Things You Should Know about Wallpaper Removal

by teddletonmr

These Wallpaper removal tips help you select the easiest most effective method of stripping wall-coverings. Be it a spray wall-covering stripper, scraper, perforator, scoring tool,

Love it, or hate it. I believe we will all agree wallpaper has its upside. It is an inexpensive way to add a custom look to a room. Create a stunning accent wall, or simply express a sense of style. The down side, sooner or later, we will need to remove vinyl, fabric or paper wall-coverings. Ugly, peeling around the edges, out of date, or just want to change the look of things, no matter the reason, we simply must remove that hideous stuff.
Our quandary, what is the best way to go about removing all the different types of wall-coverings. In this article, we will discuss the things you should know about wallpaper removal, and what you will need.

Wallpaper Removal Basics

Knowing the type of wallpaper, you want removed, makes removal a lot easier saving time and money on costly repairs.

There are several methods of removing wall-coverings. For instance, there are liquid stripping solutions that we simply need spray on the wall and wait a few minutes. Scrapers that are an absolute must for any paper or fabric backed removal job, and an electric wallpaper steamer that works like magic. The fact remains; there is both the right way, and wrong way of removing wallpapers.

First thing first, determine what kind of wall covering you need to remove.

● Fabric backed vinyl,

● Paper backed vinyl,

● Vinyl coated paper,

● Plain Paper, AKA Paper Papers,

● Non-woven AKA, NW,

Each of these different types of wall-coverings, require using different removal methods. It is true, using liquid spray strippers and a good scraper will make the removal of a single layer of vinyl-coated paper, a relatively easy job. While on the other hand, removing multiple layers of fabric backed and paper-backed wall-coverings, require using a perforator, to allow the steam from a wallpaper steamer loosen the paste.

How to Use Spray Wall-covering Stripper

When using spray on wallpaper stripping solutions, a perforator, scoring tool, helps these solutions work better to loosen wallpaper paste.

FYI, last time I looked online for a good spray wallpaper stripper. The bestselling wallpaper stripper sold at amazon was the Zinsser 2486 DIF fast acting spray. Lots of homeowners and DIY types, like the convenience of the ready to use 32-Ounce reusable spray bottle.

This stuff does a good job, at removing single layers of paper-backed vinyl, vinyl coated paper, fabric backed and the like with the help of a good perforator and scraper. However, when stripping multiple layers a good wallpaper steamer works better.


As we go about removing many types of properly hung wall coverings, liquid spray strippers work well, according to the manufacture, in around 2 minutes; Zinsser’s DIF penetrates and loosens stubborn adhesives. The specially formulated liquid strippers resist run-off, this advancement allows the liquid stripper to work better. Loosening paste without the need of constantly spraying more strippers on the wall, to make removal, and cleaning wallpaper paste residue from the drywall a bit easier.

Quick and Easy wallpaper removal steps,

Things you will need,

●. Utility knife

● Drop cloth, trash can, or trash bag

● Bucket and large cleaning sponge

● 4-inch wide flexible scraper such as the Zinsser 98014 long handle scraper

● Perforator

● Platform ladder

● Liquid spray wallpaper striping solution

● Hair net or painter’s hat, long sleeve shirt or painter’s smock, gloves and sturdy shoes

● Work light

Step 1 Getting started

Save time and money on costly drywall repairs

Remove everything from the wall, light switch and receptacle covers, air return vent covers, artwork, and shelving. Remember to remove all the nails or screws used to hang items on the walls.

Step 2, Working around doors, windows and moldings

Help to avoid damage to door jam, window sill, and moldings

Use a sharp utility knife and lightly trace around the edges of doors, windows, baseboards, and crown moldings applying just enough pressure to cut through paint, paste, or top layer of wallpaper, you want to avoid cutting into the drywall or plaster.

Folding Utility Knife Makes a great gift

Step 3, Protect floors and make clean up easier

Wallpaper paste will stick to floors and everything else when it dries

Put down drop cloth to protect your floor, and get a trashcan or trash bag set up to collect paper as you remove it

Step 4, Start removing wallpaper at the Ceiling and work to the floor

Liquid strippers run down the wall, loosening coverings as they go...

Start at the top of the wall, gently using a perforator, such as the Zinsser 2966 Paper Tiger scoring tool that fits nicely in the palm of your hand. On the other hand, the Warner 250 long handled perforator works well for those hard to reach places.

Working in small areas, where you can easily and safely reach from a platform ladder without overreaching. Check out the link below for more information on things you should know about platform ladders. Perforate the top layer of paper before spraying liquid stripper, or using a wallpaper steamer to loosen paste.

Engineered to be safe, lightweight, strong, and inexpensive, the Little Giant Flip-N-Lite Ladder is easy to set-up, use and store in the garage or closet.

Step 5, Using liquid spray stripper and remove wall-covering

Working in small areas makes removing wall-coverings and clean up afterwards easier

After giving the stripper a couple minutes to loosen the paste, the wallpaper should be ready to peal away. Using a 4-inch scraper, gently scrape the paper away from the wall surface. Immediately while the paste is pliable, quickly wash away any remaining residue with a large damp sponge, and bucket of clean warm water. Remember; it is easier to work from the ceiling, to the floor when using liquid strippers. Limiting your work area to an area a couple feet square helps to ensure success and easy clean up.

Wallpaper Steamer work great

When your wallpaper removal job is to big for spray strippers a wallpaper steamer is the only way to get the job done.
Warner Manufacturing Co. 5687 Tool 15...Wagner Power Products 282018 1-Gallon...
Updated: 01/10/2013, teddletonmr
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Home improvement wallpaper removal chat

katiem2 on 01/09/2013

Great tips. I remember the first time I attempted to remove wall paper in a closet, I thought it would be an easy task as it was merely a closet and how hard could it be. It was a night mare. I can imagine how your tips would make it possible. Someone where there is a ugly papered closet in an upstairs apartment with bits and pieces missing....:)K

Pam on 12/22/2012

Ugh wall paper is so hard to remove, thanks for the tips.

teddletonmr on 12/20/2012

I know what you mean Sue, many wallpaper choices look great. Untill it comes time to change the look of a room or wall.
Removing the old stuff can be a real job, many times the spray strippers are not the best choice. For hard to remove and big jobs, using a good wallpaper steamer is the better method.
Sue, thanks for sharing your memories, make it a great New Year... Mike

2uesday on 12/20/2012

One of my memories from childhood is seeing my parents struggle to remove stubborn wallpaper from walls. My dad was fantastic at putting up wallpaper and matching the patterns up but I do not think removing it was as enjoyable.

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