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How to remove wallpaper the easy way

We can’t make it prettier, but we can make it easier!


how to remove wallpaper

Removing wallpaper certainly isn’t the most exciting way to spend your day but sometimes it has to be done! Luckily, you can make it easier and quicker by being prepared and knowing what to do beforehand. To help you out, we’ve put together a complete wallpaper removal how-to guide, so you’ll be done in no time.

Keep the area well-ventilated to prevent breathing in dust or fumes. Also keep a product like Handy Andy close at hand to clean up after your DIY wallpaper removal project.

Preparing for wallpaper removal

Before you dive straight in, it’s important you take some time to prepare. Follow these steps to prepare for wallpaper removal:

  1. Clear the room by moving furniture that’s in front of the walls - either to the middle of the room or out of the space completely.

  2. Lay down drop cloths and cover any remaining furniture.

  3. Shut off the electricity to the room and collect the items you need for removing wallpaper.

What to use to remove wallpaper

Here’s everything you’ll need to remove traditional wallpaper:

  • Water

  • Wallpaper stripper

  • Soap

  • Water

  • Spray bottle or paint roller

  • Putty knife

  • Rags

  • Rubber gloves

  • Ladder

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How to remove wallpaper

Now you’ve got everything you need, it’s time to take a look at a step-by-step for the best way to remove wallpaper:

  1. Mix the wallpaper stripper with water as per the instructions given by the manufacturer.

  2. Use your spray bottle or paint roller to apply the solution to a small area of the wall. Leave to absorb for a few minutes.

  3. Peel off the wallpaper using a putty knife, working up the wall slowly.

  4. Use soap, water, and a rag to wipe down the walls and get rid of any remaining residue.

If you find your wallpaper hard to remove then these wallpaper removal tips may also help:

  • Use a steamer for more stubborn areas. It’ll moisten the wallpaper and make it a whole lot easier to remove.

  • Mix white vinegar and water in a 50/50 solution instead of wallpaper stripper for a natural option. It may just need a little more time to work.

  • Soften old wallpaper with warm water, a detergent (like OMO), and cellulose paste, leaving the mixture for 5 minutes before scraping the wallpaper form the wall.

Once you start, you’ll realise that removing wallpaper to paint your walls isn’t as difficult as you might think! Be prepared for it to take some time though - wallpaper removal DIY isn’t always fast.

  • Strip wallpaper using a professional stripper or, if you don't have one, a putty knife

  • Start at the bottom corner and work your way up the wall slowly.

  • Use a steamer, wallpaper stripper solution, or white vinegar and water to soften the old wallpaper.

  • Pull the wallpaper off in big strips where possible.

  • Wet any remaining wallpaper adhesive left on the wall with a mixture of water and dishwashing liquid, such as Sunlight.

  • Scrape the backing and glue off the wall carefully to avoid damage.

Originally published