How to get old wallpaper off the walls

Updated February 21, 2017

Changing the decor in a room involves working around or getting rid of the wallpaper. If the wallpaper is old, it might be easy to remove. Over time, the wallpaper paste dries out and becomes brittle, which makes pulling the wallpaper from the walls easy. If the wallpaper is not yet old, you can use wallpaper stripper to remove the paper and paste.

Remove the corner of the wallpaper with your fingers and attempt to pull the old wallpaper off the walls. Some wallpaper is dry strippable, and you can remove most of it this way.

Lay dust sheets on the floor if there is still wallpaper or wallpaper paste residue on the walls.

Fill a pump sprayer with 142gr. of wallpaper stripper.

Add 1 gallon of water to the pump sprayer and close the lid.

Pump the solution over the entire surface of the wallpaper until the wallpaper is completely soaked. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes.

Scrape off the wallpaper with plastic paint scrapers.

Rinse the area with clear water from a sponge. Even the slightest stripper residue can ruin the paint job on the walls.

Let the walls dry for at least 48 hours before painting them.

Things You'll Need

  • Dust sheets
  • Pump sprayer
  • Wallpaper stripper
  • Paint scraper
  • Sponge
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About the Author

Kaye Wagner has been working in the fields of journalism and public relations since 2006 and is a recipient of a National Hearst Award. She is particularly interested in home-and-garden projects, as well as beauty and fashion writing. An avid traveler, she also writes travel reviews and guides. Wagner earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brigham Young University.