3 Tried and true simple methods for removing wallpaper fast and inexpensively!
Remodeling is out of the question for many families in this economy, but painting is an excellent way to give various rooms in your home new life. If your current walls are donned in wallpaper or borders, here is the easiest way to remove it and prepare the wall for painting without harmful chemicals.
If you’re doing a large room with extensive papering, this is the method we recommend above all others. If you’re going to be removing a wall border or just a small area, try method #2 or #3 towards the bottom of this page.
- Steamer- I highly recommend the Wagner Steamer, it works like a charm
- Score Tool
- Putty Knife (Scraper)
Step 1: Score the wall- in order to make it easier for the steam to penetrate the wallpaper, it is necessary to gently score the wall using a score tool. This essentially makes little tiny holes in the paper, allowing the steam to penetrate and soften the glue.
Step 2: Hold the steamer over a section of paper you wish to remove, hold for 20-30 seconds and then slide it along the wall.
Step 3: Using the putty knife gently scrape away the offending wallpaper.
Step 4: Repeat until all the paper is gone!
Step 5: Wash remaining glue residue off the walls. I recommend hot water with a dab of dawn dish soap, it works great. If you’ve used a steamer, most of the residue is already gone.
Step 6: Apply Drywall Mud (joint compound) to any knicks or gouges to fill the holes and make the surface smooth. Allow it to dry (may take several hours depending on how thickly it was applied). Smooth the surface with a dampened sponge (much easier than sanding, I promise!)
Step 7: Paint!
Just stir 1 cap-full of your favorite brand of liquid fabric softener into 1 quart (1 liter) warm water and liberally sponge the solution onto the wallpaper. Allow it soak in for 20 minutes, then gently scrape the paper from the wall. If the wallpaper is heavy duty or has a water-resistant coating, score it with a score tool or a wire-bristle brush before treating with the fabric softener solution.
If you don’t have access to a steamer or liquid fabric softener you can fill a squirt bottle with a 50/50 mix of Vinegar and hot water. Score the wall, spray liberally and wait 10-15 minutes. Unfortunately, this method takes twice as long and requires repeated applications.