Clear and Prepare the Room for DIY Wallpaper Removal

Wallpaper removal can be daunting for homeowners, but it’s worth the effort. From preparing the room to selecting the proper tools and techniques, many steps are involved in achieving wallpaper-free clean walls.

Whether you’re dealing with old sheets of pasted paper or more modern vinyl coverings, this blog post will give you all the information you need to get started. We’ll walk you through preparing your walls and provide tips on which methods best suit each type of wallpaper material. With an in-depth overview of everything that goes into successful wallpaper removal, this blog post has everything you need to make your job easier!

Cut the Power

The first step in preparing your room for wallpaper removal is to cut the power. Shut off the electricity to the room and cover any electrical outlets or light switches with painter’s tape. This will protect you from electrocution while you are working.

Determine Your Wall and Wallpaper Type

The next step is to determine what type of wall you have and what type of wallpaper is on it. There are three main types of wallpaper: strippable, traditional, and vinyl-coated.

There are also three main types of walls: plaster, drywall, and wood. You will need different supplies and techniques depending on your combination of wall and wallpaper type.

How to Remove Strippable Wallpaper

Strippable wallpaper is the easiest type of wallpaper to remove. It is usually made of fabric or paper and can be removed without damaging the wall underneath. To remove strippable wallpaper, you will need hot water, a spray bottle or garden sprayer, a putty knife or scraper, a sponge, and a bucket.

Gather Your Materials 

The first step is to gather all of your materials. You will need hot water, a spray bottle or garden sprayer, a putty knife or scraper, a sponge, and a bucket. Fill your bucket with hot water and set it aside. Combine hot water and wallpaper stripper according to the manufacturer’s instructions in your spray bottle or garden sprayer. 

Loosen the Corner and Pull 

Once your solution is mixed, spray a small section of the wall with the solution. Then use your putty knife or scraper to loosen a corner of the wallpaper. Once you have loosened a corner, gently pull the wallpaper away from the wall. Continue spraying small sections of the wall and removing the wallpaper until the entire wall is free from wallpaper.

Clean the Walls

The last step is to clean your walls with soapy water to remove any residue from the strippable wallpaper adhesive. Use a sponge to wipe down each wall section after spraying it with soapy water. Rinse your sponge frequently in clean water to avoid spreading dirt around on your walls. Allow your walls to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

How to Remove Traditional Wallpaper

Traditional wallpaper is made of paper coated with vinyl or another waterproof material. It is more difficult to remove than strippable wallpaper because it is more moisture-resistant.

Gather Your Materials 

To remove traditional wallpaper, you will need hot water, white vinegar, a spray bottle or garden sprayer, a putty knife or scraper, a sponge, plastic sheeting (optional), and a bucket (optional).

You may also need scoring tools if your traditional wallpaper is difficult to remove.

These include an electric or handheld scoring tool such as a fork or nail file.

If you are worried about damaging your walls during removal, you can cover them with plastic sheeting before starting. This is not necessary but may give you peace of mind while working on removing stubborn traditional wallpaper. 

 Mix Solution

The first step is to mix equal parts hot water and white vinegar in your bucket (or fill up your spray bottle or garden sprayer). If you are using plastic sheeting to protect your walls, now is the time to put it up. 

Apply Solution

Next, apply your solution liberally to small sections of the wall using your chosen method (spray bottle/gardener’s sprayer/bucket & sponge). Let sit for several minutes.

Scrape Wallpaper Off

Once the solution has had time to soak in (several minutes), use a putty knife or scraper to scrape away at loosened bits of wallpaper.  

Clean Walls

Finally, once all wallpaper has been removed, rinse the area with clean water (from hose outside if possible) & allow walls too dry completely.  

Score if Necessary

If there are still bits of stubborn traditional wallpaper remaining after following steps 1-5 above then it’s time break out scoring tools. 

 Score the entire section where traditional wallpaper remains using either an electric scoring tool OR a handheld tool such as a fork/nail file. 

Be sure not TO score TOO deeply – just enough so that the new solution can penetrate beneath surface layer of the remaining traditional wallpaper. Retreat the area & repeat steps 2-5 above. 


Removing traditional wallpaper can be intimidating due to its often stubborn nature, but with just a few smart tips in hand, it need not be so daunting. Proper preparation is key, so before beginning any project like this, take all necessary safety precautions, such as shutting off power and covering outlets. It’s also helpful to have the right tools for the job, such as a drop cloth, specialty scraper, sponge, and bucket. From there on out it becomes simply a matter of patience and persistence. If you run into a wall that’s too stubborn or are ever in doubt as to how best to go about a project like this, always remember to consult professional help! With these tips in mind removing traditional wallpaper won’t remain such an enigma.


On Key

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