How to Remove Wallpaper With a Heat Gun

Heat guns can remove stubborn wallpaper pieces that refuse to peel off.
Heat guns can remove stubborn wallpaper pieces that refuse to peel off. (Image: Gary Houlder/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Hideous wallpaper from the 1950s and '60s needs fixing as soon as possible unless you want to feel trapped in the past. For stubborn wallpaper pieces that refuse to budge no matter what you throw at them, try the heat gun method to finish cleaning off the walls for a fresh start. After you're finished, paint or re-wallpaper the room in a fitting color or pattern that won't make you cringe every time you come home.

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Grab the corner of any loose wallpaper strips and peel away. Scrape off what you can with a paint scraper. The less you need to use the heat gun on, the faster and more smoothly the process will go.

Position the heat gun 2 inches from the wallpaper at a 45-degree angle. Move the heat gun in circles over a small area for best results.

Follow along behind the heat gun and scrape with the paint scraper. The wallpaper should peel away piece by piece. Return to stubborn areas and turn up the heat setting to help release the paper's grip.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the heat gun still leaves wallpaper strips behind, apply a wallpaper remover chemical and allow it to soak in thoroughly before scraping the paper away. Poke holes in the wallpaper first to allow the chemical to soak through the surface to the glue underneath.

References

  • "The Complete Guide to Painting & Decorating: Using Paint, Stain & Wallpaper in Home Decor"; Creative Publishing International; 2006
  • "Home Improvement 1-2-3-"; Home Depot; 2003
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