How to Remove Vinyl Wallpaper


When it comes to removing vinyl wallpaper, put away your steamer and follow these simple steps for easy pull-and-peel removal. This is a messy, time-consuming endeavor, but the end result of having that outdated vinyl wallpaper out of your life for good makes it well worth the effort.

Things You'll Need

  • Flexible scraper
  • Putty knife
  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Paint roller
  • Decide which way the wallpaper was hung and attempt to use your scraper or putty knife to get underneath it. A flexible scraper with an even edge works best to minimize holes and gashes in the wall.

  • Start at an edge and slowly tear the paper upward, removing as many layers as possible in the process.

  • Spritz a small area of paper with water from your spray bottle. If nothing is budging or you don't mind a little mess, consider applying more water using a paint roller and then following with your putty knife or scraper. This is not the neatest approach, but itshould remove any stubborn wallpaper, paper layers or residue fairly quickly.

  • Add more water over a larger area as you work. This gives the moisture time to soak in and loosen the glue while you're still working on the current spot.

  • Remove the last bits of paper from the wall and allow it to dry overnight before applying your new paint or covering.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be patient and work at your own pace when removing large sections of ancient wallpaper. It's a time-consuming process. Rushing it won't help.
  • Position your body so the paper you're peeling is always near eye level. This helps prevent back strain and over-reaching.

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  • Photo Credit Gary Houlder/Photodisc/Getty Images
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