How to Take Wallpaper Off Easily


You can take off wallpaper easily with a few inexpensive tools and wallpaper removal solvent. These inexpensive items are available at any local home improvement store. No matter how big or small the room, the key to making the wallpaper removal process easy is to allow the tools to do the work and giving the solvent adequate time to do its job. Rushing a wallpaper removal job not only leads to wasted time, difficulties and frustration, but damaged walls as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Drop cloth
  • Wallpaper perforator
  • Wallpaper removal solvent
  • Plastic paint tray
  • Medium nap paint roller
  • Plastic putty knife
  • Water
  • Put down drop cloths. Removing wallpaper reactivates some of the adhesive because you are wetting it. This causes the pieces to stick to the floor and possibly cause damage. Drop cloths protect your flooring and make it easier to clean up when you finish.

  • Perforate the wallpaper. Wallpaper perforators mark tiny holes in the wallpaper to allow the removal solvent to seep through to the adhesive without damaging the walls beneath.

  • Mix the removal solvent. The wallpaper removal solvent can be mixed with hot water, according to the manufacturer's instructions, in the paint tray.

  • Apply the removal solvent. Using a medium nap roller allows you to apply the solvent easily and with less waste. Apply the removal solvent solution to the perforated wallpaper just as though you were painting the wall.

  • Allow the solvent to work. Wallpaper removal solvents need time to break down the adhesive, usually around 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Start peeling. With your hands, begin peeling off the wallpaper at a corner where it's easy to grasp.

  • Scrape the wallpaper off. Hold the plastic putty knife at a slight angle, about 15 degrees, and scrape off the wallpaper. Repeat Step 4 through Step 7 until you remove all the wallpaper from the walls.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always apply light pressure with the putty knife. Applying too much pressure can lead to gouges in the walls.
  • Always wash the walls after the wallpaper in removed. After you finish removing all of the wallpaper, use warm, soapy water and a large sponge to wash off any small scraps of wallpaper and glue residue from the walls.
  • Never wet too big of an area of the wall. When the solvent sits on the wall for too long, the moisture can damage them. Only apply solvent to an area of wallpaper that you can remove within 15 minutes after the end of the solvent manufacturer's suggested soaking time.

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  • Photo Credit wallpaper with a rolled edge image by Cherry-Merry from
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