How to remove wallpaper paste from walls

When you are ready to remove that old wallpaper and replace it or refinish your walls, you may run into problems removing the wallpaper paste. Over the years, manufacturers have marketed many products to help remove wallpaper paste, though many homeowners have succeeded with homemade paste removal recipes and products. Wallpaper paste removal may take several hours and close attention to detail.

Cover the floor of your work area with old sheets or newspaper to prevent the glue from getting onto your carpet or other flooring surfaces. Cover any other furniture you cannot remove from the room with these materials.

Remove the wallpaper from the walls, leaving only the glue residue and small pieces of the paper. You can remove the paper by moistening it with water or using other remedies and peeling the paper loose from the walls.

Measure 3 cups of fabric softener and pour it into an empty spray bottle. Add a cup of water to the softener, fasten the spray bottle and roll the bottle across a tabletop or the floor to prevent suds while diluting the fabric softener with the water.

Spray the solution onto one wall at a time. Allow the solution to sit on the wall for five minutes.

Scrape the wallpaper paste from the walls, using a plastic putty knife or spatula to prevent damage to the walls. Wipe off the knife or spatula with a paper towel after each wipe.

Cover floors and furniture you cannot remove from the room with old sheets and newspapers. Drape the covering over the floor and furniture to prevent glue from dropping onto these items or surfaces.

Measure 2 cups of water and combine in an empty spray bottle. Add a cup of white vinegar to the water. Seal and shake the bottle to mix the two ingredients.

Spray the vinegar and water solution all over the walls. Allow the solution to stand on the walls for at least 10 minutes.

Scrape the glue residue from the walls with a plastic spatula or plastic putty knife. Avoid using any metal or hard plastic scraping utensils that may puncture or damage the walls. Wipe glue residue off the utensil and onto a paper towel frequently to aid in removing the wallpaper paste from the walls.

Things You'll Need

  • Old sheets or newspaper
  • Measuring cup
  • Fabric softener
  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Plastic putty knife or spatula
  • Paper towels
  • White vinegar
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About the Author

Penny Porter is a full-time professional writer and a contributor to "Kraze" magazine. She is pursuing a bachelor's degree in journalism at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky.