Bob Vila Radio: Wallpaper Removal

There are different techniques for removing every kind of wallpaper, but the tools and preparation are much the same. First and foremost, realize that this is a wet and messy process. Removing or covering everything in the room with plastic and masking off trim and windows will eliminate a lot of cleanup hassles.

Wallpaper Removal

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Listen to BOB VILA ON WALLPAPER REMOVAL, or read the text below:

Start at a top corner of the wall and try peeling off any loose areas of the outer layer. Once you’ve peeled off everything you can, run a perforation tool over the rest. Mix your removal solution according to the manufacturer’s instructions and spray it on with a spray bottle or garden sprayer.

Wallpaper remover is an enzyme designed to dissolve the adhesive. Let it sit 5 minutes or so before you start scraping with a putty knife. To avoid damaging the plaster or drywall as you scrape, use only the knife’s flat edge and not the corners. You may need to spray again a few times to get it all.

Buying or renting a wallpaper steamer can make tough jobs much easier. Use this tool carefully because soaking the drywall or plaster will damage it.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.

For more on wallpaper and paint, consider:

Wallpaper Basics
Bob Vila’s Top 12 Painting Tips
How To Paint a Room