How to Remove Wallpaper from Drywall

You aren’t going to know just how easy it actually is to remove the old wallpaper around your home until you put some effort into it.

Here are a few tips to get you started when learning to remove your own wallpaper. The tips will work whether you are interested in replacing your wallpaper with modern treatments or removing it completely so you can paint your walls.

The first thing to do is to try a small test area. This will help you find out if you can just peel it off or not. If the old wallpaper peels off completely except for the glue underneath, you’re going to have an easy job. It also means your paper is strippable, which is what most new covers are.

How to Remove Strippable Wallpaper

If you got lucky and have a strippable wallpaper, then you can use this simple method to start ridding yourself of the wallpaper nightmare.

Things you’ll need:

1. Sponge
2. Hot water
3. Paint spatula at least 8″ wide

Removing Strippable Wallpaper:

1. First of all, you can make the paste that’s beneath the paper softer through the use of hot water and a sponge.
2. Scrape off that paper using a broad knife at least 6″ wide.
3. Get rid of as much residue as you can.
4. Use TSP or a similar neutralizing solution to rinse your walls.
5. You can use a gallon of water and a cup of vinegar as an organic neutralizing solution.

How to Remove Non-Strippable Wallpaper

Now, you might not be lucky enough to have strippable wallpaper. If that’s the case, then you’ll make much more headway by modifying some commercially available wallpaper remover. Here’s what you’ll need:

Using Wallpaper Remover:

1. Very hot water (at least 3 gallons)
2. Wallpaper remover (1 bottle) containing reactive enzymes (it should specifically mention an enzyme base)
3. Liquid fabric softener (at least 1/4 cup)
4. Baking soda (2 tablespoons)

You can use this method, in many cases, with less effort needed than you would if you tried to steam the paper off the walls. This method also tends to work better when dealing with wall coverings that are older and more difficult to pull off.

Using a Steamer:

1. Paint roller or sprayer
2. Paper remover
3. A large paint spatula (also known as a broad knife)
4. Sponge
5. Small tool for perforation
6. White vinegar and water
7. Trisodium phosphate if #6 is not available

It is important to note that a lot of people have discovered that they can obtain better results if they use a paint roller instead of a sprayer. However, some people feel differently. You can choose either, but you need to remember to move your furniture away from your walls. You should also get drop cloths put down on your floors so you don’t have damage.

Removing Wallpaper Using a Steamer:

1. Mix your ingredients per the aforementioned instructions.
2. If there is a water resistant or vinyl surface to the wall covering, then you will need to use the perforation tool in order to chip through the surface to allow the remover to get to the adhesive. However, use caution so you don’t end up damaging the wall surface.
3. Roll your remover, wait for it to work, and then start to strip off the wall treatment, moving from down to the top.

No matter which method you choose, keep in mind, that removing wallpaper isn’t normally an easy process if it was applied correctly. Just be patient and work smart and it should be off in no time.