View Full Version : removing wallpaper

06-19-2011, 04:45 AM
I need to update a rental house I own and will start with removing the wall paper in several rooms. Does anyone have a fast and easy way to do this?
Thanks for any tips:D

06-19-2011, 05:05 AM
Find out what kind of walls you have, wallpaper on sheetrock has to be removed with steam by a professional or else you risk cracking the walls. If the walls are not sheetrock, go to Home Depot or any hardware store where you can buy whatever you need to remove the wallpaper. It's not hard but it is time consuming.

06-19-2011, 05:07 AM
Hire a professional ? ;)

I think you can rent some sort of steam machine that'll help loosen the wallpaper's glue for easier removal. Check stores like Home Depot to see if they have it for rent.

06-19-2011, 05:40 AM
We just bought a house with sheetrock walls and black and gold wallpaper on the dining room walls. Our realtor told us to hire a painter to remove the wallpaper, she said we risked damage to the walls if we tried to do it ourselves.

06-19-2011, 05:49 AM
That depends on whether or not the wallpaper was put on over top of painted walls or not. I removed wallpaper last fall, and just used the mix recommended at our local hardware store. It was time consuming, but I didn't damage the walls, and I got it all off. I guess if the paper was put on top of gyproc that had only been primed, there might be an issue.

06-19-2011, 10:48 AM
If the walls are plaster you may just be able to pull it off. I've done that, or sometimes used hot water in a spray bottle and a scraper. Is sheetrock also known as drywall?

06-19-2011, 09:06 PM
Is sheetrock also known as drywall?I'm assuming that's what it is.

06-19-2011, 09:19 PM
Put liquid fabric softener in water. Score the wall paper and either spray or sponge the solution on it. Use a scraper to start an edge and tear off. Voila. It's labor intensive but not hard.

ps- Really is correct. Sheetrock and drywall are one and the same.

06-19-2011, 10:27 PM
You need a tool called a "Paper Tiger". It scores the wallpaper to absorb (I just use water). Then scrape with a scraper and pull. Re-wet what is left to scrape off the old glue. 5 rooms and counting in this old house that I have un-papered. Good luck!

06-20-2011, 08:04 PM
Scorer/fabric softener with warm water combo. But if it is too stuck on, you might have some wall patching to do. Wall mud is easy to put on and sand down - there is just more clean up.

06-20-2011, 08:41 PM
Just hope it was put up properly to begin with... our house was originally the model for the development, in 1979, and had wallpaper on every square inch of wall (including in the closets!!). And they didn't prep the walls, they just slapped the wallpaper right onto the bare drywall. It was absolute hell to get it down because a LOT of the drywall paper came off along with the wallpaper backing.

Bev Johnston
06-20-2011, 09:38 PM
I sympathize with you over this chore. Like a lot of others here, I did the scoring/spraying/scraping throughout multiple rooms. The worst was in the bathroom, where the previous owners used some kind of vinyl-like wallpaper. The paste dissolver had a hard time getting through the wallpaper to the paste, even with the scoring. I still have the entryway to do. I have been putting it off because it's such a despicable job. I'm thinking of renting a steamer this time to see if it the paper comes down any easier. Good luck!

Moto Guzzi
06-21-2011, 08:15 PM
I removed wall paper from my living room, dining room and entry way. The living room was easy because it was vinyl; I just grabbed and pulled. The paper in the other areas was more difficult.

For the dining room, I tried everything short of a flame thrower to get that stuff off. The first wall took me 8 hours and was such a mess I had to spackle and sand it before it could be painted. Scoring didn't seem to help, nor did dampening the paper with a sponge dipped in water and some type of wall paper removal mixture the hardware store had recommended. I nearly electrocuted myself when I discovered a well-disguised electrical outlet hidden in the wallpaper. The former owners were fiends about matching patterns and papering the outlets.

After the first wall, I rented a steamer. That helped but was still slow. What really did the trick was putting the wall paper removal mixture inside a big sprayer bottle we had for spraying roses. After scoring the walls, I sprayed them with the nozzle held as close to the paper as possible. It did a great job of saturating the paper so I could peel it off with my scraper.

Skate Talker
06-22-2011, 04:44 PM
Yes it definitely depends on the type of wall, what was done to the surface before the paper was hung, what kind of paper it is, what type of glue was used, etc. The last wall paper I removed was non-vinyl, pre-pasted paper applied over regular latex-painted drywall. I was able to almost dry-strip the whole thing and the paper stayed so intact that it could be re-hung with some new glue. (It was a nice oriental pattern so I ended up using it to cover some shoe boxes for coordinated storage.) In some places I did use a warm wet sponge to loosen it a little. This paper was fully adhered before I started the removal, with no signs of peeling and had been up for at least 10 years. Perhaps I was just lucky?