How to remove wallpaper and tips

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  June 16, 2022
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Do you want to give your home a makeover with beautiful new wallpaper? Then it is a good idea to remove the old wallpaper first. Removing wallpaper is quite simple but does take some time. Especially because it has to be done exactly. If you don’t, you will see the old wallpaper remnants through the new wallpaper or through the paint, and that doesn’t look neat. There are several methods that can be used to remove wallpaper that we will discuss in this article.

Removing wallpaper

Step-by-step plan for removing the wallpaper

If you are going to remove wallpaper with water, it is a good idea to shield the floor well and to move or cover any furniture. This of course to prevent water damage. It is also a good idea to turn off the fuses for the electricity in the room where you are working.

The easiest way is of course by soaking the wallpaper with water. A big advantage here is that no machines are needed. But the job takes longer this way. By continuously dabbing the wallpaper with a sponge with warm water, the wallpaper will loosen by itself. If necessary, you can use a special soaking agent.
Can’t get everything off with just water? Then you can use a putty knife to scrape off the leftovers.
You can also use a steamer to get the wallpaper off the walls. You can buy or rent these at almost any hardware store. By moving the steamer over the wallpaper, you can easily remove it with a putty knife.
Do you want to remove vinyl wallpaper? Then you first have to make holes in the wallpaper with a spiked roller, to ensure that the water can reach the glue.

You don’t need a lot of stuff if you want to remove the wallpaper from the walls. Below you will find an overview of the essential items:

Bucket with warm water and a sponge
A soaking agent that ensures that the wallpaper comes off faster
putty knife
An old cloth
Steam device, you can buy this but also rent it in the hardware store
Prick roller if you have vinyl wallpaper
masking tape
Foil for the floor and furniture
A staircase or stool so you can reach everything well

Some more tips

When you are removing the wallpaper, you will soon notice that your arms are bothering you. This is because you often work overhead. Try to alternate this as much as possible, for example by continuing at the bottom and possibly sitting on the floor.

You will also probably get a lot of trouble from water that goes down your arm. This can be very annoying but is easy to fix. By stretching a towel around your arm, you no longer suffer from this. The towel absorbs all the water, so that you are not completely soaked in the end. Also try to work from top to bottom.

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.