You loved your wallpaper when you first put it up. Today, however, you can’t wait to take it off. Whether you want to remove your wallpaper to replace it with a fresh, new design, or you have decided to forgo wallpaper and use paint instead, you will need to remove the existing wallpaper without ruining the surface behind it. Although there are many types of wallpaper strippers available at home improvement stores, you can make an effective and non-toxic wallpaper stripper from fabric softener and water.
Things You'll Need
- Wallpaper scoring tool
- Liquid fabric softener
- Warm water
- Spray bottle
- Plastic 3-inch wide putty knife
- White vinegar
- Sponge or rag
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Use a wallpaper scoring tool to create holes in the wallpaper. Vinyl wallpapers will require more scoring than paper wallpapers. The holes created by the scoring tool will allow the remover mixture to penetrate the wallpaper and get between it and the wall.
Lay towels on the floor along the bottom of the wall to soak up excess liquid.
Mix 1 cup liquid fabric softener with 1 cup warm water in a spray bottle. Mix small quantities at a time so that your solution is warm, as this mixture works better warm than it does when it is cold.
Spray the wall liberally, starting at the top, until all of the wallpaper is wet with the solution.
Start at a top corner and peel the wallpaper down. Keep the spray bottle with you, and use it to spray behind the wallpaper as you peel if the wallpaper is not removing easily. Use a plastic putty knife to scrape behind wallpaper that does not peel easily. Continue peeling until all of the wallpaper is removed.
Spray any paper residue with the fabric softener mixture and let it soak in. Scrape off the residue with the plastic putty knife.
Mix a solution of 1 cup white vinegar to 1 gallon water. Clean the walls with this solution to remove any wallpaper or remaining adhesive residue, using a sponge or a rag.