How do I remove a self-adhesive wallpaper border?

Written by lisa east hunter
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How do I remove a self-adhesive wallpaper border?
Try different methods to remove wallpaper. (wallpaper image by Svetlin Rusev from

Removing a wallpaper border sounds easy enough. You probably never dreamed you would struggle with such a straightforward-sounding task. Some wallpaper seems to grip the wall and refuse to let go. How you remove the wallpaper will depend a lot on how it was installed. Assuming you don't remember or never knew what type of adhesive was used, there are a number of methods you can try to remove the border. Start with the least-abrasive method, and move on to other methods if the one you tried previously isn't working.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Hair dryer
  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Plastic scraper
  • Wallpaper remover
  • Wallpaper steamer
  • Scrub sponge

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  1. 1

    Turn a hair dryer to its hottest setting. Plug in the hair dryer and point it directly at the wallpaper border. The edges of the border may start to peel from the wall. Hold one corner and pull slowly to remove the border.

  2. 2

    Fill a spray bottle with warm water. Spray enough water onto the border to saturate the paper. Allow the water it to soften the adhesive. If the water is running off the paper without dampening it, poke some tiny holes in the paper with a toothpick and spray again. Scrape the paper from the wall with a plastic scraper. Move the scraper from the bottom of the border upward.

  3. 3

    Mix warm water and commercial wallpaper remover in a spray bottle. Spray the border to saturate the paper. Let the mixture loosen the adhesive for five to 10 minutes. Scrape the border from the wall with a plastic scraper.

  4. 4

    Fill a wallpaper steamer with water. Turn it on and let it heat up. Hold the steamer over the paper. Run the steamer back and forth over the paper until the corners begin to lift. Scrape the paper from the walls.

  5. 5

    Wet a scrub sponge with warm water. All of these removal methods can potentially leave some adhesive behind on the wall. Scrub the adhesive until comes off of the wall. Rinse the sponge often.

Tips and warnings

  • You can make a homemade version of wallpaper remover by mixing one capful of fabric softener with one quart of water.

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