Best Methods for Removing Wallpaper

December 15, 2015

Everyone has a story about trying to take wallpaper down in a new home. First, there is hope and determination, and then there is frustration, which is usually followed by tears, which you put on the wallpaper to try and loosen the glue. And you almost always end up with a horribly marked wall that still has layers of wallpaper scattered all over and you’re not sure if you will ever be the same.

It doesn’t have to be this way. With some patience, help (you will want to bribe your children with pizza for this), and time management you can have a small room done in an afternoon and a larger room done in a weekend. It all depends on how you tackle the job, what sort of solution you use, and energy (that is where the pizza comes in). Here are a few methods that may help you through your harrowing journey:

Dif Makes the Difference

You may find the product Dif or similar solutions may help you take off large chunks of wallpaper easily. By mixing the solution with hot water and using a car wash sponge or paint roller to apply, you can saturate the wallpaper and take it off cleanly. After applying Dif wait 20 minutes for it to soak in. Then you can begin peeling off pieces with a scraper. If you want to try this route, purchase a tarp or have some towels you want to throw out ready. This will preserve your floor and any immovable furniture.

Once you’ve taken off the wallpaper and the glue, wipe down the walls with a towel and hot water. This will clean the walls so you can paint worry free. You will want to repaint the room regardless of how careful you are. There will be scuffs and discoloration.

Hot Water and a Plan

One homeowner explained that she would soak the wallpaper with hot water by using a spray bottle and soaking four to five feet of wall at a time. She explained that she soaks the wallpaper twice and waits 30 minutes in between each soak before attempting to remove the wallpaper. You will still want a scraper even though she showed removing large chunks and you will want to clean the walls with hot, soapy water afterward.

Using a Steamer

One homeowner purchased a multipurpose steamer to use on the wallpaper. By steaming sections for ten seconds or more, the wallpaper came off easily and quickly. This is probably the most reliable option because it does not use harsh chemicals and the water remains hot within the machine unlike in a spray bottle or bucket. It can be a large investment, however, costing up to $200. Buying a multipurpose steamer can do more than one job and make for a more worthwhile investment.

Taking wallpaper down can be a risky job that can involve a lot of frustration and ending of friendships if you’re not careful. Be sure to take your time, do your research, and offer plenty of food and drink.

For those who are about peel, we salute you.