How to remove old wallpaper

How to remove old wallpaper

If your wall is brand new and already painted with primer then you do not need to worry about the surface or removing the old wallpaper from the wall. However, if you still have old wallpaper on the wall you have two options, either wallpaper over top or remove original wallpaper and start fresh

Wallpaper over top of old wallcovering

This option will only work if the original layer is smooth and flat, without any bumps or bubbles. If your old wallpaper is free from bubbles or wrinkles, then you can install new layer of wallpaper over top without removing original layer. You will need to prep the wall by repasting any looser paper, patching wall if there are some dents, as well, you must clean the wall and apply a primer.

Remove original wallcovering

If your wall already has two layers of wallpaper, then you need to remove both of them and clean your wall. Do not install over top of grass cloth, burlap or cork wall coverings. If your old wallpaper has a vinyl, foil or plastic film over top, then you should not hang a new layer over top.

Steps to remove wall paper:

Tools: putty knife, rag, sponge, soapy water, Wallpaper stripper (if soap & water does not work)

  1.  Determine whether you have peel-able wallpaper (use putty knife to loosed the edge to see if it will strip away easily), if not, you will need to use the sponge/soapy water mixture to loosen glue.
  2. Mix hot water & dish soap and sponge/spray on wall paper (about 4x4 area) and let soak for a few minutes. Using your putty knife, scrape wall paper off for that section. If paper is not absorbing liquid, you may have to score the area. If you find the soapy water mixture is not releasing the glue from your wallpaper, you may need to try a Wallpaper stripper from your hardware store.
  3. Continue onto next section of wall, soaking & scraping.

(If soapy water nor Wallstripping mixture work, you might try using a handheld steamer to remove the wallpaper from the wall)

Things to consider:

Wall Type:

Knowing the material your wall is made from can help you achieve a perfect final product. The age of you house can determines what is under your wallpaper. There are usually two materials walls are made out of. One is plaster, which is found in homes that is more then 50 years old. These walls are solid and sound dull if you knock on them. The other material is drywall, a more delicate material than plaster, so be careful not to damage the surface when you using scraping tools. Drywall will absorb more liquid as well when trying to remove wallpaper with soapy water.