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How to remove the sticky stuff left on the walls after removing wallpaper

Updated July 20, 2017

Removing old wallpaper and replacing it with new wallpaper or, perhaps, a fresh coat of paint, can change the character of a room. Homeowners who have done it, though, know that removing wallpaper can be a tough job, involving lots of time, effort and sweat. After you finish getting the wallpaper off, the last thing you want to deal with is removing the sticky stuff left on the walls. Fortunately, most wallpaper adhesives can be removed by using a homemade solution, leaving you with a bare wall to paper anew or paint.

Mix 1 or 2 tbsp of dishwashing soap or baking soda with warm water. Pour the solution inside a spray bottle. Alternatively, mix warm water with TSP (or another wall-cleaning solution that can be purchased at your local paint store).

Spray the solution onto the sticky residue on the wall. Start at the top of the wall and work your way down. Then wait five minutes to allow the solution to soak in. As a safety precaution, turn off the power in the room if there are any electrical sockets on the wall on which you are working.

Use a putty knife to scrape away the sticky residue once it has had time to soften.

Re-spray the wall with your cleaning solution and then use a damp towel to wipe away the remaining sticky residue.

Use a fan to help air-dry the wall when finished.

Things You'll Need

  • Warm Water
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Spray bottle
  • Putty knife
  • Towel
  • Fan
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About the Author

Wesley DeBoy has been a writer since 2004. He has a variety of arts and entertainment articles published on various websites. DeBoy specializes in writing about professional audio, music and computer technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in telecommunications production from Ball State University.