Bob Vila Radio: Baring It All—The Many Methods of Wallpaper Removal

Removing wallpaper usually isn't an easy project—but sometimes it is! A lot depends on the specific type of wallpaper that you're dealing with. Read on to learn how to tell which type is on your walls, and for tips on what to do once you know.

If you’re thinking of removing wallpaper, first make sure you know what type of wallpaper you’re dealing with.

Wallpaper Removal Methods




Try pulling gently on a corner of the paper. If it separates from the wall easily, consider yourself lucky! It may be removable wallpaper, which has recently been gaining converts, especially with renters.

If the paper doesn’t budge, you may be dealing with either strippable or vinyl paper. Try using a spray bottle filled with hot water to soak a corner section of the paper. If it’s strippable paper, it will allow the water to pass through and loosen the glue.

If it’s a vinyl paper, however, the water won’t permeate the paper. In that case, you’ll probably need to use a wallpaper scoring tool. As you roll the tool over the paper, the teeth punch holes in the paper, allowing water to pass through and loosen the glue. Start with light pressure on the scoring tool; you only want to punch holes in the paper—not the wall!

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!