Removing Wallpaper: 6 Smart Tips to do the Job Right

Home interior
How to remove wallpaper

Tips For Removing Wallpaper

Removing wallpaper before painting is tough, but it doesn't have to be terrible. Wallpapering is time-consuming and difficult, and it's often hard to tell when you're done. But with patience and the right tools, you can remove wallpaper without too much trouble.

And after finishing the wall you can wallpaper the corners like a pro.

Before you begin removing wallpaper

Before you begin removing wallpaper, it is important to gather the right tools and materials. 

You will need: 

  • a putty knife, 
  • a scoring tool, 
  • a steamer, 
  • a sponge, 
  • and a bucket of warm water. 

You will also need a drop cloth to protect your floors from water damage.

Replace walpaper
Know how to remove and replace wallpaper

Choosing the right type of wallpaper for your home is also important. 

  • If you have a textured surface, vinyl wallpaper is the best option. 
  • If you have a smooth surface, like drywall, you can choose from various types of wallpaper, including fabric-backed or pre-pasted varieties.

Once you have the right tools and materials, follow these steps to remove wallpaper:

Protect the Floor and Woodwork

Most people don't think twice about redecorating their homes. They choose the wall coverings, paint colors, and flooring they like best and go for it.

They don't realize that there are some important things to consider before starting any home improvement project, especially one that involves the floors or woodwork. Keep in mind these few tips:

  • Always use drop cloths when painting, wallpapering, or staining. It will prevent spatters and drips from ruining your floors or woodwork.
  • Be careful when moving heavy furniture. Dragging it across the floor can scratch and damage wood surfaces' flooring and finish.
  • Use doormats at all entrances to help reduce the amount of dirt, sand, and debris that gets tracked into the house.
  • Place mats or rugs in high-traffic areas to protect the flooring from wear and tear.
  • When cleaning, always use the manufacturer's recommended cleaners and follow the instructions carefully. Using the wrong cleaner or using too much of it can damage both floors and woodwork. by following these simple tips, you can help protect your home's floors and woodwork and keep them looking their best for years to come.

Prepare the Room

Removing wallpaper can be messy and time-consuming, but getting rid of those outdated patterns is worth it. Here are a few tips to make the job easier:

  • First, score the wallpaper with a scoring tool or a utility knife. It will help the stripper solution penetrate the paper and release the adhesive.
  • Next, apply a wallcovering stripper solution to the scored areas and let it soak in for about 15 minutes.
  • After the stripper has had a chance to work, use a putty knife or stripping tool to remove the wallpaper; start from the top and work your way to the bottom, using a scraper to remove any stubborn bits.
  • Finally, wash the walls with soap and water to remove residual adhesive. Before painting or wallpapering, let the walls dry completely.

Pull Off the Facing

  • Remove any existing wallpaper. It is the most important step. You'll need to remove all of the old wallpaper before you can start applying the new wallpaper. Use a scoring tool to score the wallpaper and then use a steamer or chemical remover to remove it.
  • Hang the wallpaper correctly. This step is crucial for ensuring that your wallpapering job looks its best. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully and take your time hanging the wallpaper.

Soak Backing to Soften the Paste

If you're removing wallpapers, you'll need to soak the backing to soften the paste.

  1. Start by stripping off any loose or peeling wallpaper. It will be easier to soak the backing and avoid saturating the wall.
  2. Next, score the wallpaper backing with a scoring tool. It will help the water penetrate more evenly.
  3. Fill a bucket with warm water and add a mild detergent. Submerge the wallpaper backing in the bucket and let it soak for at least 15 minutes.
  4.  After soaking, use a putty knife or scraper to remove the softened wallpaper paste.

With these tips, you'll be able to soak off wallpaper backing quickly and easily!

Scrape Off the Backing and Use Gel Stripper on Stubborn Paste

You should know a few things to do the job quickly and efficiently.

  1. First, if the wallpaper is old and stubborn, you may need to scrape off the backing before you can begin stripping the gel. It can be time-consuming, but it's important to ensure to remove all backings before you begin stripping the gel.
  2. Second, once you've scraped off the backing, you'll need to apply a gel stripper to the wall. It will help to loosen the adhesive and make it easier to remove the wallpaper.
  3. Finally, once you've applied the stripper, you'll need a putty knife or tool to scrape the wallpaper off the wall. With these tips in mind, removing wallpapers should be a breeze!

Repair, Sand, and Prime the Walls Smooth

When it comes to wall repairs, you should keep a few things in mind to get the best results.

  • First, if you're dealing with wallpaper removal, use a scoring tool to make small holes in the paper so that the stripper can penetrate.
  • Next, when sanding the wall, use fine-grit sandpaper so that you don't end up with any visible imperfections.
  • Finally, when priming the wall, be sure to use a primer specifically designed for walls to achieve a smooth finish.

By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to repairing, sanding, and priming your wall so that it looks good as new.


As anyone who has ever removed wallpaper knows, the job can be a real challenge. The paper is often delicate and can tear easily, and the glue can be stubborn to remove.

However, armed with the right knowledge and tools, it can remove wallpaper without too much trouble. Hoping these six smart tips for removing wallpaper correctly was handy for you and made your task easier. Thanks for reading!

Author: George Davis is a Commercial Property Manager with more than 3 years of experience in the industry. In his spare time, he loves playing tennis and hiking.

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