We kicked off a makeover of our guest bedroom and the first task on the to-do list was to remove the existing wallpaper. How to remove wallpaper is not difficult, it’s just tedious and requires some patience. We tried a couple of different methods and this is what worked best for us.
How to Remove Wallpaper
What you need:
- Wallpaper Steamer
- Scoring Tool
- Plastic Putty Knife (we didn’t need to use with our removal method)
- Wall Texture Spray (if required)
- Old Towels
- Trash Bin Nearby
- Lots of time 😉
First, score the wallpaper using the scoring tool. This perforates the wallpaper allowing the steam to penetrate the paper and reach the wallpaper adhesive easily.
We scoured the wallpaper using a circular movement.
The next step is to steam the wallpaper. The wallpaper steamer heats up the adhesive and allows the wallpaper to be peeled off. First, allow the steamer to heat up, which can take 15-20 minutes. Using the largest steam plate, hold the plate on the wallpaper for a minute or so and move to the next section.
We found that it was easier and quicker to remove the patterned part of the paper first, and then steam off the backing. Wallpaper is made up of a few layers, the backing, a coating, and then the ink that creates the pattern. After steaming the wallpaper in sections for a minute or so each, the top, patterned layer of the wallpaper came off easily but left behind the backing of the wallpaper. We steamed the backing and it peeled right off of the wall.
This may sound like extra work but I think it took less time in the end, and it certainly created less damage to the walls. We did not need to use a putty knife to scrape the wallpaper from the wall. The backing peeled off easily after the patterned top layer of the wallpaper was removed.
Move along the wall panel by panel. It is time-consuming so patience is key. It’s a messy job and the steamer drips water down the wall so it’s important to lay some old towels along the bottom of the wall to avoid water damage to the baseboard and flooring. Keep a trash can handy and discard the paper before it dries. If you just throw the removed wallpaper on the floor as we did, you will have a lot of adhesive to clean off of the flooring. 😉
After the wallpaper is completely removed, you may have to go back and get a few spots of stubborn backing. You’ll want to wipe the walls well to ensure all of the wallpaper adhesive is removed. If some of your paint or wall texture came off with the wallpaper, you may have to touch up the wall texture. We had to do this in a few spots. We used low odor texture spray to touch up our orange peel wall texture. Be sure to test the spray applicator first to match the texture of your walls.