Removing wallpaper is such a chore that oftentimes someone will just choose to paint right over it. But, all that does is make more work for the next person that comes along who would like to remove the wallpaper entirely. Getting painted wallpaper off the wall is no easy feat, but with hard work and patience, it can be done.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Wallpaper removal solution
- Paint roller or spray bottle
- Wallpaper scraper
- Wallpaper scorer
- Steamer (optional)
Decide if you want to remove the paint first, or the wallpaper and paint at the same time. Removing the paint first means that the entire procedure will take more time, but it will be a lot less messy. Removing the paint and wallpaper at the same time means you will have to deal with a lot of paint flakes getting all over the place!
Scrape or sand the paint off. You can use a basic paint scraper or even sandpaper to do this. If you are going to remove both the paint and the wallpaper at the same time, score the wall with a razor or implement made to score wallpaper. This allows the removal solution to sink in after applied.
Soften up the paint and/or wallpaper by applying a removal solution with a paint roller or spay bottle. This can be done in a variety of ways: You can rent a small steamer, buy a commercial solution such as FAST, or use a homemade solution of vinegar and warm water.
Scrape off the paper. Try loosening a corner of the wallpaper and see if it will peel off. Some types of wallpaper will come off easily, and with others, it will be like shaving a man's face. Be sure to protect your floor, as pieces of wallpaper and paint will probably fall everywhere!
If there are still pieces of wallpaper left stuck to the walls, try letting them soak for longer and then removing them. If that doesn't work, you can try steaming them off. You may even have to lightly sand them down before painting the walls, but hopefully not!
Tips and warnings
- Soak only small areas of the wall at a time, about as much as you can scrape off in a 15-minute time period.
- Consider hiring a professional if you have a large house covered with painted wallpaper.
- Consider covering the paper with drywall if it is heavily textured, or if there are many layers.
- Some chemicals used for removing wallpaper are noxious, so make sure you use them in a well-ventilated area.