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Removing Wallpaper

Category Wallpaper
Old wallpaper can be a stubborn material to remove. This guide is about removing wallpaper.
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June 10, 2008

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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May 8, 20094 found this helpful

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!

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By Mel from KY

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By 3 found this helpful
December 6, 2010

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 RuthieAppleby from RedCreek, NY

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By 1 found this helpful
November 17, 2011

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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By Elaine S. from Near Cedar Rapids, IA

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April 25, 20160 found this helpful

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.

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Questions

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.

By 0 found this helpful
February 16, 2017

Is possible to remove wallpaper that has been put on over vinyl gypsum board so I can paint the vinyl board and what issues will I be facing?

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February 17, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

I would put slits in the wallpaper with a razor blade. Then I would soak the wallpaper with hot water.

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Peel off carefully. Then wash walls to remove all traces of glue. It's a time-consuming job.

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By 1 found this helpful
September 12, 2016

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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February 27, 20170 found this helpful

YOU can remove the old wallpaper: "Use a scoring tool to create holes in the wallpaper. Use a spray bottle to soak the paper. Spray water into the slits so it can work its way behind the covering. Wait about 10 minutes and then scrape off the paper with a putty knife."

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https://www.low  allpaper/project

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By 0 found this helpful
October 6, 2010

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

Answers

October 6, 20100 found this helpful

I believe that there is a product on the market for removing it; for stripping old wallpaper. Think I saw it one time someplace. Why not google it? However, it mainly takes time and scrapping; like the woman said fabric softener and water; or softener by itself!

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October 6, 20100 found this helpful

You can buy a wallpaper scraper at most any hardware store. This lifts most of the paper from the walls no matter how thick. However, I would scrub the walls down after paper is removed to get the glue off.

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TSP is a product that is good for removing leftover residue and can be purchased at Lowe's I know. It has to be rinsed off after applied and allow walls to dry before priming/painting.

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October 7, 20100 found this helpful

Ive tried the softener and water trick but all it does is make the paper even harder to remove..lol..plus it has a wall paper paper behind it that they used to use to make walls "flat" if they weren't smooth. Basically it was "paper" to put on the wall before you put the wall paper actually up..I believe it was also put up with "wheat paste" not glue..crazy house..

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October 8, 20100 found this helpful

Go buy an item called "Paper Tiger". It scores your wallpaper with tiny little holes so you can get the water and softener mixture behind it. It is a round tool with wheels that you run over the wallpaper. If you have a 165 year old house, chances are it has a plastered wall. Many times people wallpapered to cover up large cracks. So be prepared to patch. Then after you get all the paper off and have cleaned it well to get the paste off, make sure you prime it.

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October 8, 20100 found this helpful

I have tried the scoring trick and spraying softener on wall paper. Both will work but when I had to remove wallpaper from the 1950s, I used a steamer that was meant for removing wallpaper. I liked being able to put stream directly on the wallpaper and once it was soaked, it was very easy to remove.
Good luck!

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October 8, 20100 found this helpful

Wall paper from 30 or 40 years ago, is still only 1970, when most people used prepasted wallpaper, very similar to what is available today. However, if your house is over 100 years old, some of those layers may have been from 1930's and 40's or even before, and they would most definitely have used a wheat or other type of paste that is different in compostion from glue nowadays. You might want to google for information on historic renovations to see if there is a technique for really old wallpaper. I would suggest a steamer. The wallpaper removers you buy in the hardware store are formulated for modern papers (although if you are removing stuff from the 70's, that is still modern). I used a product purchased from the hardware store (don't remember the name of it), sprayed this on, stripped off the paper, and then scraped the glue off with a flat metal spatula, like one you would use for drywalling. It was a bit tedious, but not difficult. I believe I ripped as much paper off as I could before I started the spraying.

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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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April 4, 20130 found this helpful

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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By 0 found this helpful
February 28, 2011

How much water to how much softener do I use for wall paper removal?

By sheila from Virginia Beach, VA

Answers

February 28, 20110 found this helpful

I would check the container, but it's about 1/4 remover to 3/4 water. Just don't leave the remover on the wall too long before stripping off the wallpaper or it will get too dry. Here's another view...using water...worth a try:

http://www.oldh  -wallpaper.shtml

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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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January 24, 20140 found this helpful

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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April 22, 20120 found this helpful

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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By 0 found this helpful
March 14, 2011

How do you remove wallpaper border?

By CORKY WOLF

Answers

March 15, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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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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By 2 found this helpful
November 21, 2010

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

Answers

November 22, 20100 found this helpful

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!

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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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By 0 found this helpful
October 18, 2010

How do I strip plastic wallpaper?

By vincent from Dublin, Ireland

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Anonymous
October 19, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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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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By 0 found this helpful
June 22, 2016

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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By 0 found this helpful
April 28, 2012

How do I remove 5 layers of old wall paper from walls, without using a steamer?

By donna johnson

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January 19, 20120 found this helpful

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?

By Jim

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June 2, 20110 found this helpful

How much Dawn do you put in the spray bottle?

By M. Gross

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January 5, 20150 found this helpful

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.

By Issy

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October 24, 20140 found this helpful

The border is vinyl and it sticks to your fingers in small pieces and you cannot get off your fingers.

By R Pearsall

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February 10, 20100 found this helpful

I have wallpaper in a bedroom that is very hard to remove. I have tried scraping, wetting it with water but only manage to remove 1 inch at a time.

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February 28, 20110 found this helpful

How much Downy to how much water do I use for wallpaper removal?

By Julie Adams from Griswold, IA

Answers:

Wallpaper Removal

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.
http://www.oldhouseweb.com/how-to-advice/stripping-wallpaper.shtml
(02/23/2010)

By Allison

Wallpaper Removal

Try half water and half Downy. You have to leave it set for a bit before you start scraping though. (02/26/2010)

By Elaine

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