How to Remove Wallpaper Quickly and Safely


There is a right way and a terrible way to remove unwanted wallpaper from your walls. You must be careful when pursuing this remodeling effort because it is possible to damage your drywall when using the incorrect methods.

Removing wallpaper can seem like a scary project if you’re trying to do it on your own. If you follow these ideas and steps, you will discover that the project can be finished quickly and safely during a weekend of work.

Before You Get Started Removing Your Wallpaper…

… Make sure that you check to see how many layers are on the wall. Try to use a scraper in a back corner to lift it. This technique will give you a better idea of how much time and effort you face.

If there are several layers in place already, this step allows you to change your plans.

Is It Strippable Wallpaper?

Most wallpapers are strippable, which means you pry up a seam edge, and then tear it off the wall at an angle. Keep your hands close to the point of removal, then tug gently to prevent it from splitting.

If you are lucky, the paper will come right off without leaving any residue on the wall. You can then finish your remodeling work.

If you have paste remaining behind, then you will need to proceed to the next step.

How to Soften Lingering Wallpaper Paste

If you soak stubborn wallpaper and lingering glue in wallpaper paste, it will make the removal process happen a lot faster. Mix some warm (not hot) water, liquid detergent, and a handful of cellulose paste to each bucket of water.

You can skip the paste if you want, but this product does keep the moisture/detergent combination on the wall nicely.

Let it soak for 5-15 minutes, depending on the severity of the glue or paste remaining behind on the wall. Then use your scraper to begin lifting the paper and other remnants left behind on the wall.

If Your Wallpaper is Thick…

… Then score the wallpaper with a fork or table knife to encourage the moisture to seep underneath the product. You can also use your scraper if it happens to have a serrated edge.

You can also consider using hot steam as a way to lessen the wallpaper paste bonds on the wall. Some chemicals may work as well with a 20-minute soak, assuming that your room has proper ventilation. 

You must also wear the correct personal protective equipment when working with chemicals. Choose this option only if the others do not work for you.

Now You Have the Wallpaper Off the Wall

If you had to use water, steam, or chemicals to remove the wallpaper, then give the drywall at least 24 hours to dry entirely before continuing with your remodeling project. If the removal work was extensive, you might want to wait up to 72 hours before starting the next phase of your work.

Following these steps will help to quickly and safely remove unwanted wallpaper from any room. Get started today, and then let us know how the project went!

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