It can be done. I know I'm comfortable trying to remove what wallpaper I can w/o peeling off the drywall paper. IF you know when to STOP peeling, you should start this first. Just take your time.
Now, assuming you've tried (and failed or succeeded or failed and succeeded in various places), it's time for Plan B. Buy yourself some DIF Wallpaper Remover by Zinsser, A Paper Tiger, a pair of rubber gloves (somewhat 'thick' dishwashing type), a 4" Spackle Knife, one of those HUGE carwash sponges (that are the size of a brick), and some plastic to lay on the floor at the base of the wall. Then, read the directions on the DIF Container.
There are a few keys to doing this job. #1 is reading the directions TWICE (and you'll see what I'm saying.) If you follow them, you'll do fine. Trying to cut corners or move too quickly will only lead to disappointment. Use the Paper Tiger to perforate through the wallpaper. DON'T push so hard that you're 'dinging' the drywall underneath. You'll have to use your best judgement to determine how hard to press. Keep a close eye on the TIger so it's always free-and-clear of any paper/paint debris (on the underside.) If it gets 'gummed up', it won't work well for you. Go crazy with the Tiger. The more Perfs you make, the better the solution will work. Do this FIRST before you mix your DIF. (YOu don't want the DIF solution to get cold while you're perforating the wall.) Per the instructions, use BOILING hot water (with the gloves.) This solution works BEST when it is clean AND very HOT. Change it when it gets 'cool' and starts looking yuckie. (That's a technical term that means dirty. :) ) Use the sponge to apply the solution. Keep a pot of water (set on LOW) on the stove so you're always ready for the next batch. (The DIF is cheap so don't feel like you're wasting money.)
After you've applied your 2 coatings, start peeling with the assistance of the Spackle Knife. Again, use your judgement so you don't peel off the drywall paper. Remember, if you move too fast, you'll be doing this forever. Heck, maybe your paper will need 3 coatings of the solution vs. 2 because it's painted. Once the wallpaper is removed, get a CLEAN, HOT solution (a new one) and 'wash' the walls. Then, let them dry and you can PRIME/SEAL them, then paint them.
My best to ya and hope this helps.
Jay J -Moderator
PS: If you're having any 'problems', it could be for the following reasons: Not enough DIF, water too 'cold', wallpaper not 'perfed' very well, Tiger 'gummed up', solution too yuckie, need to wait longer for the solution to 'work', need to try another 'coating' because 2 isn't enough.