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The Best Way to Remove Wallpaper like a Professional

The Best Way to Remove Wallpaper like a Professional

best way to remove wallpaper

One of the best things about wallpapers is that they have gradually taken over the home décor space as one of the most beautiful alternatives to painting.

Wallpapers help to improve the overall aesthetics of a home. In recent times, they’ve become very popular in many homes as a viable way of enriching the home's aesthetics.

The best part of using wallpapers is that they can be removed at any time. Contrary to what a lot of homeowners think, they’re not difficult to remove.

Wallpaper is one of the easiest things to remove once you have the right set of tools to carry out the task. The ability to easily remove it neatly without spoiling your wall often depends on the type of wallpaper installed.

Let’s take a look at the types available.


Types of Wallpapers

There are various types of wallpapers on the market; however, they can be divided into two broad categories. They include:

  • Removable/temporary wallpaper
  • Strippable/vinyl wallpaper


Removable wallpaper

As the name implies, this is the easiest to remove because of the way it has been designed to easily come down. This is made possible if the wall has been properly prepped or painted with satin, semi-gloss, or eggshell with a bit of sheen and cleaned before the wallpaper was installed.

It is commonly known as Peel and Stick, where you just have to peel and stick it on your wall during installation. During removal, you only need to cautiously pull it at its seams to enable you to remove it easily.

This type of wallpaper has become very popular in today's world due to the various beautiful patterns, designs, and surface finishes it comes in. The ease that comes with its removal and how it can be replaced or reused once it’s in good condition have also made it well-known.

Another benefit that the removable wallpaper offers is that it is completely removable and does not leave any mess behind during removal. This is coupled with the fact that its removal process doesn't require any equipment, steamer, or chemical.

The only downside is its durability; it's not as durable as the vinyl wallpaper.


Strippable or Vinyl wallpaper

This is the exact opposite of the removable wallpaper. It is very durable, water-resistant, and requires some materials or equipment for its removal.

In most cases, this type of wallpaper has to be softened and made permeable with hot water or chemicals to enable its easy removal, especially when a powerful adhesive is used for its installation.


How to Prep for a Wallpaper Removal

Before you proceed to remove any type of wallpaper, there are certain things you must put in place to make the process very easy and hitch-free. Below are the various ways to prep yourself for wallpaper removal.


Clear the furniture

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This is one of the foremost things to do. Remove any furniture on the wall and close to the wallpaper. You can either keep the furniture in the center of the room or take them outside if you need more space to work with.


Cover your fixtures

Your sockets and electric fixtures must be duly covered with paper tape. This will prevent any liquid or stain from soiling them as you begin.


Protect your floor

This is another important preparation that you must pay adequate attention to. You don't want to make your floor messy as you work on the wallpaper. Spread a cloth or rag on the floor before getting started. This will ensure that any dirt, liquid, or debris does not litter your floor, especially when you are to remove strippable or vinyl wallpaper.


A Comprehensive Guide on How to Remove Wallpaper Like a Pro

As discussed earlier, the type of wallpaper you have on your wall determines how easy it is to remove. Here, we shall give you a detailed guide on how to remove the two main types of wallpapers we discussed above.

Knowing the techniques we’ll share below will enable you to remove any type of wallpaper without damaging your wall in the process.

 best way to remove wallpaper

How to Remove a Temporary or Peel and Stick Wallpaper

As mentioned earlier, this is very easy to remove. It requires very little effort and materials.

Materials needed
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Rag or foam
  • Putty knife



Go to any corner of the wallpaper and use your putty knife to lift the paper from the wall. Once you successfully lift one of the edges or corners, you can proceed to use your hands to remove the paper from the wall.

Since the wallpaper you’re dealing with is a removable type, the paper is sure to come off easily and completely if done carefully. You can continue to use this procedure for the entire room to remove all the papers.

After removing the wallpaper, dip your foam or rag into soapy water to clean the wall and remove any dirt or residue. Doing this will help to have a neat and smooth wall when you decide to paint it. You must, however, allow the wall to dry completely before applying your paint.


How to Remove a Strippable or Vinyl Wallpaper

When it comes to strippable wallpapers or wallpapers that are not easily permeable (especially vinyl) due to the strong adhesive that was used for their installation, some materials and chemicals might be needed.

how do professionals remove wallpaper

Materials needed
  • Hot Water
  • Soap
  • Ladder
  • Putty knife
  • Rag/foam
  • Rubber gloves
  • Scoring tool
  • Wallpaper stripper
  • Spray bottle
  • Electric steamer (optional)



Mix the wallpaper stripper into the water and pour the mixture into your spray bottle. Depending on how high the length of your wallpaper is, climb a ladder to begin the application of the mixture in the spray bottle to a small section of the wallpaper.

Allow the paper to absorb the mixture for 10 to 15 minutes before using a putty knife to scrape it off. You must do the scrapping carefully so that you don't damage your wall.

If the paper does not come off easily after you've applied the mixture, you can proceed to use the scoring tool on it before applying the water mixture. After you’re done scraping the wallpaper, use soapy water to wash off the residue and adhesive from the wall.

Add baking soda, liquid dish soap, and a cup of vinegar (per gallon of water) into a bucket of hot water to easily remove any stubborn adhesive from your wall.

While wearing your rubber gloves, dip a sponge or foam into the water solution and begin to scrub the various sections of the wall where the adhesive is located. Continue to repeat this process until all the stubborn glue comes off.

You can use a putty knife and chemical scraper to scrape off the very rigid adhesive until the wall becomes free from glue. Do a final cleaning of the wall afterward.

If you have an almost permanent wallpaper that proves very difficult to go off your wall after you have tried the various aforementioned procedures, you can bring in an electric steamer to help you to get rid of the wallpaper. An electric steamer can be bought or rented from any home improvement store around you, depending on your budget.

Get the steamer and set it up according to the instructions on the manual; add water to it and allow it to boil. This is where your gloves come in handy to prevent burns.  

Place the steamer on the paper and begin to steam while scraping the paper off as the liquid from the steamer permeates through it. Keep doing this until the whole wallpaper is scraped off.

After that, use cold soapy water and rag or foam to wash the wall. Let the wall dry completely before applying fresh paint or new wallpaper.


Wrap Up

The process of removing wallpaper from the wall is not as arduous as a lot of people make it seem. The removal can be done effortlessly if you understand the type of wallpaper you’re dealing with and diligently follow the guide above.

If you’re able to remove a temporary or removable wallpaper completely without any tear or damage to the paper, such papers can be reused to decorate your garage, basement, or store. Alternatively, you can use it for some DIY design projects for your home.


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