How to Remove Wallpaper the Easy Way





Introduction: How to Remove Wallpaper the Easy Way

One of the most dreaded renovation projects for many people is wallpaper removal. In the past I've many different recommended methods, such as: special sprays or renting a steamer, none of which worked without lots of hours and tears. This time around, I was armed with patience and ready to have the same challenges as before. After some more research, I found lots of good tips, some of which involved going and buying all kinds of nifty tools like a wall paper scorer. I did not want to go to the store and so I kept looking for home remedies. I decided to go with the fabric softener idea and now swear by its efficiency.

Step 1:

Take a large bucket and mix in equal parts warm water and fabric softener. I poured the mixture into a spray bottle (I had to pour out the leftover windex and rinse the bottle).

Step 2:

I thought I could just spray the wallpaper and then it will soften, and then I'd be able to just peel it off. Well, not really. Old wall-paper (in this case probably the '80s) has :

- a vinyl top layer and no amount of anything will take that off

-and a layer of kinda fuzzy wallpaper backing.

So, the best way is to peel off all of the vinyl. In most areas it all came off in strips. I did that until all that remained on the walls was the paper backing.

Step 3:

I proceeded to spray the wall in sections and it was like a miracle - it all came off.

Step 4:

Although it came off easily, it was still a time consuming activity. After a while, spraying was really hurting my hand, so I just poured my mixture into a paint tray and rolled with a paint roller. MUCH faster, but messier. Also, when you get close to outlets, turn the lights off. Because this bathroom doesn’t have any windows, it was completely dark, so I brought a table lamp that I plugged in the hallway outside the bathroom.

Step 5:

After I was done taking off the wallpaper, I cleaned all the crap off the floor and wiped the walls with warm water and a sponge, to remove any glue residue and any left over fuzz. Vois-la!!! All ready for priming.

Above are the before and after pictures.



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16 Discussions


2 years ago

Use a gallon+ spray bottle. Inexpensive in the Garden Section of most Home Improvement Stores. It keeps the hand cramps and muscle aches at bay, and it is a super speedy method to wetting the walls, et alia. Happy peeling.

It looks beautiful!

I used a sponge to wet the paper.. peels off so easily! I can get huge chunks off at once, so nice

Thanks for the tutorial!

Thank you for this tip, I will try it next time I decorate. I have dexterity problems and if this works it will help a lot.

Um…, Turning off the lights doesn't turn off the power to the outlets. Turning off the breakers and/or taking extra care is the best way to go.

1 reply

Lol...yes...I meant turning off the breakers. And since I know I'm not careful, I switched the breakers off.

I just took down the last of the wallpaper in our house ! Still have some of the glue left.. I'll give this a try... The roller/paint tray is an awesome idea ! Spraying is so hard on my hand!! Thanks for the great idea !

Nope. At the time I was living in Chicago and I got the cheapest Aldi brand. I would chose the least expensive one.


3 years ago

I have used this method and it's ridiculously easy, fast and cheap. Plus your place will smell good for several days.

It looks cool, and i might just try it, but as to fabric softener.... Is it as toxic as some people would have you believe? Ive checked into that part some with no credible evidence for or against it being very toxic. (well short of its not something to inhale or drink!) My personal opinion, Id give it a try on the wall paper since it has worked so well for you!

1 reply

I'm not a chemist, but I don't think it's more toxic than wearing it on your clothes. It's a personal choice I guess.

Great job here. Fabric softener makes so much sense. Thanks for sharing this Instructable!

Thank you for checking it out. Hope it helps someone and prevents them from making the same mistakes.