Wallpaper Removal Tips

With strippable wallpaper, start at a seam and gently pull off both the vinyl coating and the backing. With paper that can be peeled, the top layer will peel off easily but will leave a thin residue of paper and adhesive.

Remove this backing and adhesive with a wet sponge or an enzyme-based wallpaper remover. If the paper resists stripping or peeling, proceed as shown in the following steps.

1. Score the old wallpaper. If your wallpaper has a vinyl or foil covering, abrade the surface so moisture or remover can penetrate and help break down the adhesive. Score the surface with coarse sandpaper or an inexpensive wallpaper-scarifying tool (shown below).

Alternatively, you can steam wallpaper off of walls, but if the wall is old, damaged, or particularly porous plaster, a steamer could damage it, so test it in an inconspicuous place.

Misting wallpaper with a hand-pump garden sprayer filled with a mixture of hot water and wallpaper remover is another option. But, of course, the wetter the messier. Read the full article