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DIY Tales: Wallpaper Remover in 2 Ways

By Rental Revival | DIY Home Decor Apartment Decor on Jun 10, 2013

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Hi everyone! Thanks for all the great comments about my kitchen revival. I will be posting tutorials soon, but in the meantime, I have a few tips about DIY wallpaper removal that I thought you might like to know.

Recently a good friend of mine bought a house. It's a cute split-level in need of some updating, so I've been helping her out with a few things here and there. Almost immediately after she and her husband got the keys to their first home, she called me up and we got to work. First up on the list? 1980s WALLPAPER.

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My friend's name is Megan. I'm also Megan. And these two Megans are both the DIY kinda gals, so when we knew there would be a wallpaper massacre going on, we knew we didn't want to spend a fortune on "wallpaper remover" when we could just make our own. And by "make" I mean put some liquid in a spritzer bottle. Because it was that easy.

We searched "DIY wallpaper remover" on Google and found two options that we were willing to try: windshield washer fluid (the blue kind), and vinegar diluted with water.

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The first thing we did was scrape the heck outta the wallpaper with these roll-y wallpaper scorer guys. All these do is perforate the wallpaper so it is easier to remove.

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After doing the scoring (I may or may not have written some choice phrases with my perforating tool) we each took a spray bottle and got to work. Megan started with the vinegar, which we cut with water at a ratio of 1:1. The other Megan started with washer fluid. Confused? OK, OK, I used the washer fluid first.

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The living room was easy, even though I am all angry-face in this photo. We both got about matching results. Maybe the vinegar was a bit better (despite it making my eyes water), but not enough to prove any points.

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It was when we got to the foyer that we started cursing the Wallpaper Gods and cracking open cans of beer. We think that maybe in the living room, whoever put up this wallpaper used sizing in the living room but not in the foyer. I've never installed wallpaper before, but according to my mom, sizing is a big help when it comes to removing the wallpaper later. I believe her! The living room was coming off in big sheets, which was awesome and made us think, "Wallpaper removal? PSSHHH. We got this."

But then our butts were handed to us when we moved to the foyer! You don't even want to know how long it took to scrape off the wallpaper in this tiny little entryway. Here's what it looked like after we were done.

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Yikes. Notice the tiny shreds of the painstakingly removed 1980s mess. Please do not notice the can of adult beverage buried underneath.

We did find that the vinegar worked better when attacking the Foyer of Doom. Overall it was letting us rip off bigger sections of paper, whereas the washer fluid just kind of made everything blue. So if you are ever on a similar mission, I would recommend good ol' vinegar and water... along with some patience and a helper-friend.

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