How to Remove Wallpaper Without Damaging Your Wall

Ugly wallpaper. We’ve all faced it at some point. Flowery vines crawling along every square inch of the bathroom or kitchen. Busy patterns dominating the bedroom, killing the sense of peace that you long for in the room that houses your bed.

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Whether it’s a new house or you’re looking to finally get rid of the ugly wallpaper in your existing house, it can be an intimidating project. After all, you don’t want to damage the wall — or worse, hurt yourself.

Here is the safest and simplest way to remove wallpaper: Hire someone else to do it. Don’t want to hire someone? No problem… Here’s how to do it yourself!

Every Job is Different

The bad news first. Not every wallpaper removal job will be the same. Some wallpapers can be stripped dry, but if they were installed directly to drywall without a primer painted on, they will definitely damage the wall.

You may want to test a section of the wall that isn’t easily visible, but it’s very likely that dry stripping will damage the wall somewhere along the line.

Removers

A remover solution mixed with water is probably your best bet for removing wallpaper without damaging the wall underneath. The purpose of the solution is to dissolve the adhesive backing of the wallpaper. This makes removing the wallpaper much easier.

Tools and Preparation

You’ll want a drop cloth or plastic sheet to cover the floors. You’ll also want to remove any outlet covers or light switch covers. Obviously anything attached to the wall that isn’t wallpapered may need to be removed.

Once you’ve mixed your solution, lift a small corner of wallpaper to test. Spray the remover solution on the wallpaper and let it soak. If it doesn’t pull off easily, then apply more and wait. It could take several applications sometimes to loosen the wallpaper.

You can strip the wallpaper by hand, but you may want to use a broad knife. Just be careful not to force it or scrape so hard that you damage the wall.

Complications

You may find more wallpaper under your wallpaper. This is bad and it just added a lot of time to your job. Don’t try to remove multiple layers of wallpaper at the same time — despite what any product manufacturer says, stripping wallpaper one layer at a time is the best method.

Conclusion

After the wallpaper and backer is completely removed, then spray the wall down with your remover-solution one more time and scrape any missed spots. Wipe down the wall with a moist sponge and let it dry for a few days.