Easiest Way to Remove Wallpaper

I’m back today to share a majorly helpful tip on taking down wallpaper! Before we even bought our home I knew the wallpaper in the dining room HAD to be addressed!

Our Dining Room Before

Dining Room

 

Sure, I had seen worse wallpaper but this was definitely not my style and although I love brown tones in decorating I prefer to keep them to wood furniture rather than the color of my walls.

I very seriously researched the possibility of painting over the wallpaper and almost chanced it to get out of removing the wallpaper.  But  my sensible side won out since the feedback from my research carried mixed reviews.

I bought a container of ‘special’ wallpaper removal solution that came in a spray bottle.  I followed the directions and sprayed an area of wallpaper with it, waited 15 minutes, and then began to use a putty knife scraper tool to gently pull off the wallpaper.   The results were unimpressive.  I was lucky to get more than 3 inches of wallpaper off at a time.  And since the progress was SO painstakingly slow I started to get impatient and less gentle resulting in some dings on the wall from the scraper.

My dad was in town at the time and was kind enough to take pity on me and join in the fun misery.  It took us over two hours to only do about 1/10 of the room.  I was not a happy camper to say the least.

We decided to take a break despite the lack of progress and I’m so glad we did because  in a desperate hope to escape what I thought was my next 20 hours of wallpaper removal reality I located the “Removing Wallpaper the Easiest and Fast Way” Youtube videos.  My rescue from hours and hours of frustration and dismay!

I ended up modifying his method a little bit so I will describe the steps I used to easily take off the remaining 9/10ths of the wallpaper and leave links to his Youtube video at the end in case you still feel you want to watch the process in action.

Easiest Way to Remove Wallpaper

 

Since the wallpaper removal solution was already completely used up in the first unproductive escapade I decided to fill the empty spray bottle up with warm to hot water.  I laid down towels at the bottom of the wall where I would be spraying to catch the water drips.  I sprayed about a 4-5 ft. (width) section of the wall all the way up and down the wall.  I made sure I sprayed the wall generously so that the water would soak through the paper completely.

After I sprayed the area I let it sit for 30 minutes.  Then I came back and sprayed the same area making sure it was nice and wet.  I again let it alone for 30 minutes.  Then when I came back after 3o minutes I gently pulled up the wallpaper from the very bottom and lo and behold it came off in one nice big sheet!!!  It comes off all the way from the bottom of the wall to the top of the wall!

As soon as you get all the wallpaper off the wall in that section take a towel and wipe down the wall.  Any remaining paste on the wall should come off onto the towel.  The paste may be hard to see so feel with your hands to make sure the paste has come all the way off the wall.  Warning:   If you wait to towel off the wall then the paste will dry on the wall and take more time to remove.

As you get the method down you can start spraying other 4-5ft. sections of the walls during the 30 minute waiting periods but you will need to be very attentive and organized with the timing of all the sections in order for the walls to stay properly wet.

I am SO grateful I found this method because who knows if I would have had the patience to go 20 hours longer slowing and painfully chipping away at my dining room wallpaper.  And I love that my version of the method is completely free (well, practically, I guess I do pay a water bill) 🙂

Here is the before and after–

Before-Not my Style

Dining Room

After-It’s getting there

Engineered Hardwood in Dining Room

Dining Room Summer Decor

And here are the links to the “Removing Wallpaper the Easiest and Fast Way” Youtube Videos.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4,

Anyone else been through heck and back trying to remove wallpaper??  As always let me know if you have any questions!

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16 thoughts on “Easiest Way to Remove Wallpaper

  1. Nichole Mendoza Clemens

    Our entire house is covered in layers upon layers of wallpaper. We painstakingly removed 11 layers from our kitchen last fall. Just started on our bedroom and during a break I decided to see if I could find a better method. Just sprayed down a section of a wall and I am patiently waiting to respray. Will let you know how it works for us! :)Thanks!

  2. Rose

    This method works if the wallpaper is not coated with vinyl, if that is the case, just sand, to scuff up the surface, and proceed with the water. I have been removing wallpaper as a contractor for 30 years, have tried many methods, water works best, oh, and if you have hard water, add a little fabric softener, it helps to penetrate the paper, plus smells good!

      1. Tamara Post author

        Yikes, I’m not exactly sure, Jillian! Do you know when the wallpaper was put up? I’m pretty sure the vinyl coated stuff can come off this way too…there might just be more layers.

      2. Chrissie

        If it’s vinyl it has a waterproof layer, as does painted paper – you will see the water sits on or runs off the surface, so the paper needs to be scored so the water penetrates.

  3. Jessica

    Interesting, I’ll have to try this the next time I remove wallpaper! Our house was over 90% bad wallpaper… I removed it from a hallway and it took me like 50 hours no, joke it was a full time job 8-8 for a full week! My neighbor does paint and drywall repair and recommended that I don’t remove it, but paint over it. I painted it with seal grip first, then used drywall mud on the seams, sanded the seams down, and finally painted over it. I’ve found it to work well (it worked over textured wallpaper too!) and if you sand well you can’t see the seams at all!

  4. Natalie

    I am a complete newbie to removing wallpaper, and it’s in our daughters’ bathroom plus our guest bathroom – yikes! Was the dining room wallpaper directly on drywall? Does the water harm the drywall surface?

  5. Karla

    After years of removing miles of ugly paper (could someone explain the wallpapered ceiling to me?) I would just add a couple things. I learned to put down a layer of plastic sheeting on the floor first or else the paper and glue just found a new place to stick! I also get one or two pump sprayers from the gardening section at Wal-Mart. The gallon size runs about $9 and is so much easier on your hands than a small squirt bottle! Finally I add a bit of Dawn dish soap to help cut through the glue. Other than that it sounds like the process is the same. Messy but worth it.

  6. Jeannette Santoro

    There is a little round plastic tool call a paper tiger (brand name) that you hold in your hand and run over the wall . It has teeth that make small holes in the wallpaper that allows the water to sleep behind the paper. It works like a miracle even on vinyl coated paper.

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