How to Remove Wallpaper

Difficulty: 2 of 5

 

Whether you want to put up new wallpaper or switch to painted walls, removing wallpaper is a key way to give a room a fresh start.

 

Use gloves and safety glasses when using wallpaper remover.

Materials:

– Drop cloth
– Gloves
– Paint roller
– Plaster
– Plaster knife
– Primer
– Scraper
– Screwdriver
– Sponge
– Tape
– Wallpaper remover solution
– Wallpaper scoring tool

Step 1: Lay down a drop cloth.


Before removing the wallpaper, cover your floor with a drop cloth. If you have any furniture in the room, you will want to cover that as well.
Lay down a drop cloth.

Step 2: Turn off power to the electrical circuits.


As a safety precaution, turn off power to any electrical circuits running to the wall where the wallpaper will be removed. Do this by switching the breaker to the off position at the main electrical panel.
Turn electricity off.

Step 3: Remove outlet covers and face plates.


Remove any outlet covers or face plates on the wall that you will be working on.
Use a screwdriver to remove outlet and face plate covers.

Step 4: Cover the exposed outlets with tape.


Use tape to cover the exposed outlets to keep them from getting wet.
Cover the outlet with tape.

Step 5: Remove any fixtures in the way.


Remove any other fixtures or lights that interfere with removing the wallpaper.
Remove lighting fixtures from the wall.

Step 6: Attempt to remove wallpaper.


You may be able to remove the wallpaper without having to apply wallpaper remover solution. Find a section of wallpaper that is already coming off, and start to peel it away slowly and at a constant speed. Try to avoid ripping the paper. If the wallpaper does not come away freely, use a razor blade or scraper to slide up under the wallpaper. Be careful not damage the wallboard.

See if the wallpaper comes away easily.

Step 7: Score the wallpaper with a special scoring tool.


More than likely, you will need the help of a wallpaper remover solution. You spray or sponge these products on the old wallpaper. They soak in, dissolving the glue and making the wallpaper much easier to remove. First, you should score the wallpaper. A wallpaper scoring tool has wheels that roll over the wallpaper making many small perforations in the paper. This allows the wallpaper remover to penetrate and soak into the wallpaper and loosen the glue that kept the wallpaper attached to the wall. Roll the scoring tool over the wallpaper, evenly perforating the paper as you go.

Roll this scoring tool over the wallpaper to perforate the paper.

Step 8: Apply wallpaper remover solution.


Wear rubber gloves and safety glasses when applying wallpaper remover. Follow the instructions that came with the remover solution. Some solutions you need to mix with water and others are ready-to-apply removers. Spraying or sponging evenly, cover the entire wall surface. Work from the top of the wall to the bottom. As the wallpaper absorbs the remover, it will darken slightly. Continue applying the solution until you have covered the entire wall. Most removers will only require one application.
Spray the solution onto the perforated wallpaper.

Step 9: Remove the wallpaper.


After allowing the remover to soak in for 15 minutes or so, spray the wallpaper once more to re-wet and immediately begin to remove the wallpaper. Starting at the seams, peel a strip of wallpaper up and off the wall. If the wallpaper sticks, try using a putty knife or scraper to work up under the wallpaper. Be careful not to damage the wallboard. Apply additional remover as necessary. Try to remove as much of the paper in one piece as possible.
Peel a strip of wallpaper up and off the wall.

Step 10: Clean the walls.


When all of the wallpaper is removed, use one more coat of solution to remove the residual adhesive that adhered the paper to the wall or any leftover pieces of the wallpaper. Using a sponge, rinse the wall with hot water. Allow the wall to dry completely.

Clean the wall with hot water and a sponge.

Step 11: Sand and apply plaster as needed.


The condition of the wall will determine what action needs to be taken before painting or applying a new covering. You may need to sand the walls smooth, put up new wallboard or add plaster to fill any holes or damaged parts of the wall. If removing the wallpaper left the wall rough and uneven, then a light skim coat of plaster will be needed. Apply the plaster with a large plaster knife.
Use a plaster knife to apply a skim coat of plaster, if needed.

Step 12: Apply primer to the wall.


Prime the walls with two coats of high-quality primer. With the walls clean, smooth and primed, you are ready for a fresh start.

Use a roller to apply two coats of primer.