How-To Videos

Removing Wallpaper

By: Danny Lipford

Removing wallpaper is always tedious work, but knowing how to do it properly can save time and elbow grease. Use a pump-up sprayer to apply a mixture of wallpaper remover and hot water to the wall, and before spraying, score the wallpaper with a utility knife.

No matter how easy it is to remove, your wall is likely to have some dings that will need to be patched up, not to mention the mess of torn wallpaper that will have to be swept off the floor.


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18 Comments on “Removing Wallpaper”

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  • Kdubya Says:
    May 4th, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Also, my wife and I found that a windsheild scraper works pretty well…

  • Tonya Says:
    March 17th, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    I tried the fabric softener sheets on a small cabinet that had a pretty green paint on underneath a crazy wallpaper and it worked great!!!! I had to use a razor blade on edge to get the glue residue off, but it wasn’t bad at all. Thanks for the info Jean!!
    The paint under the wallpaper is perfect except for some small blade nicks.

  • Betty Says:
    April 1st, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    How do you remove grasscloth?

  • Sally Says:
    February 19th, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    I’m removing wallpaper that has been painted. Any suggestions? Also, if giving me a combination of products, please provide formula ratios.

  • charlotte Says:
    October 18th, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    i need a homemade mixture to get off wallpaper, one layer is 20 years old and the other is about 11 years old. any suggestions

  • marge Says:
    June 17th, 2008 at 9:50 am

    Help……my daughter and I starting removing the wall paper in her bathroom which was easy but behind it was thick
    cardboard. Then under that is the white dry wall/plaster. Any help on removing the cardboard fast and easy….. We spent all day yesterday using all the above products and only got half a wall done.

  • Elizabeth Kelton Says:
    March 27th, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    As far as the wood floors, NEVER use anything that you mix with water on hardwood floors. In addition, I heard that Murphy’s Oil soap will leave a horrible residue. The water will start to pop the grains on the wood plus the seems (even on laminate floors). I use Bona Swedish Formula on my hardwoods and Quick Step on my laminate wood floors. It was a kit I purchased from a local floor company and came with a mop (about $25). It is pretty hard to push the mop (really it is a workout) but that is how it cleans the spots from the floors. You spray a section and mop. That’s it. Hope this helps.

  • Tracy Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    I used fabric softener to get wallpaper off and yes, it worked wonderfully! However, my hardwood floors have a fabric softnener residue on them now that I just can’t seem to rinse off. I even tried a spray degreaser. No luck. It seemed to add to the mess. I need to clean and wax them, but I’m afraid to Murphy Oil them on top of the residue.
    Any suggestions as how to remove this stuff?

  • vapainter Says:
    November 30th, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    pump sprayer is a good idea, will try that next time, guess Danny didnt want to use a paper tiger to score walls… it makes scoring wall much easier. Renting a steamer can be useful Just spackel any gouges and sand. always a tedious job.. esp if wall wasn’t primed or sized.

  • Jean Says:
    November 12th, 2007 at 12:59 am

    Try using fabric dryer sheets instead of the liquid. I find that wetting the sheets & then wiping down the wall took the glue right off with minimal fabric softener residue. Will need to rinse the walls again with hot water, but it has worked for me time & time again.

  • Ed Rialp Says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    Thanks a lot to all who responded. Very helpful, and appreciate them.

  • Deb T Says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    Ruth: I did the downy and water trick, and frankly, it was more of a mess than it was worth. The downy made the walls so “oily” that it took forever for it to dry enough to rewallpaper. Maybe I used too much fabric bathroom smelled great though. It tended to seep into the wall more than a normal wallpaper remover. That’s probably why it’s such a great fabric softner.:)

  • Deb T Says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 6:35 pm

    Ed: The website has the technical data you need for the active ingredients in the wallpaper remover used in this video. Just do a search for the name of the remover on google or some web search engine and click on technical info..there should be pdf files available and it should tell you what the active ingredient is that your looking for.

  • Deb T Says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 6:00 pm

    Rozyln: what do you plan to replace the wallpaper or contact paper with, do you want to restore the pine? Or are you covering it?
    I have a few solutions.. but some may be harmful to the pine, thats why I ask what you plan to do. If the plastic has been removed and you still have adhesive the adhesive is silicone based. If you havent gottten the paper off yet, use a blow dryer or a hot towel…blow dryer being my first choice..that will take the plastic off ..then youll have to deal with the adhesive. If the contact paper is older than three years which it sounds like it is silicone based because the manufacturer of contact paper now uses a water based glue and you should be able to get it off without alot of problem. If you respond back I might be able to give you a better solution. THat is all I know from the info youve given thus far but will be happy to help you further if these solutions arent of any help. Deb

  • Rozlyn Says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    I found that what I thought was old wallpaper was actually contact paper. This had been applied over inexpensive pine that appears to be bare. Any suggestions in how to get it off? I tried vinegar and warm water and it didn’t work.

  • Ruth Says:
    July 5th, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    I heard that using a mixture of water and fabric softener,such as Downey,softens glue and makes the job quick and easy.

  • Sharon Says:
    May 26th, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    you can use warm water in a spray bottle with some white vinegar added to loosen wallpaper.

  • Ed Rialp Says:
    May 11th, 2007 at 10:39 am

    You made it look very simple. One question: I live in the Philippines, and am unfamiliar with the product you showed. What about it makes it easy to peel off the wallpaper? Would like to have info so I can look for a locally-available substitute or chemical.
    Thanks. (I look forward to your newsletters.)

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Removing Wallpaper