How To Remove Wallpaper

If you’re the type of DIY-er that orders ready to assemble kitchen cabinets and installs your own kitchen accessories, why not remove your own wallpaper? With a little direction on how to prep, proper instructions for removing the wallpaper, and tips for cleaning up, this will be one DIY project you can accomplish with full confidence. Read on for our step-by-step guide on how to remove wallpaper.

Step 1: Prep The Area

Although not the messiest of jobs, removing wallpaper does require you to prep the area you are working in. For safety reasons, you will want to go ahead and cut the power to the room. In order to keep your floors, countertops, and kitchen cabinets clean take a few precautionary measures. Put drop cloths or plastic sheeting at the base of walls (optionally you can also tape to countertops). Either remove switch plates and outlet covers completely or protect with tape. You can also use tape to line the edges of any kitchen cabinets that are directly next to walls you will be working on.

Step 2: Check The Strength of the Current Adhesive

Before you go ahead with this process, it is beneficial to check how strong your wallpaper’s current adhesive is. You can do this by simply attempting to peel away wallpaper in one corner (try near the floor or where the paper meets your kitchen cabinets). When you begin to peel, is the wallpaper bringing bits of your drywall with it? Or are bits of your wallpaper sticking to the drywall? If you’ve answered no, your adhesive may not be very strong and it might be possible to simply peel off the wallpaper and skip to step five. If you answered yes to either, then proceed to the third step.

Step 3: Score Wallpaper

Use a wallpaper-perforating tool to create small holes in the wallpaper. This will allow the solvent you use to penetrate through the wallpaper and reach the adhesive.

Step 4: Pick Your Solvent And Apply

You can choose to go with a commercial solvent that can be bought from a home improvement store and is mixed with water, or comes ready to use in gel form. Follow the directions on how to apply before you leave the store, as you may also need to purchase a sponge or brush to apply it properly.

A DIY alternative is to mix a few tablespoons of fabric softener or white vinegar and hot water. Put your solution in a spray bottle and cover one section, let set a few minutes, strip, and repeat.

Step 5: Clean Stripped Walls

Once you have finished stripping all the wallpaper it is time to clean the walls. All you need is hot water, dishwashing detergent and a sponge. Scrub down the walls ensuring that all adhesive has been removed. Once the surface is smooth, rinse again with pure water and dry.

Pick up any protective drop cloths or plastic sheeting you have used and carefully remove tape from kitchen cabinets and countertops.