Nothing makes a home look outdated like old wallpaper, but you don’t have to be stuck with it forever. Give tired wallpaper the boot by removing it yourself in six easy steps. This project may take some time and some elbow grease, but the results are well worth the effort. Here’s what you’ll need to take on this task:
TOOLS & MATERIALS
- Pump Sprayer
- Wide Putty Knife
- Drop Cloths
- Trash Bags
- Large Sponge
- Ladder or Step Stool
- Wallpaper Scoring Tool (Optional)
- Fabric Softener (Optional)
- Wallpaper Steamer (Optional)
When taking on this DIY task, be sure to equip yourself with the proper safety gear.
To remove wallpaper, first prepare your space. Start by removing items on or near your walls, including pictures, curtains, outlet covers, and anything else that might be in the way or get damaged while you work. Then at your breaker box, turn off the power to outlets and fixtures on the walls where you’ll be removing wallpaper.
Make solution. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Fill half your pump sprayer with boiling water and the other half with tap water. If your wallpaper is difficult to remove, a solution of one part fabric softener to one part boiling water should help.
Cover furniture. Lay drop cloths to protect furniture, cabinets, windows, and floors, using painter’s tape to secure to the base of each wall.
Spray walls. Pump the sprayer to build up pressure. Evenly spray your wall until it’s completely saturated and begins to bubble. A wallpaper steamer, available to rent at many home improvement centers, will help larger projects move faster.
Remove wallpaper. Starting in a corner, peel back a small section of wallpaper with your fingers. Wedge your putty knife underneath and scrape against the wallpaper to detach. Look for seams and bubbled areas, which will provide extra leverage for your knife. Repeat the spraying and scraping process, adding more boiling water as you go, until you’re able to pull back and scrape off all wallpaper. Work your way across one wall at a time, removing wallpaper as shown, before moving on to the next wall.
Clean wall. Remove any remaining residue with a large, damp sponge. Lightly spray the walls with clean water and wipe them down one final time. Your project is complete! Let your walls dry for two to three days before making any repairs, painting, or applying new wallpaper.