

Wallpaper is typically removed by wetting it down or steaming it. But the water won't penetrate if the papered wall has been painted. Remedy this by scratching through the paint with very coarse sandpaper or a wire brush; slashing a grid of cuts into the surface with a utility knife; dragging an old hacksaw blade sideways across the walls; or using a wallpaper scratcher made for the purpose and available at hardware stores.


Before scraping off old wallpaper, spray it with a solution of hot water and about a tenth as much clear (distilled) vinegar. Use a plant mister with a big, comfortable squeeze handle.

By joesgirl (07/14/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Removing Painted Wallpaper

This is probably highly unlikely, but if the paper was put on the dry wall without painting, there is nothing you can do, but make a mess of trying to remove the paper. Then worry about repairing or replacing the dry wall.

I have heard of this happening, especially where a homeowner may have made some renovations and tried to take shortcuts. (07/16/2005)

By Syd

Removing Painted Wallpaper

I have never tried this on painted paper, but warm water mixed with fabric softener such as Downey takes it up well for me. It also leaves a lovely scent. (09/22/2005)

By Christined

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